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Old 01-22-2017, 11:05 AM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Any love for serbian food here?

Serbian food's not usually on my radar; I've had it maybe 3 or 4 times before in my life, all at restaurants in Milwaukee, but none in the last 2 decades or so. As such, it was with a spirit of adventurousness that my wife and I, along with our youngest daugher, journeyed to Old Town Serbian, in aforesaid city. Unfortunately, my son-in-law had to work, but was hoping for leftovers.

The restaurant has been there for over 45 years, and definitely has the feel of a semi-formal family joint in an ethnic neighborhood, though ethnicities have shifted recently. The menu offerings were pretty tempting, and included suckling pig, lamb, duck, goose shanks, chicken or calf liver, along with the more traditional goulashes and veal dishes.

We started out with bread and two spreads, a very nice serbian cheese flavorful but spreadable, and avjar, an eggplant and peppers tapenade, also quite piquant. We demolished it handily.

That was followed by an olive and cheese appetizer platter, some hot baked feta coated with an exquisite pepper tapenade, and chevapchichi sausages, sizzling hot and served with raw peppers and onions. Again, demolished.

I decided on a beef and cheese burek for my main course; a pie made of phyllo dough and stuffed with seasoned meat. The thing was huuuuge, flakey, and oh so warm from the oven, and most amazingly delicious. Also too large to eat the whole thing. SIL got half of it.

My daughter got the grape leaves Sarma, stuffed with ground beef, sausage, bacon, pork, smoked pork, and rice. Being the carnivore she is, it all vanished.

The Mrs. opted for the seafood special of the evening, cod in some sort of paprika sauce. While the fish was good, she found the sauce too sweet; having sampled it myself, I concur. A pity. Fortunately she enjoyed a chunk of my burek.

Dessert was palacinka, a rather thick crepe stuffed with nutella, hot from the griddle and topped with whipped cream; a restaurant tradition. Also a dish advertised as a strawberry schaum torte, but it was nothing like any schaum torte I'd had before. It was more similar to strawberry shortcake. Quite tasty on its own, but a bit of a disappointment due to its lack of schauminess.

I'd like to go back to sample their goose, their veal, their versions of musaka and paprikash. Or maybe to the Three Brothers, the other Serbian joint in town.

Life's too short for boring food.
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2017, 12:21 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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I quite enjoy food from the former Yugoslavia. I've meant to try Old Town Serbian whenever I go to Milwaukee, but somehow I always end up at Zaffiro's for pizza. We have a couple Serbian places here in Chicago, and both are good, but my favorite is Caffe Sarajevo in Phoenix, if you accept food in the general area. The menus are pretty similar. I like my chevapi made with lamb, and the Bosnian places tend to do so, while the others rare less likely to. And they have the best homemade lepinja bread to go with it. I have yet to find a place here in the us that makes it anywhere near as well.
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Old 01-22-2017, 12:45 PM
Bayard Bayard is offline
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I'm not sure how close Serbian and Bosnian food is, but FWIW, a lot of Bosnians settled in St. Louis in the late 90s. There are a number of Bosnian restaurants here. They didn't seem too vegetarian friendly, so I haven't really tried them. But if you ever find yourself in the area, you should swing by Little Bosnia.
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Old 01-22-2017, 12:51 PM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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It's funny, my father's side of the family is 100% Serbian ( turn of the 20th century immigrants from Habsburg Croatia on both his parent's sides ) and my grandparents were fully bilingual. But the food I most associate with them from childhood visits is stuff like macaroni and cheese and chicken noodle soup . Now granted this was GOOD chicken noodle soup - noodles made from scratch and freshly slaughtered chickens from the backyard. Nonetheless, aside from stuff like makovnjača ( and its prune and walnut variants - wonderful ) and doughy versions of homemade bread ( do not like ), my western PA Serb relatives really didn't do "ethnic" cuisine. Fresh and delicious - but not really ethnic.

