When it comes to Balkan cuisine, many people think of grilled meat and large portions of salads with plenty of ingredients. The Balkans, which is an important transit route between Europe and pre-Asia, exhibit the ‘transition’ characteristic of this strategic position in food culture.
In this article you should remember about Balkan cuisine before visiting Balkan geography.
1. Date on a plate
The whole story is not told when referring to the Ottomans as “Turks.” Turkey’s influence on Balkan cuisine should not be overlooked. Food brought to the region by the Ottomans is the most important part of daily life, especially in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Balkan cuisine does not have only Ottoman dishes. The historical influence of Austria, Hungary and Italy is keenly felt in Croatia’s breaded meat dishes, whether it’s the goulash-centric methods of Vojvodina or the abundance of exquisite seafood in Montenegro.
2. Eat with your mouth, not your eyes
Some people argue that food should appeal to the eye first. This is true in many cases, but the same people should give the Balkans a chance. Balkan food isn’t exactly designed for aesthetics. You may love the dripping oil of a strong pljeskavica or the pile of dried beans that are Macedonian tavče-gravče, but these may not be aesthetically appealing to you. But the food should be judged not by their appearance but by their taste.
3. Everything is stuffed
Stuffed peppers are also a favorite food in the Balkans. Peppers are filled with plenty of meat and onions. Stuffed vegetables such as cabbage, pepper, eggplant, tomato, zucchini are one of the delicacies you should taste all over the Balkan region.
4. Watch out for sač
Sač is an integral part of respected Balkan cuisine. Sheet metal placed on top of hot coal or ash is integral to even modern restaurants. Taste the dishes cooked in hair, especially in restaurants serving meat dishes.
5. There’s not half there’s full
The Balkans do not use half the size. They dedicate themselves to anything they put their mind to, and cooking for them is one of those thrills. The flavours here are dizzying. When you go to a restaurant and ask for half a serving, you encounter a service man whose face falls off at once. So you are definitely expected to order full servings.