The increasing Westernisation of Bulgaria as demonstrated through avocado availability

by | Feb 13, 2019 | Bulgarian life, Food & recipes | 8 comments


Kaufland didn’t have any avocados the other day. Just typing that sentence makes me realise how much Bulgaria has changed since we first came here in 2011.

I don’t think I saw an avocado in a local shop until … maybe 2014? 2015, even? I mean, you’d see them on menus in Sofia, of course, but for sale in Etropole? No way.

Then, one local veg shop started occasionally offering some outrageously expensive, puny avocados – which I’d gladly hoover up, regardless of their price and diminutive size. Kaufland would also stock them every now and then, slightly cheaper, too.

Things really changed about a year ago. BOOM! Suddenly it was Avocado Central around here. More than one shop in Etropole had avocados in stock pretty much all the time. Kaufland had avocados permanently on offer. We slipped back into our Waitrose-loving, Guardianista snowflake ways, eating smashed avo on toast every week. Living the Millennial dream, like the horrible clichés we are.

So when there weren’t any avocados in stock at the supermarket last week, I was … confused, bereft. They can’t take my avocados away from me, I fumed. This is an outrage. I demand avocados!

Anyway, I’m sure it was just a temporary blip, but it goes to show how different things are these days. And how we’ve once again got used to having easy access to life’s little luxuries. Rob ordered a burrito in a restaurant in Botevgrad the other week. A burrito! I remember when, outside of Sofia, we’d struggle to find much more than shopska salad and cheesy chips on the menu. (Partly, to be fair, due to our middling language skills, but also because most local restaurants really did only offer the same few dishes.)

And in other food-slash-national-development news, a KFC has just opened up about 10 miles from our house. I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, it’s a distressing sign of the increasing Westernisation of the mad, unique country that we love. But on the other hand, well, KFC’s Fillet Tower Burger. I mean, it’s a chicken burger with cheese and a hash brown on top. What’s not to love about that?


  1. Katt

    Yet last time we where in the centre of Burgas (September 2018) McDonalds had closed down. When we passed it was usually full of old ladies eating cheap ice cream cones.

  2. local alien

    Hope those avos reappear! Does Bulgaria have it's own version of Mac ds?

  3. the hippopotamus

    What about Bulgaria's place on the avocado toast index? Just in case you have forgotten, it is how many avocado toasts you could eat for the cost of a house in Bulgaria. If we are talking about rural Bulgaria, and not Lozenets, thewn my guess would be simple: not very many. But the serious BG avocado-eaters are, of course, concentrated in Lozenets.

    The McDs in Sofia are usually full of foreigners.

  4. Auntie Bulgaria

    Hmm, not sure as there's already plenty of McDonalds, KFCs and Burger Kings. There is Happy Bar & Grill, which is a cheap and cheerful restaurant chain, but it's not fast food. It's more like a really low rent TGI Fridays.

  5. Auntie Bulgaria

    Oh my, if we lived in Sofia, we'd definitely be in Lozenets, with our avocado-loving brethren!

  6. the hippopotamus

    Oh dear! I have to confess that we do go to The Happy Grill from time to time. It is a kind of nostalgia (or maybe noshtalgia) thing because we first went there during our first-ever visit to Bulgaria, fifteen years ago. The Creme Brulee is not crunchy enough, alas.

    Lozenets ought to be very nice, as you will not find many apartments for under 100,000 euros and a lot over that price. You could buy a whole village in the BG countryside for that sort of crazy money. Also the shops in Lozenets tend to be trendy and boutiquey and the prices are predictably silly. I am not going to complain about Lozenets too loudly because my new school is paying for the rent of our apartment.

  7. Auntie Bulgaria

    Nothing wrong with a giant Happy Bar beer every now and then, although I don't love the food. But that's because I'm a sucker for trendy food at silly prices! Which is why Lozenets sounds like my idea of heaven.


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