One of these days I'll have to dig up a Serbian restaurant and give it a try.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 01-22-2017 at 12:54 PM.
  #5  
Old 01-22-2017, 01:17 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Oh, the white cheese was kajmak, by the way.
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Old 01-22-2017, 05:05 PM
ZPG Zealot ZPG Zealot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
Serbian food's not usually on my radar; I've had it maybe 3 or 4 times before in my life, all at restaurants in Milwaukee, but none in the last 2 decades or so. As such, it was with a spirit of adventurousness that my wife and I, along with our youngest daugher, journeyed to Old Town Serbian, in aforesaid city. Unfortunately, my son-in-law had to work, but was hoping for leftovers.

The restaurant has been there for over 45 years, and definitely has the feel of a semi-formal family joint in an ethnic neighborhood, though ethnicities have shifted recently. The menu offerings were pretty tempting, and included suckling pig, lamb, duck, goose shanks, chicken or calf liver, along with the more traditional goulashes and veal dishes.

We started out with bread and two spreads, a very nice serbian cheese flavorful but spreadable, and avjar, an eggplant and peppers tapenade, also quite piquant. We demolished it handily.

That was followed by an olive and cheese appetizer platter, some hot baked feta coated with an exquisite pepper tapenade, and chevapchichi sausages, sizzling hot and served with raw peppers and onions. Again, demolished.

I decided on a beef and cheese burek for my main course; a pie made of phyllo dough and stuffed with seasoned meat. The thing was huuuuge, flakey, and oh so warm from the oven, and most amazingly delicious. Also too large to eat the whole thing. SIL got half of it.

My daughter got the grape leaves Sarma, stuffed with ground beef, sausage, bacon, pork, smoked pork, and rice. Being the carnivore she is, it all vanished.

The Mrs. opted for the seafood special of the evening, cod in some sort of paprika sauce. While the fish was good, she found the sauce too sweet; having sampled it myself, I concur. A pity. Fortunately she enjoyed a chunk of my burek.

Dessert was palacinka, a rather thick crepe stuffed with nutella, hot from the griddle and topped with whipped cream; a restaurant tradition. Also a dish advertised as a strawberry schaum torte, but it was nothing like any schaum torte I'd had before. It was more similar to strawberry shortcake. Quite tasty on its own, but a bit of a disappointment due to its lack of schauminess.

I'd like to go back to sample their goose, their veal, their versions of musaka and paprikash. Or maybe to the Three Brothers, the other Serbian joint in town.

Life's too short for boring food.
You have just made me want to visit Milwaukee. I love Serbian food, but can only get it when I talk an auntie into cooking some for me.
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Old 01-22-2017, 05:21 PM
Baker Baker is offline
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I've never had Serbian food, but I'd certainly be willing to try it. I never met a cuisine I didn't like.

I have an Armenian cookbook but I haven't really studied it yet.
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Old 01-22-2017, 05:33 PM
Alessan Alessan is online now
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I've never had Serbian food, but from the OP it looks a lot like Bulgarian food, which I have all the time.
  #9  
Old 01-22-2017, 05:39 PM
jz78817 jz78817 is offline
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It sounds like a blend of Polish/Slavic and Greek cuisine.
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Old 01-22-2017, 05:55 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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That's exactly what I was thinking, jz78817, though also apparently with a little Hungarian. My grandmother had lots of Slavic friends, and adopted many of their recipes, but I've never had Serbian cooking.
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Old 01-22-2017, 05:58 PM
zoid zoid is offline
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This sounds like a great place for a Milwaukee Dopefest...just sayin'...
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Old 01-22-2017, 06:01 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baker View Post
I've never had Serbian food, but I'd certainly be willing to try it. I never met a cuisine I didn't like.

I have an Armenian cookbook but I haven't really studied it yet.
Since Armenia is about 1800 miles from Serbia, I'm not sure how similar the cuisines would be.

My great-grandparents actually came to the US from a town that's now in Croatia, but they were Danube-Swabians, or ethnic germans who moved there when it was part of the Austro-hungarian empire. They spoke german at home and serbo-croatian also. But according to my grandfather, the home cooking was pretty germanic.

