World Foods 1: Ćevapčići (Serbia)

on Sunday, October 22, 2006

I am no gourmet chef but I know what I like and in this series of Wolrd Foods, I would like to share with you some of the culinary surprises and highpoints from samplings from around the world.

To start the series off, I thought I would begin which would tie in nicely with the recent Special Spot posting on Plitvice Lakes, Croatia. Ćevapčići (pronounced "che-vap-chee-chee") is a popular food of the old Yugoslavia and throughout the entire Balkan region and can also be found if you look for it in parts of Austria and Germany. Essentially, it is a grilled meat sausage but the taste is distinctive, praise-worthy and its mouthwatering properties is affecting me even as I write. It is all at once heady with spices, rich and meaty in flavour with a tinge of tanginess. It goes well with with kajmak or sour cream, fresh peppers, ajvar (a tomato and peppers based paste) and tomatoes and is often served on a pita like bread.

Of course, different regions all argue that the best ćevapčići is their version. I believe that the one that I had eaten was a Serbian version and I first tried it in Vienna. Some say that it is the blending of at least three meats (common in the Bosnian Version) that makes it a king amongst meat patties. It's all good. Try it if you have the opportunity.

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