Balkan Cuisine Guide: Must-Try Food from Balkans
Balkan cuisine is a hidden gem for most people. Americans don't know a lot about this part of the world and their eating habits, so it's natural for you to wonder what Balkan food is.
You're in for a hell of a surprise. If there's one thing people from this region can do right, then making food is that thing. And, once you try a few of the most famous Balkan snacks, you'll realize what we're talking about and why we're doing it.
So wait no more and check out our list of must-try items.
This pepper spread isn't that well-known in the US, but people can't get enough of it in this part of Europe. In fact, it's one of the most popular condiments in Balkan cuisine.
It's prepared annually in portions that last the family throughout the following year. But what goes into it?
Ajvar mainly consists of roasted red bell peppers, eggplant, and oil. It can be consumed with any meat dish, or simply bread.
The name comes from the Turkish word for caviar. But, in these regions, ajvar is probably more famous.
Sarma can be the answer to the "what is Balkan food" question. It's that popular. Regardless if it's just another lunch after a long morning of work, a wedding, or a birthday, you can expect to find sarma on the table.
There aren't many dishes with this level of versatility and popularity amongst the people. Sarma is always present and beloved by everybody from this region.
And once you try it, it will have a special place in your heart, too.
The recipe may not seem like anything you've had so far, but don't let that discourage you from trying one of the most famous dishes of Balkan cuisine.
So, sarma consists of two parts, the cabbage and the dolma.
Dolma is a mixture of ground meat, rice, and spices. This is what you'll roll in pickled cabbage leaves. After a few hours of cooking on low heat, you'll get to try the rolls and see why this meal is so widely spread.
If you're a meat-eater, this is the part of the blog for you. Cevapi are the go-to when it comes to ground meat in the former Yugoslavia. A few regions have their unique recipe, and each one is better than the next.
If we had to compare cevapi to a dish popular in the states, they would be best described as the red meat version of chicken fingers. But, instead of chicken, you'll get small rolls of ground beef.
And they are as delicious as they sound!
Cevapi are served in a special bun called "somun" and are usually served with chopped onions. If you wish to turn a portion of cevapi into a real feast, adding kajmak or ajvar is also an option.
Eating cevapi with other condiments is frowned upon in certain parts of the Balkans.
We couldn't make this list without adding the most famous pastry from the region. And how could we, when it's so unique?
Burek is another dish from Turkey but is extremely popular in the Balkans. The most populR version consists of thin, layered pastry, with a mixture of ground beef, onions, and spices on the inside.
However, other versions are equally attractive (and delicious). So, nowadays, you can find burek with cottage cheese, potatoes, spinach, and other ingredients.
Try Balkan Food in the USA
If you wish to try authentic Balkan pastry in the United States, visit the BalkanFresh website and order Djerdan Burek. You'll feel like you're visiting the Balkans after a single bite.