5 Traditional Serbian Dishes you need to try
5 TRADITIONAL SERBIAN DISHES YOU NEED TO TRY
Photo: Mila Atkovska [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]
Let us introduce you to Serbian food. It is a blend of different influences and cultures, a unique mixture of Turkish, Mediterranean and the cuisine of the Astro-Hungarian Empire, just to name a few. It truly represents the country’s rich history. Even if you are not a foodie, you will find something that will suit your taste buds. Keep reading to discover yet another reason to choose Serbia as your study destination.
Let’s start with a vegetarian dish called prebranac. Prebranac is a Serbian take on the classic baked beans. It is rich and comforting, and every family has its way of making it. It is typically made with onions, carrots, garlic, and white kidney beans. The beans have to be soaked overnight in plenty of water and then drained, rinsed, and cooked until tender. While the beans are cooking, a few diced onions and cloves of garlic need to be sautéed on a stovetop and seasoned with salt, black pepper, and sweet paprika. Once cooked, the beans are combined with the sautéed veggies and baked in the oven at low heat. Pro tip: for a more authentic taste, use dry beans, not the canned type.
If you are a meat lover, you will love this one! Karadjordjeva schnitzel resembles a Wiener schnitzel, a traditional Austrian dish made of breaded, pan-fried pork cutlets. However, the Serbian version is stuffed with kajmak and then breaded and deep-fried. It can also be made with chicken tenders. Kajmak is a buttery cream, a delicious and popular spread in Serbia. The dish was named after Karadjordje, who was the leader of the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1804.
Have you ever tried a Greek salad? If you have and you like it, you will also love the Serbian take on it, called the Šopska salad. The salad is made with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and a block of soft cheese. The only thing Serbians rarely add to the salad are olives (since we do not have them because of the climate). Also, people in Serbia like spicy food so you can often find diced chili peppers (yellow or green) in it. When all the veggies are combined, the salad is drizzled with vegetable oil and seasoned with salt.
Almost every country from the region (and probably beyond) has its version of sarma. In Serbia, sarma is made from pickled cabbage leaves. The leaves are stuffed with veggies and meat and cooked at low heat for many hours. Ground pork or beef (or both) should be sautéed with diced onions, garlic and chopped or grated carrots. Rice is usually added to the stuffing along with some seasonings: salt, black pepper, paprika and bay leaves. Sometimes people add bacon, both to the stuffing and/or put it between the sarmas. It is tasty and Serbians love it!
In autumn, Serbians love to pickle fresh veggies and make different salsas and salads to use them throughout winter. Ajvar is a type of that jarred, winter food. It is hard to describe ajvar to foreigners; it is made from roasted or grilled red peppers and lots of garlic. Peppers are usually roasted over a flame, peeled, chopped/minced and then fried in veggie oil along with diced garlic. Once done, it can be used as a spread or with other dishes and meats.
Besides great education, friendly and welcoming people, vivid cities and vibrant culture, Serbia also offers delicious food. On top of that, it is affordable and perfectly located at the heart of the Balkans. We wrote about that in our previous blogs so please check them out and contact Study in Serbia via email, Facebook and Instagram if you have any questions. We are happy to help!