And yes, Old Town's cuisine was somewhat reminiscent of greek food I'd had, what with the olives and feta-like cheese, the grape leaves and the phyllo dough. But the sausages and peppers and paprika and duck and goose made me think of eastern europe.

Next I think I'll hit Polonez, the polish restaurant in town. They offer a wide range of pierogies, plus duck's blood soup!

Last edited by Qadgop the Mercotan; 01-22-2017 at 06:03 PM.
  #13  
Old 01-22-2017, 07:36 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by jz78817 View Post
It sounds like a blend of Polish/Slavic and Greek cuisine.
That's a pretty fair approximation. I'd say Central European meets Turkish/Greek cuisine. It's all a bit of a continuum. Chevapi/chevapchichi (čevapi/čevapčići) are little grilled skinless sausages that are similar to something like Romanian mititei/mici, and the etymologic derivation comes from the word "kebab." (If you look, you can see how similar čevap/kebab is). My assumption is these are all variants on Turkish kofta. That's about as far north as I remember seeing these in that part of the world and claimed as part of the home cuisine. I've seen them in Hungary, but always advertised as Balkan food, not anything indigenous. (Well, there are parts of Serbia that were ethnically Hungarian, so perhaps there is some indigenous element, but the Hungarian restaurants in Budapest did not serve chevapi--we had to go to the Serbian restaurants to get that.)

Lepinje/somun (the bread I was talking about) is related to pita, from what I can tell. It's a type of yeast-raised flatbread, but the types I'm used to are a bit yeastier and puffier/more bread-like than what I've seen from farther south/Turkey. Here's a picture of what I'm talking about, but they vary a good bit in the region.

It's definitely a meat-heavy cuisine, with some fish in there, too. Ajvar is one of my favorite spreads, and it's a mix of roasted eggplant and red peppers, often with garlic. For me, no meal of cevapcici is complete without raw diced onion and ajvar, also some prefer it with kajmak, the cheese/sour cream/dairy kind of spread mentioned in the OP.

Last edited by pulykamell; 01-22-2017 at 07:38 PM.
  #14  
Old 01-22-2017, 07:41 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by zoid View Post
This sounds like a great place for a Milwaukee Dopefest...just sayin'...
If you want to check it out in the Chicago area, there's Zupa on 7919 Ogden in Lyons and Dunav at 8801 Ogden. Looks like there's a third one, Skadarliya, at 9237 Ogden, as well, but I haven't been to that one. The other two were very Serbian. Felt like stepping into a different country in those restaurants. I also remember, at least 20 years ago, there being a few places on the north or northwest side of Chicago, but I'm blanking on which ones I've been to.

Last edited by pulykamell; 01-22-2017 at 07:41 PM.
  #15  
Old 01-22-2017, 08:08 PM
Elemenopy Elemenopy is offline
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Of course I love Serbian food! My mom's side is Serb, so I grew up eating that way. It's not the most exciting of cuisine...more stick-to-your-ribs stuff, but I love it all the same and incorporate bits when I can. You all listed the most iconic dishes above, but I'll add whole spit-roasted lamb and pork besides.

Also, there are about a million variants on ajvar/ljutenica (the latter relish having more eggplant/squash). I have a feeling that's how Serbs got through the winter without scurvy, alongside pickled cabbage, either in cabbage rolls (sarma) or sauerkraut. Yes, Bosnian cuisine is very similar (though less pork for obvious reasons), and I loved going to Bosnian cafes when I lived near STL. Lepinje bread is to die for.

Serbs also like feta, mushrooms, egg noodles, and other things like Greek cuisine, though being more or less landlocked there isn't much of a fish culture. You want Croatian for that. There is a heavy Austrian influence in Serbian cuisine (also for obvious reasons), so you would see some goulasch, schnitzelin, strudels and palachinke (mentioned above, crepes filled with cheese and/or fruit). Also, nice Serbian desserts tend to be like Victorian (?) era Viennese: lots of tortes...multilayer cakes with nut and jam layers between. Also baklava is a favorite, usually done with walnuts (which I detest, so I use almonds ). Serbs love walnuts for some reason.

