Gomboce, vanilice, kitnikez pa sarmice od zelja, baklava, podvarak sa ćuretinom, gruvanica, belmuž, zeljanik – all these old, Serbian dishes from north to south of the country were found in Miodrag Ilic’s book “Traditional Serboam food and recipes” whose presentation, after Belgrade, was organized in the National Museum of Zrenjanin.
The promotion was accompanied by a rich table, differently in the heart of Banat, but with studios, pastries, salty and sweet deacons. According to Ilic, cooperation began successfully while collecting written material about meals. The Ethnological Department of this institution provided the author with an insight into the oldest preserved cooking issue, a book titled “A Cook of Forgotten Dishes” printed in 1914 in Veliki Bečkerek (Zrenjanin today).
-I did truly come up with top professionalism and high understanding, never looking for information about old dishes, I encountered such a reception. Of all the museums in the country that I addressed, only two responded, and one of them was Zrenjanin. That’s why the book has the most recipes from the north of the country and from central Serbia, while it is smaller from the south because there is a lesser written trace – explains Miodrag Ilić.
In addition to this literature, Ilic used the work of anthropologist Sime Trojanovic “Starinska srpska jela i pića” from 1896, as well as few books by ethnologist Jovan Erdeljanović, who talk about the way to prepare forgotten dishes.
-I tried to include recipes from the oldest preserved chef Jerotije Draganovic, which is kept in Krušedol, but I did not find an adequate translation. The book also found recipes from the old, preserved chefs of my associates, and we tried everything, painted it and presented it so that everyone could prepare it. All this came from writing a cooking site, it was a logical trail to keep the data permanently saved and linked to the historical context. In addition, there are few written books on the culture of food. It is believed that the traditional cuisine is the one that, in a certain geographical region, has shrunk to the second world war, with indigenous ingredients. Why to that period, and because after the industrialization and the application of pesticides and chemistry in agriculture begins – says Ilic for Danas.
Professor Sladjana Sobajic, associate professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy in Belgrade, says that traditional ways of nutrition are the interests of both scientific and professional public in many countries. According to her, the whole of Europe works to preserve culinary traditions, with scientifically defined standards.
– Culinary tradition is a part of the intangible cultural heritage, and when it is taken care of it, everything that is characteristic of certain nations is preserved. At the time of globalization, we all eat almost everything the same way, and in this transition to the same fodder, we slowly forget old foods that we used to use on a daily basis. I do not know if people today know what a shame is, do they know other salads that our old people used. These are not just salads, but also medicinal herbs. Thus, in Serbia, basil and noodle were considered spices that were both treated and fed at the same time. We are now trying to revive foods that have sources of nutrients – explains Dr. Slađana Šobajić.
The promotion of the book by Miodrag Ilic was attended by associates in this project – Dragana Ilic, blogger Kristina Gaspar, Bojan Marinkov and professional cook Dejan Ilic.