Learn about Serbian culture: Part III
LEARN ABOUT SERBIAN CULTURE: PART III
In the last post about Serbian traditions and culture, we will talk about the most famous Serbian alcoholic drink and delicacies. Continue reading if you want to learn more about slatko - a typical Serbian delight, a savory grilled red pepper spread called ajvar, and the most traditional alcoholic drink in Serbia - rakija. Similar delicacies can be found in the neighboring countries, although each country claims that these dishes and beverages were originally theirs. That is inevitable when you live in the Balkans, where customs and cultures have intertwined for centuries. Also, do not miss checking the Study in Serbia website for future updates on studying and living in Serbia.
Rakija is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in Serbia and the national drink of the country. It is a sort of clear fruit brandy, most commonly made from plums, grapes, quinces, raspberries, and apricots. The quintessential kind is made of plums, which are widely grown in Serbia. It is called šljivovica. Rakija can also be made with honey, and it is named medovača (med is honey in Serbian). It is a bit sweeter than the other kinds; however, do not let that fool you: store-bought rakija contains about 40% of alcohol, contains about 40% of alcohol; however, homemade rakija is usually much stronger, and it can contain 50, 60, or even 70% of alcohol.
A traditional Serbian delight, slatko is a fruit preserve or confiture made from different kinds of fruits, predominantly plums, cherries, wild strawberries, quinces, blackberries, even watermelons, and raspberries! Slatko in Serbian literarily means sweet. It is an indispensable part of the Serbian tradition of hospitality. Usually, all guests are greeted with a spoonful of slatko and a glass of water. It can also be used as a topping for pancakes, ice cream, waffles, cakes, etc. The main ingredients of slatko are fruit, water, sugar, and sometimes lemon. It is usually made over a wood-burning stove in large pots that are used only for preparing slatko. Fun fact: Did you know that Serbia is in the top 5 raspberry producers in the world? And did you know that it was also the world’s largest exporter of raspberries in 2010?
Another famous Serbian delicacy is ajvar. Ajvar is a type of jarred winter food. It is hard to describe ajvar to foreigners; it is made from roasted or grilled sweet red peppers and lots of garlic. In some parts of the country, people add roasted aubergine to it. It is crucial to use sweet red peppers for this delicacy. Peppers are roasted over a flame, peeled, chopped/minced, and then fried in vegetable oil with diced garlic. Ajvar can be used as a spread or as a side with other dishes and meats. It pairs well with barbeque.
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 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!