Where I grew up, though, in NW Indiana, there was a lot of admixture between Greek, Polish, Russian, and other Slavic cuisine, so you might see at a big potluck, wedding, or festival: spanikopita (spinach-feta burek/strudel)--we called it gibanica, slanina and spongy pita, roast lamb, cevapi sausage served like gyros, savory baked beans, beef and rice stuffed cabbage, borscht, green beans cooked to death with ham hocks or bacon, maybe even a variant on moussaka or pastitsio. All washed down with "healthy" amounts of slivovica or homemade wine.

You might enjoy this dude on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVV...MC_qlc7QfPA2YQ

Last edited by Elemenopy; 01-22-2017 at 08:09 PM.
  #16  
Old 01-22-2017, 08:17 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by Elemenopy View Post
Serbs also like feta, mushrooms, egg noodles, and other things like Greek cuisine, though being more or less landlocked there isn't much of a fish culture.
Well, not sea fish, but definitely river fish (like in riblja čorba, fish soup), trout, carp, pike perch/saunder, that sort of thing. Not the first thing you think of with Serbian cuisine, but it's definitely there (just like in Hungarian cuisine, another land-locked country.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 01-22-2017 at 08:17 PM.
  #17  
Old 01-22-2017, 08:17 PM
Crys75 Crys75 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
Serbian food's not usually on my radar; I've had it maybe 3 or 4 times before in my life, all at restaurants in Milwaukee, but none in the last 2 decades or so. As such, it was with a spirit of adventurousness that my wife and I, along with our youngest daugher, journeyed to Old Town Serbian, in aforesaid city. Unfortunately, my son-in-law had to work, but was hoping for leftovers.

The restaurant has been there for over 45 years, and definitely has the feel of a semi-formal family joint in an ethnic neighborhood, though ethnicities have shifted recently. The menu offerings were pretty tempting, and included suckling pig, lamb, duck, goose shanks, chicken or calf liver, along with the more traditional goulashes and veal dishes.

We started out with bread and two spreads, a very nice serbian cheese flavorful but spreadable, and avjar, an eggplant and peppers tapenade, also quite piquant. We demolished it handily.

That was followed by an olive and cheese appetizer platter, some hot baked feta coated with an exquisite pepper tapenade, and chevapchichi sausages, sizzling hot and served with raw peppers and onions. Again, demolished.

I decided on a beef and cheese burek for my main course; a pie made of phyllo dough and stuffed with seasoned meat. The thing was huuuuge, flakey, and oh so warm from the oven, and most amazingly delicious. Also too large to eat the whole thing. SIL got half of it.

My daughter got the grape leaves Sarma, stuffed with ground beef, sausage, bacon, pork, smoked pork, and rice. Being the carnivore she is, it all vanished.

The Mrs. opted for the seafood special of the evening, cod in some sort of paprika sauce. While the fish was good, she found the sauce too sweet; having sampled it myself, I concur. A pity. Fortunately she enjoyed a chunk of my burek.

Dessert was palacinka, a rather thick crepe stuffed with nutella, hot from the griddle and topped with whipped cream; a restaurant tradition. Also a dish advertised as a strawberry schaum torte, but it was nothing like any schaum torte I'd had before. It was more similar to strawberry shortcake. Quite tasty on its own, but a bit of a disappointment due to its lack of schauminess.

I'd like to go back to sample their goose, their veal, their versions of musaka and paprikash. Or maybe to the Three Brothers, the other Serbian joint in town.

Life's too short for boring food.
I haven't tried Serbian food and Milwaukee is relatively close to me can you inbox me the details so I can try to convince my less adventurous husband that we need to go! Thanks in advance.

Sent from my XT1526 using Tapatalk
  #18  
Old 01-22-2017, 08:23 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by Crys75 View Post
I haven't tried Serbian food and Milwaukee is relatively close to me can you inbox me the details so I can try to convince my less adventurous husband that we need to go! Thanks in advance.

