About the kitchen of the Balkan countries, if short
I will make a reservation in advance: a person who is not a professional culinary or gourmet, never understands the end to penetrate all the subtleties of the national kitchen of a corner of the planet. He can only feel the taste, aroma, flavor and draw up on the basis of this gastronomic diversity his personal impression.
Without pretending to create a cookbook or ethno-culinary treatise, I will try to introduce a grateful reader with my considerations on the topic: What and how they eat and drink in those regions of the Balkan Peninsula, where I had a chance to visit Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Kosovo.
The meal in the Balkans is not just a thickening of hunger or a pleasant pastime behind the cover with relatives or friends. This is a combination of long-standing folk, estate and even religious traditions, a complex aesthetic process and even the subject of national pride. "Advanced" Youth or busy business people in everyday bustle, of course, eat somehow, giving tribute to universal "Fast Fudam" and sandwiches, however, on holidays or when it appears and they stored loyalty to national culinary customs.
What are these customs? First, in the kitchen of each people there are its own characteristic features, their favorite products and dishes. Secondly, there is a clear binding of the menu to specific religious and folk holidays and dates. And finally, it traced still a lot in common in the style and maintenance of Serba, Montenegrin, Bulgarian, Kosovo.
In addition to the natural and geographic proximity, which affirms scientists, on the similarity of the kitchen, there is another general factor that has fallen an indelible imprint on what is eaten in any corner of the Balkans: the centuries-old dominion of Turkey. The dispute about what exactly happened – Balkans Lee adopted Turkish dishes or Turks were addicted to the food of their Balkan subjects, in their performance remind you of a discussion about the championship of the egg and chicken, if you bring it to the Sverbar, Bulgarian or any other inhabitant of the peninsula.
Once it comes to the designation of dishes and products, in any of the Balkan languages, a lot of turmisis occurs. Soup, wherever it was served – in Belgrade, in Sofia, in Pristina or Podgorica, no, no yes and will be called Turkish word "Chorba". The same situation with meat minced meat, which, how much is trying to call in French or universally – to call in a meat store "Ground meat", All the same return to the generally accepted Turkish term: "border". And what is beloved Bulgarian "Kebapitsy" or Serbian "Chevaps", Like not modified linguistically and gastronomically Turkish "kebab"? In short, in cooking, as in the character, and in the language of the Balkan peoples, the Turkish topic sounds powerfully. However, even such experts in the field of food speak not in the field of food and everything that is connected with it as the French: "All nations eat the same thing, only sauces change".
So what is eaten in the Balkans? Probably the first thing that is remembered is the smell. For example, Belgrade smells with hot swine fat. Podgorica – Roasted Fish. Sofia – no longer, chicken grill. Aromas of various spices, strong coffee, and on weekends – and quite a tangible odor of the fume.
Undoubtedly, the pillar of Serbian cooking is pork meat, which is used in various versions. As New Zealand holds a world championship on the population of cattle per capita, so, probably Serbia – on pigstock pigs. In any case, the Serbs feed on this antencoan animal the most touching attachment – especially when it obediently turns on a spit, covered with a ruddy crust and proceeding with an appetizing fat.
"Baked Pig" entirely – from the patch to the tail – this is not just an indispensable attribute of each "Right" Serbian party, gathered about or without, but also a kind of welfare indicator and generosity. The welcoming owner will strengthen its guests with this most important national symbol on the so-called "Cross Slava" (the day of the heavenly patron of his kind and family), at the birth of a child, for commemoration, to enter a new job and care from her, to return the son from the army.
"There is no Serbian holiday without a dead pig and lutto plum", – Person not devoid of humor. So go to the second mandatory component of any Serbian banquet – Rakia, fruit vodka, which each self-respecting homeowner drives a handicraft way from apricots, pears, apples, cherries, honey cells, even from mosquito pisculation. But most often – from the sweet iscin-black Serbian plum. This fragrant and easily drinking fluid usually reaches a fortress of at least 45 degrees. "Rentifying" her in the evening – in the morning! From here and generally the nickname Rakia: "Lutae".
Drink her Serbs from special tiny shares and quite in European – small sip. And how to drink a local beer with characteristic zoological names: "Deer" and "a lion". The taste of a person who is accustomed to Russian or European varieties, it is bitter, possibly – from the corn flour with which the local brewers are implanting. Wine in Serbia drink less than, for example, in the same Bulgaria, and it is noticeably worse than quality.
