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Training on how to make soap and chocolates in Strandja

Bjorn Arne Nass present the technology
Mar 21, 2011
The practical training organised by the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation (BBF) in Malko Tarnovo during the weekend was met with exceptional interest. The main presenter was Mr. Born Arne Naess from the Directorate for Nature Management in Norway, who is personally experienced in the making of soap, candies and other products.

The hall of the Strandja Nature Park Directorate could hardly accommodate the 30 participants mainly from Malko Tarnovo, and also from the Villages of Brushlyan, Zvezdets, Tsarevo and Sinemorets. The training comprised 4 modules – making of soap, making of creams and other cosmetic products, praline chocolates and candy. The theory was followed by a more entertaining part where the participants could, in 4 groups, try the Norwegian recipes – they poured soap in silicone molds, mixed creams with Strandja scents (Manov honey, Crimean tea, essential oils and local infusions). Everyone had the opportunity of getting ‘smeared’ with chocolate or of mixing a cosmetic cream.

The second day was tastier, where special molds were used by the participants to make chocolates filled with Strandja honey, soft almonds, dried fruits and rakia. The last part was dedicated to the easily prepared and particularly attractive sugar candy, again with the taste of Strandja Manov honey and local herbs.

Fascinated by the quality and taste of Strandja honey during his very first trip to Bulgaria, the Norwegian expert has ever since developed the idea of training the local people to make use of what they posses and of Strandja’s trademark – honey, herbs, specific scents etc.

A year later the BBF, supported by the Strandja Nature Park Directorate, organised such a practical training hoping to attract and inspire the local people to profit from the nature park and to avail of what they own. The idea is that the products made in the future should be offered to tourists coming to Strandja in the guest houses and visitor centres in the Park, providing additional income to the producers.

The training is part of the BBF efforts in the Strandja Nature Park to support the pro-biodiversity businesses, the offering of goods and services created on a nature friendly ways and was organised as part of the BBF project: “Collaboration for Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Local Development in Strandja Mountain in Bulgaria”, supported by a grant from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein through the EEA Financial Mechanism.