The taste of the Rhodope Mountains expects explorers further up to the north, again in the village of Smilyan. Here in the Rhodopa Milk Dairy one of the secrets of the region can be found – “Rodopi” cheese whose unique taste, along with several other dairy products, will surely provoke you a hint of national pride.
“Our dream is to make cheese “Rodopi” as famous as Italian Parmesan”, says Milkana Yordanova, chairman of the cooperative “Rodopa Milk” Smilian, and our host at the dairy. High fat milk from cows of the breed Bulgarian Rhodopean cattle, altitude and barometric pressure make cheese “Rodopi” spicy, solid, and locals call it “male cheese”. “It is in no way inferior to the Italian Parmesan, even it competes in flavor, spice and hardness, but unfortunately is unknown to the world,” explains Milkana.
In the dairy tourists are offered a demonstration of production of beaten cheese, butter churning, tasting several types of dairy products. A project for development of rural tourism here are advertised and all guesthouses in the area of three villages in the Upper Arda river valley, which have a total of 450 beds for accommodation.