During the fulfillment of my mission of a detailed explanation of the Balkans through experiences and locations that are available to you and are for sure worth mentioning, I realized that I need to explain several terms. After that, I can go deeper in the story. This text is an ambitious attempt to zip the essentials of the Balkan mentality in a list of several words named in the Balkan dictionary.
I divide all in three categories: the Lifestyle you can expect when you are visiting the Balkans, food that you should try (if not visiting, find a Balkan person, he will be glad to cook for you) and people that would mean a lot to Balkans if you are familiar with. Let's start.
Pljeskavica or Pljeska(vica) is a burger. Balkans are very proud of it. For example, The Leskovac Pljeskavica is an official brand of Serbia. It is served in a homemade bun with milk cream, kajmak, and salad.
Sarma. Sarma is a dish of sour cabbage leaves rolled around a filling made of minced meat and rice. It is found in the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire. Also, there are variations of it with grape leaves and it is served with sour cream. The cabbage option is the winter version and it is cooked for hours with bacon meet inside the pot. Along with a Russian salad it is the most common combination prepared for new years eve.
Ajvar. This is a pepper-based condiment made principally from red bell peppers. Still, it’s so much more. This unusually beautiful sauce made of long fried minced peppers is a point where every Balkan country is claiming the origin of. The truth is, one smart and nice person, back then, centuries ago, was good hearten enough to find the recipe and to spread it around. I don’t know where this person is from, does that even matter?! If you find yourself on the Balkans during autumn (this is the season when it is made) go to the nearest village, and just follow the intensive smell of baked pepper. There you will find a place where ajvar is preparing. If you try it while is warm, with peace of white cheese and freshly baked bread, you will understand why Balkan countries are fighting of who invented it! In a small bite you can taste the winter that is about to come, with all calmness and stillness, and the intensive crazy summer days that just passed. Experience far more than just a food.
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