Sent from my XT1526 using Tapatalk
Goes your husband like grilled meat? If so, he'll like Serbian cuisine.
  #19  
Old 01-22-2017, 08:27 PM
Elemenopy Elemenopy is offline
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Well, not sea fish, but definitely river fish (like in riblja čorba, fish soup), trout, carp, pike perch/saunder, that sort of thing. Not the first thing you think of with Serbian cuisine, but it's definitely there (just like in Hungarian cuisine, another land-locked country.)
Ah, maybe so. I guess I only know Serbian-American cuisine, and perhaps that further watered down by my exact location (South of Lake Michigan). My Deda and Baba did make some fish from local sources, but that usually amounted to fried smelt (for breakfast, no less!) or fried perch with onions and potatoes, and that was about it.

I married a half-Sicilian from New Orleans, so I make a lot more ethnic seafood dishes myself, and I count myself all the richer (and fatter) for it.

P.S. there are like NO Serbian cookbooks out there that aren't Serbian-American church potluck stuff, half of the recipes being what you could get from any church recipe collection (taco salad, divinity, perfection salad, ugh...) If anyone knowledgeable is interested in helping me rectify that, let me know.
  #20  
Old 01-22-2017, 09:39 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Well, now I may have to check out the 2017 Serbian Festival in town, which promises "spit-roasted lamb, chevaps, sarma, gibanica and more".

Since the festival is sponsored by a local affiliate of the Serbian Orthodox Church I may have to resist a conversion attempt, which the food is probably intended to facilitate.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 01-22-2017 at 09:39 PM.
  #21  
Old 01-22-2017, 09:57 PM
bibliophage bibliophage is offline
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Originally Posted by Tamerlane View Post
...stuff like makovnjača ( and its prune and walnut variants - wonderful ) .
That looks a lot like potica, a recipe from Slovenia that I used to make quite often but haven't had in more than 20 years. Yeast dough rolled up with a walnut-honey-spice filling baked in a tube pan or bundt pan. Yum. I'll have to make that again soon.
  #22  
Old 01-22-2017, 10:14 PM
Elemenopy Elemenopy is offline
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
Well, now I may have to check out the 2017 Serbian Festival in town, which promises "spit-roasted lamb, chevaps, sarma, gibanica and more".

Since the festival is sponsored by a local affiliate of the Serbian Orthodox Church I may have to resist a conversion attempt, which the food is probably intended to facilitate.
Columbus? I'm not too far from there now, hit me up when it's close to the fest time. Also, the Orthodox do not proselytize, like, at all, unless you're thinking of marrying in. Just like Jewish. And even then it's not easy to convert, or even assimilate if you're half-assed raised in it like me. Just go and have a good time, and I'll show you a few poor kolo steps if I end up there.
  #23  
Old 01-22-2017, 10:29 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by bibliophage View Post
That looks a lot like potica, a recipe from Slovenia that I used to make quite often but haven't had in more than 20 years. Yeast dough rolled up with a walnut-honey-spice filling baked in a tube pan or bundt pan. Yum. I'll have to make that again soon.
Yep. There's a number of variants of that type of rolled dough with poppyseed or walnut filling from Poland well down through the Balkans/former Yugoslavia, and I assume much beyond.
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Old 01-23-2017, 11:00 AM
Sangahyando Sangahyando is offline
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With Elemenopy"s "cookbook" mention: probably little direct help here; but this thread had me looking out a small but interesting cookbook (published in the UK) which I have, on "Romanian, Bulgarian and Balkan" cuisine. Includes some seventy recipes (a lot of them seeming very enticing): many identified as Romanian or Bulgarian, most others implied as "generic" to the Balkan peninsula -- a few identified as from particular parts of the former Yugoslavia (as PPs here figure, seemingly a strong "family" likeness among foods from various Balkan lands).

