Updated: May 6
Serbs are hedonists indeed. And there’s no doubt about it. When we asked them what they like most, they would reply with no hesitation whatsoever: "The food and women". Food is the proverbial fountain of life, the never ending delight bringing joy and merriment, People seem to love Serbia because of its tasteful food among other things. Serbian feast is a healthy, natural, colorful, lavish, sweet and hot tickling our palates and arousing all the senses getting our bodily juices to flow, and making you wish that if you once visit this peculiar destination you will come again and stay much longer. Just because of the food. And more. In almost all circumstances other than religious fasting seasons, eating habits with calories- packed dishes tend to be much loved among the Serbs. Albeit vegetarians don’t seem to be lovers of meat, they will always be wined and dined with some delicious and healthy dishes. Though there is a fasting period for religious observances which include a healthy and less fattening ingredients in dishes on Wednesdays and Fridays and certainly before major religious holidays. If you ask any local residing in these quarters for a recommendation of a restaurant with traditional food, or some small but a pleasant little café, a village or a household, they will surely know what to say. We’ll be presenting a number of well-known Serbian dishes from a number of regions of Serbia below.
Niš, Leskovac, Zaječar, Pirot, Knjaževac, Negotin, Kladovo - these are all towns and cities with a memorable history, cultural heritage and primarily – fabulous food! The locals tend to say that everything that is tasteful and mouthwatering is essentially healthy meaning that one should not give a wide berth to any mouthwatering food , so their specialties are a blend of sweet, sour, bitter and salty flavours and aromas. The thing about this food is its particular taste and aroma, they’re a potent symbol of this part of Serbia. Each and every part of this country grows special wines. So, that’s characteristic of Eastern Serbia. There is a unique caviar factory. An interesting fact is that only Serbia produces the most expensive dish in the world – donkey’s milk.
Characteristic for this region is Belmuž - a traditional shepherds’dish from Svrljig. Preparation of this dish is rather easy, since you only need two necessary ingredients, cheese and corn flour. Belmuž is so delicious and nutritious that you will never cease to crave for yet another mouthful.
Serbia is also one of the ten European countries where the river Danube flows through on its way to the Black Sea. Given that a large number of fishermen pursued their hobbies on this famous river. Different kinds of fish are the basis for making a fish soup complete with high quality cooking that is. This delicious lean dish is popular throughout Serbia. A recipe tends to vary greatly. Every housewife seems to have a little secret that enriches the taste of this extraordinary meal. A number of events are held throughout the year in honor of this dish, and fish lovers can certainly enjoy it and learn the recipe right from Serbian gourmets.
However, honey is synonymous of Eastern Serbia. Honey is a staple food which brings health to the honey lovers. Since bygone days, people have been well aware of the healthy properties of these sweet treats. In addition to being used as an ingredient in many dishes, honey is unprecedented given its health properties. Homolje represents the part of Serbia which produces the most delicious honey. Invaluable piece of advice you hear from every ‘local lumberjack type of a person’ is to take a teaspoonful of honey every morning, mixed with water and a squirt of lemon juice. Apart from boosting our immune system , and detoxifying our body, it works miracles to our health and beauty. Both meadow or forest honey are the best food that invariably brings a smile to the face of almost everybody with a sweet tooth.
WESTERN AND SOUTHERN SERBIA
Maybe we’d better leave the best food for the end of this article. From any tourist from any country on this planet, if he or she come back from their Serbian travels , you can see a smile on their faces when they narrate their experiences from these parts of Serbia. In fact, the food belies description, but one just needs to give it a go and savour it on their palates. Western and Southern Serbian cities are stunningly beautiful cities with mouthwatering desserts. These treats wouldn’t be what they truly are, if it were not from pristine nature and landscapes that make this food unique. Užice, Čačak, Valjevo, Čajetina are just some of the places where you will be welcomed with hospitality and warmth. The first association is Zlatibor - . The magic of nature, experience, memories and food quickly come to mind. Kajmak is synonymous of these green pastures. Traditional Serbian specialty is a dairy product with a somewhat sour taste that can be served with an appetizer, the main course, and a dessert. Few can resist the culinary charm of this cream, there is no doubt about it.
Ham is normally served with the cream. The ham from Zlatibor that is. It is smoked and dried meat exuding rich flavors and aromas. It is said that the best ham is one that melts in your mouth which can be combined with sweet dishes. The ham is part of meze - main appetizers that the locals love to treat their guests with . It seems to have gained so much popularity that festivals in honor of these meaty products are held on a regular monthly basis.
People with no craving for sweets are few and far between. And the town of Arilje is believed to be the ‘hotspot’ of the sweetest fruit there is - raspberries. Serbia is the second country in the world in the production of raspberries. Cake with raspberries, crispy yellowish dough with a filling of freshly picked raspberries and sparingly sprinkled with vanilla sugar, tends to be a favorite cake with both children and adults. Sweet raspberry that is served with your morning coffee coupled with ice creams, syrups and cakes are just some of the many treats whose main ingredients are raspberries, which the locals normally refer to as ‘red gold’. Feel free to take a huge mouthful of these delicious raspberries and thoroughly enjoy them the minute you get a chance .Trust our judgement. You won’t regret it surely.
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adapted and submitted by Natasha from Angloland