Other serb cuisine’s favorite dish – the so-called "Plescavitsa", which in all English-speaking guidebooks for tourists is simply translated as "hamburger". Of course, if you imagine a meat component of a hamburger value with a rather big plate and thick two fingers, and even often with the addition of finely chopped smoked chest and cheese. All this is customary to serve with the chopped onions, to which the Serbs are big amateurs; and even young girls absorbs this sketching seasoning without any complexes. By the way, the basis of local "Fast Fudov" – the same "Plescavitsa", invested in a hefty cake. As a result, it turns out almost classic "hamburger", But the Serbs are stubbornly called it: "Plescavitsa in a pellet".
But the traditional Serbian puff pastries with cheese and egg – "Gybanitsa", For a couple of decades ago, the country’s as the same gastronomic face, as a notorious baked pig or Ludea Rakia, now meet on the table is not so often. Their preparation is the process of time consuming and requiring, on a solid conviction of local men of male, "Complete" Public employment and manicure of a female hand. And parted with their conquests, emancipated and elegant serbs are not going.
Many Serbian cuisine dishes are closely tied to certain religious holidays. So, for example, it is customary to cook for Christmas "Sarm" – Something like familiar to us Balnitsa in a special acute sauce, which is sliced smoked sausage for taste. And in Nikola Winter (December 19), which falls on the time of the Christmas post and which is traditionally coming "Great glory" Many Serbian families, in Serbia are cooking thick, sharp and very satisfying fish soup made of several varieties of river fish, and also serve a huge baked Danube Carp or Soma on the table.
However, we will continue our delicious journey through the Balkans. Leaving Serbia, delay on one culinary curiosity. In any restaurant you will be served "Schnitzel Karageorgia", Named so named the legendary leader of the national uprising against the Turks at the beginning of the nineteenth century. According to legend, it was born "Patriotic" dish as follows. Karageorgiy, even his hussar officer in the Austrian service, dined somehow in one restaurant in Vienna, where he was served by the Vienna Schnitzel. Not long thinking, the indomitable Slavs turned "German meat" In the tube, fought in the middle of the oil and began to bite off from an improvised rout, holding it in his youth palm. Here I am "Schnitzel Karageorgia".
We go to Montenegro, especially in her sandy resting public scenic seaside restaurants. In general, Chernogorsk cuisine, despite the permanent attempts to stand out in an independent system, is not so different from the neighboring Serbian. Is that living south of the Montenegrin eating much more fruits and vegetables, drink more wine, and as raw materials for their Rakia use mostly grapes.
The main specificity is the abundant use of sea gifts. Undoubtedly, such world famous "Gada Marine", like Kamchatka crabs and Pacific shrimps, in the Adriatic Sea, washing the rocky shores of Montenegro, do not escape, but different marine fish and large mussels there in excess. Baked fiszy fishery The wake of you in front of your eyes will separate from the bones and gracefully laid on a plate, abundantly putting the fresh lemon and a garnish of boiled spinach with potatoes. Mussels are served with red sour-sweet sauce, generously flavored pepper, and firefish soup (the same as "Continental" Serbs, but only from sea breeds of fish) – with hot cornpopes. Putting off the sea’s dishes of the Montenegrin coast in the summer heat taken by a drink, the recipe of which is borrowed by the Montenegrin (as, however, and Serbs) in the Austrians: white dry wine is mixed with mineral water. It is called this invigorating and perfectly quenching thirst drink "Syrcere".
By the way, the best winemakers on the expanses of the former Yugoslavia are precisely Chernogorsi. Their red wine brand "Vrataz", which can be found on both Russian counters, is considered to be first-class and even healing – in Montenegro they are treated absolutely everything: from the stomach disorder to angina region.
However, we will be transferred to another corner of the former SFRA – to the edge with an indefinite status and a completely defined culinary tradition of Kosovo. It is unfair to believe that Kosovo Albanians feed exclusively by narcotic substances and the blood of their enemies. In fact, it is quite ordinary and even moderately friendly people, whom their neighbors unites general addiction to a rich and diverse table. In Kosovo cuisine, you will not meet traditional dishes from pork for neighboring Serbia (prohibits the law of the Prophet Magomet), or Chernogorsk specialty from fish (the sea is far away, driving expensive, and the residents of Kosovo – the people are mostly poor). All this makes Kosovo cuisine worthy of a separate story.
The place of the liver pig in Kosovarov occupies whole roasted lamb. However, the sheep is a much more laborious industry of agriculture than breeding pigs, and to enjoy this "The best male (I will add from myself: both feminine, and children’s) food" Kosovaram managed not so often. The most massive barishment barrels takes place on the Muslim holiday by Bayram.
In addition to the most traditional rice Muslim peoples in various variations, it is possible to include well-strained red beans, filled with various spices and vegetables.
