A good traveler knows that to deeply understand a new culture and how it works it is important also to taste its cuisine, its typical products. So much information is hidden in food and traditions and trying them in the original area of production may make the difference, changing a touristy trip in a whole new -and more fulfilling- travel experience.
If you are planning a trip to Republika Srpska and you want to step up your travelling game, you may want to have a sip (or two!) of an incredible alcoholic drink, very popular in the area: Gazdina Rakija. And, surprisingly, you can get ready for the experience and try that even before leaving, in Brussels!
Rakija (or Rakia) is a particular brandy made with fruit. The original and most popular fruits used for Rakija are grapes and plums, but it’s easy to find alternatives with other fruits -combined or by themselves- or flavored with herbs, honey, sour cherries or walnuts, added after distillation. Rakija is popular in many Slavic nations in the Balkans, but it spread out also in non-Slavic speaking countries, like Romania, Albania and Greece, with different names and adjustments to the recipe.
This year the flavor and the success of Rakija arrived also to Belgium, boosting the reputation of the Balkan brandy and introducing Brussels to its history and tradition. In fact, the factory Prijedorčanka won several golden stars for extraordinary taste from The International Taste and Quality Institute (iTQi). One for the excellent flavor of the apricot Rakija, two for the taste for the plum Rakija and three for the outstanding pear Rakija. Prijedorčanka is the largest producer of natural distillate fruits and natural brandies in Europe. Each year it produces and sells to foreign markets more than 650,000 hectoliters of distillate fruit, which roughly correspond to 2.5 million bottles of brandy. The “Superior Taste Award” Gazdina Rakija obtained is a certificate granted by food and drink opinion leaders, who are Michelin starred Chefs and Sommeliers from all around Europe. The prize testifies the great quality of the product and its increasing popularity in Belgium.
Moreover, this month the representatives of the Republica Srspka in Brussels advertised the success obtained on their website, remarking the importance of the award and of the tradition carried out.
Get ready for your travel or just dive in a new culture through a sip of Rakija!