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Gastronomy of Serbia

Most people in Serbia will have three meals daily, breakfast, lunch and dinner, with lunch being the largest. However, traditionally in Serbia only lunch and dinner existed, which was/is practiced in monasteries and Nikola Tesla wrote “that it is normal to have two meals per day” so breakfast was introduced in the second half of the 19th century. A number of meals which are simply bought in the West are often prepared at home in Serbia as autochthonous dishes for regular meals. Those include kajmak, ayvar, smoked ham, smoked beef, rakija /fruit brandy/, corn-bread /proja/, beans, jam, slatko – jelly, various pickled food, notably sauerkraut /sarma, kiseli kupus – pickled cabbage, cabbage casserole/ and even sausages. Basil is favorite and greatly used in preparation of food in Serbia, and it goes along when many important customs are performed. Bunch of basil is used in various cases, when the priest bless us or to decorate the Slava cake, or as a gift for a girlfriend … The reasons for this range from economical to cultural.

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