Serbian experience: Soulfood Serbia (1st part)

July 18, 2016

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 woman"

 

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.

 

VOJVODINA

 

Vojvodina is an autonomous province, which is located in the north of Serbia. Just because of the lowlands and plains and mostly sunny climate, all manner of grains (corn, wheat, oats) grow here, almost three quarters of a number of kinds of legumes (white, black beans), pumpkins and watermelons, and surely cabbage. If you decide to visit Novi Sad, Sid, Sremska Mitrovica, Subotica, Zrenjanin and Sabac, what will surely draw your attention are the picture perfect sunflowers sprouting on the curbs of every major highway or a blind alley.  Lovers of mountains ‘of a lumberjack type ‘ who don’t seem to like the plains and lowlands, tend to visit Vojvodina because of its superb dishes. The cuisine of Vojvodina is believed to be a mixture  of  culinary influences, primarily those of the Hungarian and German influences.

   Rinflajs, photo source: vojvodjanskakuhinja.blogspot.hr

 

The peculiarity of Vojvodina specialties is mirrored in the fact that guests and visitors will first be offered to help themselves to some of the cooked dishes. Few prefer fried and grilled food, but conversely they’d rather have boiled and stirred food. Therefore, their distinctive dish on the table is rinflajs. This is a dish made of a mixture of boiled vegetables (potatoes and carrots), and boiled chicken. Tomato sauce or mushrooms are normally served with it . Before that, you have to try  an unseasoned noodle soup with  chicken in the soup prepared carefully, cooked and chopped into pieces, a beef stew, a bachelor’s stew,  a Hungarian cake, a pumpkin pie and fish soup are bound to make your mouth water . The favorite sweet is a popular poppy strudel, šnenokle and marmalade doghnuts.

 Snenokle, photo source: mojaslatkakuhinja.wordpress.com

 

Vojvodina wouldn’t be what it is if there were not for the šnenokle  . Lest we forget , we should mention sarma which is in fact ‘minced meat stuffed into the rolls of vine or cabbage leaves’. Sarma is filled with minced meat, rice and spices. Cabbage is one of the favorite vegetables in Vojvodina.

 

Sarma, photo source: vrtaljica.blogspot.com

 

The wines from Fruška Gora and Vršačke planine are  of genuinely good quality, healthy and delicious. They’re obtained from  superb first-class  grapes, a flavored red wine bermet, associated with Sremska Kamenica, a quaint little town as if it had slunk into a well deserved oblivion of  a fairy tale, 12 km from Novi Sad.

 

                 Fruskogorska vina, photo source: www.panacomp.net

 

CENTRAL SERBIA

 

Šumadija is the main part of central Serbia. Šumadija , in linguistic terms related to the woodlands , vast mountain ranges, amazing orchards and greeneries that each of them tells an interesting tale. Soul food in Šumadija symbolizes the feast of Serbia. A potent symbol of  Šumadija is a plum fruit. This is a fruit  the main purpose of which is to make  plum brandy (rakija), the tastiest, healthiest and most popular Serbian beverage. It is served chilled, it apparently goes well with all foods ad its consumption is seems to be recommended at any time of the day, preferably in the morning before breakfast to boost your appetite.

 

 Sljivovica, photo source: www.zikinasarenica.rs

 

Plum is an indispensable ingredient of any dessert, and it can be found in some salty meals, combined with bacon, cheese and stone fruit i.e. drupes. Compote, plum jam and plum dumplings tend to be of unrivalled taste in amongst the feasts prepared by the local housewives. The queen of Šumadija is a popular competition that every year gathers hosts of farmers vying for the title of the best  brandy.

 

Plum dumplings, photo source: www.coolinarika.com

 

SOUTH SERBIA

 

One of the favorite places for tourists is Leskovac, a town in central Serbia that is primarily associated with sweet and spicy vegetables such as red peppers. Traditional Serbian cuisine spice only has the ground red pepper which is used to complement almost every dish. There seems to be not a single person in Serbia who doesn’t like peppers in all forms, shapes and sizes: steamed, fried, stuffed, ground and raw. Tourists who find themselves in restaurants or households will first try the punjena paprika, similar to sarma – filled with a blend of rice and meat. This is to many proper food for your soul.

 

Punjena paprika, photo source: www.domacica.com

 

Almost every local apparently will tell you that it depends on the meat. Without it, they cannot seem to imagine any meal at all . Leskovac grill is synonym of this part of Serbia. This is a melange of various types of meat in various shapes and sizes, most often seasoned with hot spices. ‘Savour it slowly in your mouth first, wolf it down quickly and then enjoy it at a  leisurely pace ’. It tends to be served with onions, potatoes, green salad and loaves of bread grilled on the barbecue. Genuinely lavish feast that leaves no one hungry.

 

 Photo 8, Leskovac grill, photo source: leskovackevesti.rs

 

Leave us comment if you have tasted some of these specialitis :)

 

 

 

Translation suport: www.angloland.rs 

 

 

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