Seriously, where IS the beef, I ask? Since we have been here, I have not seen one single bit of food made from beef. NOT ONE. Although, I have been tricked a lot!

At the store where I buy the meat, there is a package of meat that looks exactly like ground beef. Exactly. Like twins. When we first got here, we bought a couple of those packages and I used them in my spaghetti and to make some stuffed peppers. I could tell that something just wasn’t the same, but really, nothing has been the same here. “Oh well”, I thought, “what I don’t know won’t hurt me”.

Another clue that we weren’t actually eating beef was when we went out to eat. There is never any beef on the menu. Not a steak to be found! “Good thing they have the beef at that one little store”, I thought, feeling all clever that I had found the only store in Sofia that sold ground beef.

Then came the day when we finally bought a Bulgarian-English dictionary. I know I know, why did we not have one of those already! That’s because (and this may surprise you) there really isn’t a huge demand for Bulgarian-English dictionaries in San Diego. They actually don’t sell them at the bookstores. Seriously. I looked. So we found one after we got here.

Well, with my new dictionary, I was sooooooo excited to start looking up all these words I had seen, but didn’t know what they meant. So I started with all the meat packages. Big mistake. HUGE! Guess what that “ground beef” was. Go ahead, guess! It was 40% ground sausage and 60% ground veal! Kids—maybe you don’t know what veal is, so let me tell you. Veal is baby cows. BABY COWS!! You know, how they are so cute when they are babies? And I was EATING THEM!!!!

I was sick. Just sick about it. I have stopped buying the ground beef at the one special store and had a small funeral for the veal I did eat. So sorry, my little cow, so so so sorry… I say this as Mark happily chews away at all forms of veal: veal steaks, veal burgers, veal sandwiches, veal whatever.

I probably don’t even need to tell you this, but my quest to find beef is over, OVER! I will have to wait until we return to San Diego to eat a steak.

**Ok-we have found some real beef, but…still not as good as home, we will stick with mostly pork and chicken.