The Gorani, an ethnic minority of about 30’000 people, live in the mountainous trans-region between Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia, in the south Balkans. The language of the Gorana minority is called Našinski and belongs to a group of dialects, which are a mix between Bulgarian/Macedonian and Serbian/Croatian.
Between the Gorani people there is a strong tradition of fermenting local fruit (wild but also cultivated varieties) to produce a non-alcoholic but sparkling beverage. This product is called sok: it is produced in an anaerobic environment using sealed bottles (or jars), in which previously boiled fruits are placed. Sometimes there is also the addition of sugar during the fermentation process to aid it and increase the formation of gas (CO2).
The fruits used to make sok are prunes, plums, blueberries, juniper berries, rosehip, but also wild apples or cherry plums. They are mostly wild fruits, which play a crucial part in the traditional Gorani diet, and are employed in many different ways (fermented, as syrups or others) to maximize their use and store them for a long time. Sok is used as a refreshing beverage, but also for health purposes.