Like many smaller corners of the planet, Serbia holds fast to traditions that have long and deep standing roots when it comes to what they eat. This cuisine of this proud place includes dishes that have been in place for centuries. As such, they have been refined again and again. Today, the traveler can sample the end results of such hard culinary work. Serbians have taken the very best of so many ingredients and made them truly their own. If you want to savor a lot of different kinds of flavors in a single part of the globe then look no further.
Many places have a defining dip. Serbia is one of them. Ajvar is a unique taste that so many people use just about everything they eat. Red peppers are carefully roasted until they’re meaty and ready to be pureed. Then the mixture is combined with smoked eggplant. Garlic and olive oil round out the flavor of the paste. Serbs love using it to add warmth and color to their favorite stews. They also love spreading it atop a piece of grilled bread. You can make it at home on your own or opt for the jarred kind.
Fun and totally portable, Karadjordje’s Schnitzel is a street food found in all parts of the country. It all starts with veal or pork. A cutlet is pounded and rolled out. Then, it’s stuffed with what is known as kajmak or one of the local cheese. After that, it goes into the fryer. The Karadjordje’s Schnitzel is a crisply fried cutlet that has lots of crunches. Many places offer them with lots of different kinds of side dishes. You might see salad in on stall or french fries in the very next. Pickles and tartar sauce are also common accompaniments.
When it comes to greeting guests, Serbs are happy to have visitors. Part of bringing in company means having something on hand they know people will enjoy. Knedle are dumplings made from the variety of plums that grow over much of the countryside in the area. The dough has potatoes. The filling is made from gently stewed prunes brought the peak of sweetness before being dipped in the dough. When the dough is wrapped around the plums, they puff up and turn into little balls of delight.
Sweets of all kinds are on the menu practically everywhere in Serbia. One treat you must try if you’re in Serbia is the famous Krofne. These little puffs are a good choice for a light snack. They are usually served right before Lent starts. In recent decades, krofne have become more commonly seen on many menus all year long. You can find them with lots of different fillings including all sorts of jelly and jams. Many people like them best when they’re right of the oven and covered in powdered sugar.
If the Serbs can be said to have a national dish, this is surely it. Cabbage forms the base while meat and grain are added. Different kinds of grains can be used such as bulgur wheat or the locally grown rice with lots of starch that is released in the broth as it cooks. It has much in common with many other forms of stuffed cabbage. The Serbs like theirs to start off with bacon to which lots of local herbs and spices are added gradually over time. The result is to warm the heart and make people here think of home with every bite.