If you are a guest in a home of a Serbian, you truly will be treated like royalty. Serbians take great pride in making sure that their guests are well fed, comfortable, well fed, entertained, well fed, have plenty to drink, and did I mention, well fed? Seriously! Anyone who has visited at my parents’ house will know that my mom will cook up a feast even if she told you to come over only for a coffee. Forget about being on any kind of diet…these people will make you eat! If you have ever watched the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, then you can get a pretty good picture of how Serbians are as well.
If a Serbian invites you to their home for dinner, don’t bring food with you (unless they request it, but 99.9% of the time this won’t happen). The family that is inviting you takes great pride in welcoming you to their home, so there will be plenty of food to be had. And don’t worry about not having anything to eat…there will be plenty of different dishes for you to try and enjoy (and don’t be shy, they will not let you live this one down). The only things you should bring are a bottle of hard liquor or wine for the host, some sort of flowers for the hostess, and a chocolate bar for each one of the kids.
If you are a vegetarian, most of the dishes you will have in a restaurant will be restricted to salads, soups (if they are veggie soups), and side dishes. So be prepared to do some research if you plan on dining at restaurants while in Serbia. The whole vegetarian concept will often be depicted as fairly strange to the locals, so be patient with them. If you are in Belgrade, a great start would be looking at this Belgradian post on “Being a Vegetarian in Belgrade“. If you are invited to a home, don’t be shy to let the family know in advance that you are a vegetarian.
Food for purchase, for Western standards, is relatively cheap. And so are the restaurants. A lot of the restaurants take great pride in making their establishments look like top of the class, but don’t be afraid to enter them as the meals are often reasonably priced.
As much as Serbians love their meat, they also love their desserts, or kolači in Serbian.
And they have such a large variety of them, you can’t go wrong with any that you try.
If you love meat, you will love trying Karađorđeva šnicla which is schnitzel filled with ‘kajmak’, a type of cheese.
Which leads me to ‘kajmak’ (pronounced kaymak) for the vegetarians. It is absolutely delicious and this is what I usually live off of while in Serbia.
For the dessert lovers, if you make me choose just one dessert, I recommend a ‘krempita’ (pictured first at the top of this blog). But any dessert you try, I can guarantee you will not be disappointed with.