The only recipe in the book specifically referred to as Serbian, is a rather splendid-sounding meat loaf involving beef, pork, and bacon; though other things mentioned in this thread, appear too: the small grilled skinless sausages, and the eggplant [aubergine] / pepper spread, "ajvar", though not there referred to by that name.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Well, not sea fish, but definitely river fish (like in riblja čorba, fish soup), trout, carp, pike perch/saunder, that sort of thing. Not the first thing you think of with Serbian cuisine, but it's definitely there (just like in Hungarian cuisine, another land-locked country.)
Re the river fish element: my cookbook as referred to, has a couple of recipes (exact country unattributed) for carp dishes -- one of which I’ve tried making, and reckoned good. I feel that there’s a tendency cuisine-wise in some parts of the world, to underrate freshwater fish -- dismissing it as lacking in taste / tending to a “muddy” taste, and beset with small bones. There are ways of coping with these traits: assorted recipes can make carp, for example, delicious. (The people of my own surrounded-by-the-sea country tend nonetheless, to conservative tastes overall as regards creatures living in water; and in the main, unfairly dismiss and despise freshwater fish.)
  #25  
Old 01-23-2017, 11:21 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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The eggplant/pepper spread shows up under varying names, and slightly different preparations, in that part of the world. Perhaps it was under zacusca, the Romanian version, pindjur or lutenica (also Balkans), or kjopolou, the Bulgarian variant, etc. The proportion and presence of various ingredients can vary. For example, at my grocery, the difference between ajvar and pindjur seems to be the presence of tomatoes in the latter. Looking online at various recipes in their original language from that area, that seems to be the case. However, Wikipedia seems to say that in some places, they are used interchangeably, and also that pindjur is more an eggplant spread with red peppers, and ajvar more a red pepper spread that sometimes has eggplants. Once again, looking at recipes from the area, that does seem to be correct. Ajvar recipes are often given without eggplant. This is a little surprise to me, as the ajvar I've had typically does contain eggplant, and I always make it with eggplant myself.

Last edited by pulykamell; 01-23-2017 at 11:22 AM.
  #26  
Old 01-23-2017, 11:46 AM
Sangahyando Sangahyando is offline
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My book's recipe -- just called "Aubergine and Pepper Spread", nothing stated as to origin from where in the region -- does feature tomatoes. Basically, for 6 -- 8 people, it lists one and a half pounds "eggp. / aub", 2 green peppers, 2 ripe tomatoes -- pus garlic and parsley. It would seem that this very modest cookbook only scratches the surface of what the Balkan peninsula can come up with !

Last edited by Sangahyando; 01-23-2017 at 11:47 AM.
  #27  
Old 01-23-2017, 11:58 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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There's also similarities (and I'd bet a common ancestor) with matbucha (if that isn't the common ancestor itself), the Moroccan/North African/Middle Eastern spread/"salad" of tomatoes, bell peppers, and garlic.

Last edited by pulykamell; 01-23-2017 at 11:58 AM.
  #28  
Old 01-23-2017, 12:31 PM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is offline
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
If you want to check it out in the Chicago area, there's Zupa on 7919 Ogden in Lyons and Dunav at 8801 Ogden. Looks like there's a third one, Skadarliya, at 9237 Ogden, as well, but I haven't been to that one. The other two were very Serbian. Felt like stepping into a different country in those restaurants. I also remember, at least 20 years ago, there being a few places on the north or northwest side of Chicago, but I'm blanking on which ones I've been to.
Beograd Cafe on Irving Park?
  #29  
Old 01-23-2017, 12:45 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Beograd Cafe on Irving Park?
Hmmm. It looks like it's been around since 1984, so the timeline checks out (this would have been 1997 when I visited), but I don't remember it being on the corner of a major street like that, and I don't remember it having big shop windows like that. But my memory is not great. For some reason, I feel like it was in the middle of the block somewhere, and perhaps more specifically a Bosnian restaurant than Serbian. I'm thinking I probably found it in a book called "Insider's Guide to Chicago," which I may even have lying around the house somewhere. I see there's a Restaurant Sarajevo at that general part of town, and it does ring a bell, but, once again, the pictures of the outside of it don't really ring a bell. (And I can't tell if it was around in 1997).

