Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Marmalade Cake

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • Peel of 1 orange, grated
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
First of all, preheat oven to 250°C. Combine oil, water, chopped walnuts, peel of orange and marmalade in a bowl. Sift flour and add dry ingredients to flour.

Mix together and pour into greased 9-inch square pan. Bake for about 35-40 minutes.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Balkan Wines – Balkan Wineries

Balkan Wines
The beverage that has marked the whole era of humankind is wine. The Romans and Greeks worshiped Dionysus, also known as Bacchus, as the god of wine and merriment. Moreover, wine is important for many religious traditions, such as the Jewish Passover and the Christian Eucharist. It seems that wine has been around us ever since the first men’s footstep. Also, it is believed that wine first appeared in the Balkans around 4500 BC, so here is a small overview of Balkan wineries.

Bulgaria

On one hand, there is Bulgaria which produces wines since the Thracian times. Due to administrative reasons, the vineyards in Bulgaria are classified into five regions, and there are no vineyards only around the capital city, Sofia. One of the wine regions is the Eastern Region, which is affected by the Black Sea climate, and white wine is the most produced wine in this region. Some of the most famous wineries are Varna and Khan Krum. Another region is the Northern Region, and in this area it is produced white and red wine. Well-known wineries from this region are Russe, the Suhindol and Svishtov. Next on this list is the Southern Region which the most familiar for its red wines, and Plovdiv and Assenovgrad are the most eminent wineries. Another wine region is South-Western Region which has the warmest climate of all regions, and red wine is its special. The vineyard that marks this region is Melnik. Finally, the Sub-Balkan Region is the last in this list. This region produses red wine the most, and the recognized winery is Sliven.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

On the second hand, there is Bosnia and Herzegovina with its unique wine taste. The wineries in this country are few, but the wine is one of a kind, and there is no even similar taste no where in the world. The oldest winery in the country is Hepok Vinarija. This winery is founded in 1886 during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Another winery, which is very exclusive, is Brkic wine family cellar. What makes this winery one-and-only is that there is produced high quality wines, Zilavka and Blatina, which are symbols of the country.

Montenegro

Montenegro is next on our wine list. Only the south part of the country is suitable for wine growing. The leading “force” in Montenegro is Plantaze, which is the major producer of bottled wine in the former Yugoslavia. It produces Krstac which is wine made of the same called grape only grown in Montenegro and Serbia.

Romania

One of the world’s largest wine makers is Romania, which has same climate as France, the wine country. Romania has four wine regions. One is Tarnave which produces the fruity wines due to the cool climate, and famous wineries in this region are Medias, Tarnaveni, Valea Nirajului, Zagar, Jidvei, Blaj and many more. Another region is Dealu Mare translated as Big Hill. Because it is old in tradition, this region is believed to be the cradle of red wines. The eminent vineyards are Ceptura, Tohani, Urlati, Valea Calugareasca, Tohani, Pietroasa and Breaza. Then, on our list comes Cotnary which produces the sweatiest wines in Romania. Frumusica, Cotnari and Cucuteni are well-known wineries in the region. Finally, Murfatlar is the one of the most important wine regions in Romania. It is placed near the Black Sea which provides needed humidity and freshness in growing grape. Vineyards that mark this region are Medgidia, Cernavoda, and Adamclisi.

Balkan Vineyard

Croatia

Another Balkan country that has perfect wine is Croatia. Its wine has very long history since 5th century BC when the wine was introduced by the Greek settlers, and since then Croatian wine has reaching its peak over and over again. Croatia produces 700 types of wine and has over 300 vineyards which are divided into costal and interior wine regions.

Slovenia

Furthermore, the country that kept the wine heritage is Slovenia which has several wine regions that will last forever. One of them is known as Goriska Brda which produces high quality wine. Another one is the coastal region Kras near the city Koper. Moreover, Podravski or also known as the valley of the Drava River and Posavski or the valley of Sava River are regions that produce unique wine typically only for Slovenia.

Macedonia

Nothing goes without the heart of the Balkan, Macedonia. This country is also placed on our list of Balkan wine countries. Macedonia is sunny, mountainous country whose climate is influenced by the Mediterranean Sea, which makes Macedonian wine only one of its kinds. Furthermore, Macedonian vineries produce all kinds of wine. The dominant role in wine making has Tikves which produces 2/3 of Macedonian wine. This vinery is placed in the centre of the country, and it covers cities Negotino and Kavadarci. Demir Kapija is another town famous for the wine production. Almost all cities in Macedonia have vineries with brilliant wines which taste amazingly.

Serbia

The last one on our list is Serbia. Same like the other Balkan countries, Serbia has an excellent climate for producing wine. Also it has several wine regions which create unique wines. Kinds of grape that are symbols of Serbia are Temjanika and Prokupac.

To conclude, all countries on the Balkan are perfectly wine makers having very old tradition in the production of a quality wine. I could say that wine is embedded deeply in human culture and society especially in the Balkans. Another eminent proof that Balkans is the cradle of wine is the fact that all countries have wine festivals such as Wine Fest in Sarajevo, Tikveski Grozdober in Kavadarci, Vinoskop in Skopje, Vinaria in Plovdiv, Wine Gourmet Festival in Zagreb and many, many more. Your choice is to came, try some wine, try some traditional Balkan dishes and have a wonderful time on the Balkan.
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