Presentation of the book Traditional Serbian food and recipes on radio Mladost, Kanal K, Aarau, Switzerland, interview with the author of the book Miodrag Ilic. The interview was led by Marica Stanisic, a reporter for Radio Mladost.
Radio Mladost: After an interesting Djordje Balasevic, we are discussing culinary, so we are talking tonight with Mr. Miodrag Ilic, who is the author of the book Traditional Serbian food and recipes. Mr. Ilic, good evening, welcome to the radio channels of Kanal K.
Miodrag Ilic: Good evening, thank you for your invitation.
Radio Mladost: Tell us, how was born the idea for such a book?
Miodrag Ilic: We started website Recepti i Kuvar online about four, four and a half years ago, and then, at the end of 2016, the idea was born to do something like this. The realization of the book and, in general, the research work around the book lasted almost two years.
Radio Mladost: Tell me, how many recipes we can find into the book?
Miodrag Ilic: In the book you can find 109 traditional recipes. I need to clarify here what are traditional recipes and what are old recipes. Traditional recipes, according to international standardization, for which there are reliable written records and which were created before the Second World War. In the work on the book I used books written by the old Serbian ethnologists, Simo Trojanović, Dr. Jovan Erdeljanović, which were printed and published at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.
Radio Mladost: If I’m not mistaken, there is a grouping in the book by region? That is, what is characteristic for northern Serbia, eastern Serbia …
Miodrag Ilic: Yes, we tried to make a selection by region. However, you know already how it is, life is completely different, many of these recipes overlap in several regions, so you can find it in every region. A division was made, but in the header of each recipe stands where he can still be found as one of the main dishes.
Radio Mladost: Yes, in which regions, to say so, is still present.
Miodrag Ilic: That’s right.
Radio Mladost: The book is written in both Serbian and English, if I am not mistaken.
Miodrag Ilic: Yes, the book was published bilingually, the Serbian version is in Cyrillic, and English, of course, in Latin characters. Why is it done so? We designed the book so that, apart from the local reading audience, it is intended for some foreign audience. One of the focus groups is the diaspora, as well. That this book can be donated to a friend abroad, that it shows where we come from and what is the tradition of our country.
Radio Mladost: And, if anything, if they like something they try with us, they can try and make their own.
Miodrag Ilic: That’s right.
Radio Mladost: Tell me, how, then, are our people buying your book?
Miodrag Ilic: The book is currently being sold in Serbia, although it can be sent abroad for the site via mikroknjiga.rs. It is a company that has been around for thirty years and is working to sell and deliver all books abroad. The cover page of the site is a recommendation for our book, so it can click on it, pay it and order it for worldwide.
Radio Mladost: So, Mikroknjiga, so we said?
Miodrag Ilic: Yes, mikroknjiga.rs. It can be ordered abroad. Otherwise, in Serbia, the book is being sold in all major book stores, now we do not make advertising …
Radio Mladost: Yes, those who read books, they know about who they are.
Miodrag Ilic: Yes, that’s right.
Radio Mladost: The Serbian Book Chamber was also supported by the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, right?
Miodrag Ilic: Yes, it was supported by the Serbian Chamber of Commerce. I addressed them immediately, at the beginning of this research work. I wrote a small study on how it will look and I came across really great support from the Association for Tourism of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, because any kind of protection of tradition, that is, intangible cultural heritage, strongly supported by UNESCO worldwide. All such activities are considered, apart from the protection of tradition, at the same time a chance for the development of tourism in the respective region, i.e. of the country, in this case, therefore, our country – Serbia.
Radio Mladost: And now, for the end, your proposal: what dish we can prepare from your book?
Miodrag Ilic: I have a few favorite dishes, one of them is a prpeć. It is one old pie from the Vranje – Surdulica region (East – South Serbia), which is made of leafy dough, which is made slightly larger than the tepsija (casserole dish). Well, then, it is filmed in cheese and closed so it remains open a little, in the middle. You can find it in Western Serbia, very similar to this, it is also called “gologlavica” (“naked head”), because it is “naked heads” in the middle.
Radio Mladost: Let’s repeat once again: mikroknjiga.rs, where our listeners can order a book. We want you a lot of success and thank you for being our guest.
Miodrag Ilic: Thank you again, for this invitation, and I hope that everyone will find something for themselves in this book and read it – and prepare some dishes by own, especially.
Radio Mladost: We hope, too, thank you.