For all I know, though, it may very well be Beograd Cafe and my memory is just hazy. It's not an unlikely possibility.

Last edited by pulykamell; 01-23-2017 at 12:46 PM.
  #30  
Old 01-23-2017, 12:50 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Looking online through the Trib's archives, I think it may have been Cafe Continental (which doesn't exist anymore) that billed itself as a Croatian restaurant. That sounds about right. And was at 5517 N. Lincoln, so that does fit the middle-of-the-block memory I have. Plus the name rings a bell.

The timeline is a bit tight, though. Looks like by July of 1997 it became a Korean night club. But I would have been there probably the winter (Jan/Feb) of 1997, right after returning from a spell in the Balkans.

ETA: Actually, no, the timeline doesn't work. It opened up as a night club in 1996. Unless my timeline of going there after, rather than before, my trip to the Balkans is incorrect.

Last edited by pulykamell; 01-23-2017 at 12:54 PM.
  #31  
Old 01-23-2017, 12:57 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Then again, it's possible I went there in early 1996 before my trip, but I think it's unlikely that I would have been seeking out Yugoslav food at the time. (Not impossible, but my memory is that I went there to re-experience the region's cuisine, not discover it for the first time.) Damn middle age memory.
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Old 01-24-2017, 12:35 AM
ruadh ruadh is offline
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I dated a Serb for a few years and travelled there several times, so I got to have the Real Thing. As a vegetarian I was totally limited to sides and starters, but fortunately, they take their sides and starters seriously there - I never had trouble finding something delicious and filling to eat.

Burek remains my true love.
  #33  
Old 01-24-2017, 03:31 AM
Sangahyando Sangahyando is offline
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As a vegetarian I was totally limited to sides and starters, but fortunately, they take their sides and starters seriously there - I never had trouble finding something delicious and filling to eat.
Interesting -- I'd always been given to understand that a vegetarian's lot in Eastern Europe was not a happy one. Clearly, it depends where in Eastern Europe !
  #34  
Old 01-24-2017, 08:00 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Interesting -- I'd always been given to understand that a vegetarian's lot in Eastern Europe was not a happy one. Clearly, it depends where in Eastern Europe !
With the traditional food, I wouldn't necessarily say it's difficult to find something vegetarian to eat in Eastern Europe, it's just that the variety is fairly limited and you have to be careful because even things that sound vegetarian may be made on chicken stock or fried in lard (or contain lard in the dough.) And if you're vegan, that's really rough, with butter, cheese, sour cream, being used in much of the Eastern European cuisine.

That said, it's certainly gotten much better in the region over the past few years. In the 90s, being vegan was pretty tough and I know many who simply switched to a "flexarian" diet to accommodate. Now, most, if not all, of the major cities seem to have vegan options. My experience is mostly from Budapest, where it used to be a nightmare to be a vegan, and now you can have lists just narrowing the vegan options to the ten.
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Old 01-24-2017, 08:10 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Plus Serbia is more what I would call Southern Europe, and they have all that Turkish/Greek influence, so you find stuff like the roasted vegetable spreads mentioned above, the phyllo-type dough concoctions (burek) stuffed with cheese or spinach and cheese (zeljanica), etc. So if you're happy being a vegetarian in a Greek restaurant, you should be fine.
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Old 01-24-2017, 05:29 PM
Sangahyando Sangahyando is offline
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With the traditional food, I wouldn't necessarily say it's difficult to find something vegetarian to eat in Eastern Europe, it's just that the variety is fairly limited and you have to be careful because even things that sound vegetarian may be made on chicken stock or fried in lard (or contain lard in the dough.) And if you're vegan, that's really rough, with butter, cheese, sour cream, being used in much of the Eastern European cuisine.

