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Travel Secret #1010: What They Eat in the Balkan Mountains

 

Anna

Meet Anna: Our Serbia Correspondent is a Moscow girl. Anna settled down in Serbia a few years ago following her love for the Balkans. She works as a translator and a language teacher and enjoys exploring her beloved city of Belgrade, the region and beyond. She also takes great pleasure in writing and translating poetry, doing yoga and hiking. Here is a secret from her:

“I believe that the true spirit of the Balkans is in their mountains. As a matter of fact, the very toponym is considered to have been derived from the Turkish word “balakan”, which stands for a forested mountain. Life is tough in the highlands, the people are unpretentious and straightforward, and so are the meals on their tables. The food is simple but it will warm up your stomach and your heart. The main ingredient is meat, grilled, baked or smoked. ”

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In Christian countries they mainly eat pork, while Muslims prefer beef. There is about half a dozen meat specialties known under the common title of “roštilj” or “skara,” which comes from the name of the specific type of grill on which these meals are prepared. The most popular one, called ćevap (derived from the Turkish kebab) has quite a peculiar geography. Several Balkan cities compete for the title of the Balkan ćevap capital.”

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