At the Belgrade Fair, there was a presentation of the book Traditional Serbian cookbok, organized by the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and with their official support of this project. The presentation was held at the 15th meeting of the Group for rural tourism, which was presented by Miodrag Ilic, chief editor of the portal Recepti i Kuvar online (Recipes and Cookbook Online, https://recepti-kuvar.rs).
When someone says “sarma” , “vanilice”, “baklava”, “pogača”, “zeljanica”, “pihtije”… in Serbia, it immediately refreshes one’s memories and the relation with tradition. The tradition of Serbian cuisine is very old. One of the oldest Serbian cookbook was Srbski kuvar by Krusedol Monastery monk Jerotej Draganovic, published in 1865, in the Old Slavic language. One of the most educated people living at the end of 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, Sima Trojanovic (who was ethnologist), published a book called Old Serbian Dishes and Beverages in 1896.
The list of such old collections of recipes, cookbooks, books on customs is very long. These books represent our primary motivation and driving force to start and finish this project underlain by the following idea: to preserve a part of the culinary and cultural heritage that came from our ancestors. In this book, you will find many old dishes which are now on the verge of being forgotten, which can be very rarely ordered in restaurants and are seldom prepared even within the family circles.
Why is Serbian cuisine so specific?
Because it represents a unique collection of cultural and culinary, national and historical diversity that emerged in the past centuries… The mixture of Turkish, Greek, Bulgarian, Hungarian and other cuisines makes it rich and distinctive.
The money we will get as support for this project, will be used for preparing, design, translation and print of this book. The number of our associates who are unselfishly engaged in preparing this book is large: they share their ideas with us, their photos, recipes from their families’ old cookbooks…
What is the target audience of this book?
Everyone! Tourists, whether they plan to spend their holidays in Serbia or are on a business trip to Serbia. Diaspora, so that anyone who is “warmed by the sun of another sky” remind themselves of some of the forgotten dishes and “feed” their nostalgia, as well as to give with great proud a copy of the book as a gift to a dear person in order to show what country they came from. Experienced chefs, as well as inexperienced beginners who will have the opportunity to put their knowledge on trial, especially after reading this book.
The book will be a compilation of more of 100 recipes gathered from all parts of Serbia geographically divided into: Northern Serbia (Vojvodina), Eastern Serbia, Southern Serbia, Western Serbia, Central Serbia; taking into account that all regions basically overlap, but they also have their own distinctive features.
Examples of specificities of these areas nowadays: Vojvodina is notable for dough-based foods – breads, strudels, pasta, as well as various kinds of processed meats. Central Serbia is known for spinach pies and spit-roasted pork. The specificity of western Serbia is smoked meat, while in the mountain regions lamb dishes are indispensable. Eastern Serbia cuisine is characterised by dry shepherd’s pies, lamb cooked in milk, smoked wild boar meat, janjija with three kinds of meat and various vegetables and Homolj kacamak. In southern Serbia, very popular dishes include grilled or spit-roasted meat, particularly the famous Leskovac grilled specialities. However, just to name an example, you can have a good spinach pie in all parts of Serbia.
The book is bilingual, Serbian and English. In addition to the mentioned 100 recipes, you can read about Serbian culinary history and about the impact of traditional cooking (roasting under the ashes, simmering, boiling, stewing…) on human health.
It will be our great pleasure to share this book with you!