That said, it's certainly gotten much better in the region over the past few years. In the 90s, being vegan was pretty tough and I know many who simply switched to a "flexarian" diet to accommodate. Now, most, if not all, of the major cities seem to have vegan options. My experience is mostly from Budapest, where it used to be a nightmare to be a vegan, and now you can have lists just narrowing the vegan options to the ten.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Plus Serbia is more what I would call Southern Europe, and they have all that Turkish/Greek influence, so you find stuff like the roasted vegetable spreads mentioned above, the phyllo-type dough concoctions (burek) stuffed with cheese or spinach and cheese (zeljanica), etc. So if you're happy being a vegetarian in a Greek restaurant, you should be fine.
Re myself, it would require desperately extreme circumstances to make me a vegetarian. Just, I seem to have gathered from guidebooks -- "Lonely Planet" and such -- that at any rate further north in Eastern Europe, in general folk just don't "get" vegetarianism; which can at times make things difficult there for one who "abstains from eating anything that had a face". Per you here, in the Balkan Peninsula it's a different ball-game, working out as more veggy-friendly.
  #37  
Old 01-24-2017, 05:43 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Re myself, it would require desperately extreme circumstances to make me a vegetarian. Just, I seem to have gathered from guidebooks -- "Lonely Planet" and such -- that at any rate further north in Eastern Europe, in general folk just don't "get" vegetarianism; which can at times make things difficult there for one who "abstains from eating anything that had a face". Per you here, in the Balkan Peninsula it's a different ball-game, working out as more veggy-friendly.
I don't remember it being particularly that much better with the traditional food in the Balkans. I lived for a few months in Croatia in a Serb-Croat town not far from the Bosnian border, and I can't really say it was easier finding vegetarian options than it was in, say, Poland. I mean, they exist--there just wasn't a huge variety of them. Today, I expect you'd be fine with finding vegetarian or vegan food in Warsaw, Prague, and Belgrade.

Last edited by pulykamell; 01-24-2017 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 01-24-2017, 10:32 PM
tenacious j tenacious j is offline
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I visited Old Town a few times when I was a kid and am reminded of it every once in a while. I always wondered whether the bureks were as good as I remember, and now that you brought this up I will definitely go back next time we are in town.
I don't recall seeing Serbian food in other cities, but then again, I don't know if I ever would have stumbled upon Old Town either, even after years of living there.
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Old 01-25-2017, 02:35 PM
Dr_Paprika Dr_Paprika is offline
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I like cevapici. And I prefer crab juice to Mountain Dew with Khlav Kulash.
  #40  
Old 01-25-2017, 02:36 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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I like cevapici. And I prefer crab juice to Mountain Dew with Khlav Kulash.
Eeeeeew!

Mountain Dew! Blech.
  #41  
Old 01-26-2017, 02:23 AM
ruadh ruadh is offline
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Today, I expect you'd be fine with finding vegetarian or vegan food in Warsaw, Prague, and Belgrade.
I haven't been in about ten years but it was pretty much impossible back then to find vegetarian food as a main dish in a Belgrade restaurant, unless it was a pizza place or something. People actually would cluck their tongues at you when you told them you were a vegetarian - it was true, they really didn't get it at all. But again, you really could eat very well as a vegetarian by combining a few sides and starters. I don't know how a vegan would get by, though.
  #42  
Old 01-26-2017, 07:35 AM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is offline
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I don't know how a vegan would get by, though.
With a LOT of ajvar and roasted pepper dishes!
  #43  
Old 01-26-2017, 09:32 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by ruadh View Post
I haven't been in about ten years but it was pretty much impossible back then to find vegetarian food as a main dish in a Belgrade restaurant, unless it was a pizza place or something. People actually would cluck their tongues at you when you told them you were a vegetarian - it was true, they really didn't get it at all. But again, you really could eat very well as a vegetarian by combining a few sides and starters. I don't know how a vegan would get by, though.
Perhaps I'm mistaken about Belgrade and it hasn't caught up with places like Budapest, Warsaw, and Prague in this regard. I haven't been there in about 15 years, but I assumed, like the other cities I mentioned, it became a bit more mainstream to be vegetarian.

Last edited by pulykamell; 01-26-2017 at 09:34 AM.
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