Balkan Cheese Tour

Karakachan Sheep from Bulgarian Slow Food Presidiu,

Karakachan Sheep from Bulgarian Slow Food Presidiu,

Balkan Cheese Tour

October 10th -23rd, 2014

Cost for The Balkan Cheese Tour is USD $3197.00 and includes all lodging, ground transportation between locations, breakfasts, shared suppers, tasting demonstrations and tours. A $500.00 non-refundable deposit required to secure your space, is due by August 1st 2014. Special 24 hour sale ends on midnight July 17th 2014 receives a $400.00 discount. **A portion of the proceeds of the tour will be donated to the ESSEDRA project to help document and preserve endangered Balkan food traditions. For more information or to reserve your place, connect with USA Contact Stephanie Georgieff: realfoodempire@gmail.com or Ambasador MAK info@ambasadormak.com.mk It is suggested to Arrive in Sofia, Bulgaria. Ambasador MAK can assist in flightarrangements if needed.

Sophia Bulgaria Skyline

Sofia Skyline with Dome of Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Bulgaria

10/10/14 Arrival in Sofia, the cultural capitol of Bulgaria. Optional Sightseeing available for early arrivals. Shared supper with ESSEDRA presentation on the history, production of the various cheeses of the Balkans.

Pirin Moutnains Bulgaria

Pirin Mountain Lake, Bulgaria

10/11/14 Depart to Pirin mountain region of Bulgaria to meet with farmers and cheese makers of this lush forested area. A farm lunch featuring local cheeses followed by hiking in the woods.

Rila Monestary

Rila Monastery, Bulgaria

10/12/14 Visit to local attractions in the Pirin region, including the historic Rila Monastery. The evening will commence with wine, cheese and spirit tasting and a discussion with local producers.

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Cheesemakers from Albania

10/13/14 Travel to the Republic of Macedonia to the pristine Berovo region for a farm tour and cheese making demonstration. Tasting and shared supper with producers of local cheeses wines and spirits. Hiking available to those who wish to explore.

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Macedonian Kashkaval and White Cheese from Bimilk Creamery in Bitola

Strumica MAK

Strumica Macedonia

10/14/14 Depart Berovo to Bitola, the cultural and dairy capitol of the Republic of Macedonia, with a stop in Strumica for tasting and demonstration of Wild Fig Slatko. Wine tasting at Popova Kula and supper at Villa Dihovo for a traditional Macedonian feast, with local organic wines and cheeses. Chefs and producers on hand for dialogue.

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Macedonian Slow Food Presidia Wild Fig Slatko

10/15/14 Visit to Historic Ohrid Macedonia and then off to a cheese tasting supper to sample cheese from the Mavrovo region, home of the traditional Sharplanska White Cheese, a Presidium of Slow Food International.

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Lake Ohrid Macedonia

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Macedonian Slow Food Presidia Sharplanska White Cheese

Elbasan Albania

Elbasan Albania

10/16/14 Depart for Albania with a visit to historical Elbasan. Dinner in a restored Castle featuring regional artisan cheeses, local culinary specialties and an opportunity to talk with cheese producers and chefs.

Montenegro

Montenegro

10/17/14 Travel to Montenegro to meet with heirloom dairy producers of the rural mountain region of Berane. Hiking and nature sightseeing available.

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Serbian Cheesemakers

10/18/14 Remaining in Berane region to meet with local cheese makers. Shared supper featuring regional cuisine and a treat of Bosnian and Croatian cheeses, with producers on hand for dialogue.

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Macedonian Dairy Farmer

10/19/14 Continue to enjoy Montenegro hospitality and nature, free time for exploration of the surrounding forests.

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Traditional Serbian Feast

10/20/14 Depart for Serbia. Tasting and demonstration with producers of Kajmak, a traditional yogurt –cheese.

Serbia country side

Serbian Countryside near Belgrade

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Traditional Serbian Grill

10/21/14 Tour participants will spend the night in a Salash, a traditional food-producing house to learn the techniques of local cheese making.

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Traditional Serbian Salash House

10/22/14 Sightseeing in Belgrade, the capitol of Serbia with visits to the local food bazaar and an evening of cultural and culinary exchange.

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Dairy Farmer Herding Cows to Mountain Pastures near Prilep Macedonia

10/23/14 Depart from Belgrade. Optional special addition to attend Slow Food International’s Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2014, the worlds largest organic, sustainable and artisanal food festival in Turin, Italy. Ambasador MAK is happy to make personal arrangements for those who wish to attend. Prices vary depending on your needs.

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Cheesemonger in Old Town BItola Food Bazaar in Macedonia

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