In addition to lamb, Kosovoi is actively used for cooking much more affordable chicken meat. From it, in particular, make small meatballs to their most common soup, refueling homemade noodles and sour milk. It is appropriate to note that the dairy products and a variety of cheeses residents of Kosovo are eaten much more active than their neighbors.
As for more "Midwoman" Drinks, here the Kosovo Albanians fully share the tastes of their main enemies of the Serbs: in relation to consumption of strong plum crayfish and in our view of the beer of local production they have complete harmony! However, the Kosovo Albanians thirst for the National State are not along with durable drinks. They sincerely believe that the best coffee in the Balkans is thick, saturated and in a special fragrant – boiled in the old zucchka.
Maybe it will seem somewhat strange that, together with the regions of the former Yugoslavia, I decided to consider and Bulgaria. However, if you take a cooking point for the reference point, this country can be safely attributed to the same group.
I hardly emanate if I say that Bulgarian cuisine is one of the richest in the Balkans. Nevertheless, Russian travelers who visited Bulgaria in the XIX century wrote: "Bulgarians feed mostly cheese, vegetables and greens, drinking with young homemade wine". Of course, since then much has changed, and the table of modern Bulgarian is much more diverse than that of a poor peasant for a last century, but certain parallels are still traced until now.
First of all, the fact that the impressive vegetable and fruit abundance of Bulgarian markets is actively in demand by local cooking. Including in the preparation of a wide variety of salads, without which it is impossible to imagine the Bulgarian meal, and the two most famous of which are safely committing a triumphal procession on restaurants of most countries of Europe for several decades. This, of course, is about the grated cheese "Shopsky" and fermented milk-cucumber "Snezhanka".
The traditional Bulgarian breakfast is impossible to imagine without the crumbling slices of cheese, fresh wheat bread and brilliant salt olives (Maslins in Bulgaria practically do not grow, but in huge quantities they are taken from neighboring Greece).
In the legacy OT "Genetic peasant origin" Due to Bulgarians and respect for hot liquid food – soup.
In the number of soup varieties in Bulgaria weanimenate salads, especially since in each region, if not in each village, there is its own. but "commonly used" – three.
The traditional peasant leggings (less often a lenty) chowder, in which it is customary to add sliced boiled smoked sausages or large fried meatballs ("Kyufte", Again in Turkish).
No less common and felt in national literature as a symbol of the peasant-blessing lifestyle "Skmebe Chorba" – Very satiety of chowder made of calfs fried in oil, which is seasoned with sharp sauce of vinegar and garlic sauce. By the way, Serbs, she is also present, but more dense, like stew, and under a few other name – "Skmebichi". And on a hot day there is nothing more pleasant to cold milk soup "Tarator" With a finely chopped dill, cucumber and garlic, grated with crushed sweet pepper and grated walnut. By the way to say, with a hangover, this is also the first tool!
Turning to the main dishes, it is impossible to bypass the silence of the Bulgarian love for a variety of fried minced products: sausages, cutlets, meatballs – and for each of them there is a borrowed, as usual, from Turkish name ("Kabap", "Kyufte", "Shefel"). However, it is everyday, "working" Eating, as well as more solid "Gywech" – stewed meat with vegetables and various seasonings.
For special occasions in the national diet of Bulgarians more refined and the Balkan labor-intensive in the manufacture of dishes. For example, for St. George’s Day (May 6), which is in Bulgaria, the holiday of male and military valve, traditionally baked a whole young lamb, stuck so-called "SHIMMY" – impregnated with natural meat juice and spices, crumbly rice, mixed with finely sliced stewed liver of the same lamb. And on the feast of the Resurrection of Christ (Easter), it is accepted back from the night to the hot oven so-called "Furnum" – hermetically sealed clay pot with mixed with various herbs and seasoning meat.
In the era of socialism, the beer, which local brewery learned to do at a very well-balanced level, is not less popular on the tables of Bulgarians to do at a well-minded level – "Pubris" and "Kamenitsa".
And finally, as children say, sweet. Like, for example, you will enjoy a specific dessert with a gentle name "Cream Caramel", praising sweet (!) omelet from egg powder on dry milk, watered by sinister syrup from burnt sugar? Or such a wonderful refreshing drink, as a coffee-cola, considered a ride of chic among young people of the end of the 80s of the twentieth century, which is soluble coffee, flooded with peps-cola?
Here, actually, and all I wanted to tell. It remains only to wish a grateful reader of a pleasant appetite. and recall that crackers with water at home is still the sweeter of the most sophisticated meals! I know this on my own experience.