Balkan trivia: How to shock Italians in Belgrade

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While living in Belgrade, I had a flatmate from Italy. When he arrived in Belgrade, I started explaining to him what kind of food was available. When I mentioned to him about the pizza place that serves pizza with cream salad (chicken or beef) as topping, he just stopped me by showing me his palm. It looked like he wanted to say: "don't name that pizza!"

I got a little bit curious: why someone would be so upset by this, while others were waiting in lines for it. The reason why I decided to write about the cream-salad topped pizza is the fact that in front of Bucko, it’s always a long line of craving people! I was thinking that it was only marketing (it is not), or just people mentality.

My personal opinion is that the Balkan cuisine is based on various combinations and nothing can remain as a complete experience when it is served alone. Burek is not complete without yogurt, Ajvar is not complete without cheese, Rakia is incomplete without meze. My intense thinking on the topic lead me to this conclusion. The Balkan mentality always search for the perfect combination, and meanwhile, before perfect comes on the table, everything is possible. Bucko (which means Chubby) exists since 97. It is placed on the Francuska street in central Belgrade and for more than 10 years it is shocking Italians and feeding hungry Balkans with pizza and heavy topping of cream salad. This is more extreme than putting mayonnaise on your pizza, that’s the only thing we can agree on. As far as taste preferences go, Belgrade is blasphemy to the pope. Mi dispiace, Papa.

Even here, on the Google Maps preview, there are people waiting in front of Bucko!

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The author

Zlata Golaboska

Zlata Golaboska

I am Zlata and I am an architect living in the Balkans. I am passionate about cities, how people influence architecture and vice versa, and how places change our lives.

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