People get drunk all over the world but they fight the hangover on the next day in different ways. If you have gulped down too many vodkas on your trip to Bulgaria, why not try to neutralize the next-day headache with these Bulgarian cures believed to help your wretched, pulsating head?
Tripe soup is the ubiquitous hangover remedy in Bulgaria. On an early Saturday or Sunday morning, there will be people all over the country eagerly slurping it at restaurants with a lot of added garlic and hot chili pepper on top (these two ingredients are served in separate bowls so everyone can add as much as they like). The liquid, salt and proteins from the soup are believed to help the body recover.
Sour cabbage juice is a homemade product you can find in many Bulgarian homes. Unfortunately, it’s not available year-round but only in the fall and winter. It contains a lot of salt and is siphoned off from jars where fermenting cabbage is stored.
Drinking beer after a night with too much alcohol is like fighting fire with fire but for some reason, Bulgarians believe that this remedy actually works. Maybe the secret is that it makes you drunk again, so that you don’t feel the negative side effects of last night’s over-indulgence. When a Bulgarian counts on a glass of beer in the morning, this is rarely their last beer of the day.
Ayran is a common Balkan non-alcoholic drink made of yogurt, water, and salt. Its curative effect might lie in the fact that it restores the liquid balance in the dehydrated body, and also supplies it with salt.
Tarator is the Bulgarian national cold summer soup. It is based on ayran but also contains finely chopped or grated cucumbers, garlic, walnuts, dill, and sunflower oil. Its effect is similar to that of ayran.
There is an urban legend that if you send a really, really greasy piece of meat down your gut, like the fattiest cut of steak you can find, then it will somehow magically interfere with the mess in your stomach and put an end to the dizziness and nausea. Despite the lack of consistency in positive results, this continues to be a popular hangover cure in Bulgaria. It has another, better use, however. Greasy food is known to be a perfect pre-drinking food since it is harder to get drunk when you’ve had a substantial meal beforehand.
Although aspirin is more or less an international hangover cure, in Bulgaria, it is rarely taken just by itself. Bulgarians won’t simply depend on medication to get themselves out of their hungover state, and will usually combine it with one or more of the local remedies mentioned above, just in case.