PICK SOME FAST FOODS AND DESSERTS, AND I'LL RECOMMEND A BALKAN NATIONAL CUISINE
Pick a pizza.
Pick some pancakes.
Pick a savory pastry.
Pick some waffles.
Pick a burrito.
Pick a cannoli.
Serbian food is characterized by a mixture of Mediterranean, Central European, Ottoman Turkish, as well as ancient Slavic influences. With Serbia being located at the crossroads between East and West, its cuisine has gathered elements from different cooking styles across the Middle East and Europe to develop its own hearty gastronomy with an intricate balance of rich meats, vegetables, cheese, fresh pastries and desserts. It has much in common with the cuisines of neighboring Balkan countries, as well as, to a smaller extent, with cuisines of countries as far north as Germany and as far east as Iran and Pakistan. Its flavors are mild, fresh and natural. Seasonings are light, while ingredients are fresh and of good quality. Eating seasonal food is very important, and many dishes are strongly associated with a specific time of the year.
Most people in Serbia will have three meals daily, breakfast, lunch and dinner, with lunch being the largest. However, traditionally, only lunch and dinner existed, with breakfast being introduced in the second half of the 19th century.
A number of foods which are simply bought in the West, are often made at home in Serbia. These include rakija (fruit brandy), slatko, jam, jelly, various pickled foods, notably sauerkraut, ajvar or sausages. The reasons for this range from economical to cultural. Food preparation is a strong part of the Serbian family tradition.
Bosnia and Herzegovina cuisine is balanced between Western and Eastern influences. The food is closely related to former Yugoslav, Middle Eastern, and other Balkan cuisines.
Bosnian cuisine uses many spices, but usually in moderate quantities. Most dishes are light, as they are cooked in lots of water; the sauces are fully natural, consisting of little more than the natural juices of the vegetables in the dish.
Typical ingredients include tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, spinach, courgette, dried and fresh beans, plums, milk, paprika and cream called pavlaka and kajmak. Typical meat dishes include primarily beef and lamb. Some local specialties are ćevapi, burek, dolma, sarma, pilav (pilaf), gulaš (goulash), ajvar and a whole range of Eastern sweets. The best local wines come from Herzegovina where the climate is suitable for growing grapes. Plum or apple rakija, is produced in Bosnia.
Slovenian cuisine is influenced by the diversity of Slovenia's landscape, climate, history and neighbouring cultures. In 2016, the leading Slovenian ethnologists divided the country into 23 gastronomic regions.
Soups are a relatively recent invention in Slovenian cuisine, but there are over 100. Earlier there were various kinds of porridge, stew and one-pot meals. The most common soups without meat were lean and plain. A typical dish is aleluja, a soup made from turnip peels and a well-known dish during fasting. The most common meat soup is beef soup with noodles, which is often served on Sunday as part of a Sunday lunch (beef soup, fried potatoes, fried steak and lettuce). On feast days and holidays there is often a choice of beef noodle soup or creamy mushroom soup. Pork is popular and common everywhere in Slovenia. Poultry is also often popular. There is a wide variety of meats in different parts of Slovenia. In White Carniola and the Slovenian Littoral mutton and goat are eaten. On St. Martin's Day people feast on roasted goose, duck, turkey, or chicken paired with red cabbage and mlinci. In Lower Carniola and Inner Carniola, they used to eat roasted dormouse and quail. Until the crayfish plague in the 1880s the noble crayfish was a source of income and often on the menu in Lower Carniola and Inner Carniola.
Dandelion is popular as a salad ingredient in Slovenia and has been gathered in the fields for centuries. Even today dandelion and potato salad is highly valued. Since it can be picked only for a short time in early spring, much is made of it. Families go on dandelion picking expeditions, and pick enough for a whole week. In the Middle Ages people ate acorns and other forest fruits, particularly in times of famine. Chestnuts were valued, and served as the basis for many outstanding dishes. Walnuts and hazelnuts are used in cakes and desserts. Wild strawberries, loganberries, blackberries, bilberries were a rich source of vitamins. Mushrooms have always been popular, and Slovenians liked picking and eating them. There are many varieties. Honey was used to a considerable extent. Medenjaki, which come in different shapes are honey cakes, which are most commonly heart-shaped and are often used as gifts.
Macedonian cuisine, an aspect of Balkan cuisine, is the traditional cuisine of the Macedonia. It reflects Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences and shares characteristics of other Balkan cuisines. The relatively warm climate of the country provides excellent growth conditions for a variety of vegetables, herbs and fruits. Macedonian cuisine is also noted for the diversity and quality of its dairy products, wines, and local alcoholic beverages, such as rakija.
Tavče-gravče and mastika are considered the national dish and drink of the Republic of Macedonia, respectively.
Macedonia has a well-developed coffee culture, and Turkish coffee is by far the most popular coffee beverage. With over 5,000 establishments, the traditional Macedonian coffeehouse and bar—the kafeana—is one of the most common places to go out and have a drink. However, because of the negative stereotypes surrounding the kafana, many younger people prefer to frequent the more Western-styled cafés which are also seen as being classier .From the days of the Ottoman Empire through to the present, coffee has played an important role in Macedonian lifestyle and culture.