Serbian cuisine

Day 3,765, 17:04 Published in Serbia Serbia by Hinkstep

Hello to all citizens of Serbia.
My name is Hinkstep and I decided to learn the language of your country.
At first, I've gone to your country's food to find out what kinds of foods you serve in your country.

I want to present this article to you with my findings on the food of your country in English.


The national dishes include pljeskavica (a ground beef/pork patty), ćevapi (grilled minced meat), and Karađorđeva šnicla (Karageorge's schniztel). The national drink is the plum brandy šljivovica or Homemade rakija .

Serbian food is characterized by a mixture of Mediterranean, Central European, Ottoman Turikish, 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 flavours 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.

Serbia's plentiful rivers, fertile soils and a mild climate represent a good environment for a flourishing agriculture that provides the cuisine with quality foodstuff.

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.


William, archbishop of Tyre, who visited Constantinople in 1179, described the Serbs: "They are rich in herds and flocks and unusually well supplied with milk, cheese, butter, meat, honey and wax".

The first published cookbook in Serbia is The Big Serbian Cookbook (Велики српски кувар), written by Katarina Popović-Midzina in 1877.

The best known Serbian cookbook is Pata's Cookbook (Патин кувар), written by Spasenija Pata Marković in 1907; the book remains in publication even today.

An old Serbian legend says that during the time of the 14th-century Serbian Empire, under the rule of Stefan Uroš IV Dušan, meals in the Serbian palace were eaten with golden spoons and forks. Historians say that mediaeval Serbian cuisine mainly consisted of milk, dairy produce and vegetables. Not a lot of bread was eaten, but when it was, the rich ate bread made from wheat and the poor ate bread made from oats and rye. The only meat consumed was game, with cattle kept for agricultural use.[6]



Breakfast in Serbia is an early but hearty meal, rich in calories and carbohydrates, meant to provide one with enough energy to start the day well. Bread is frequently eaten, served with butter, jam, yogurt, sour cream or cheese, accompanied by bacon, sausages, salami, eggs or kajmak. Many people would stop by a bakery in the morning to enjoy fresh pastries, such as pogačice, paštete, kifle (which in Serbian usage may or may not be crescent shaped and may be sweet, but may also be sprinkled with salt crystals), kiflice, perece, buhtle, pletenice, štapići, zemičke, djevreci, mekike and uštipci. Other common breakfast dishes include burek, kačamak and cicvara (types of polenta), popara, proja (cornbread) and čalabrca. Before breakfast most people usually take a cup of coffee, in modern times maybe an espresso. With the breakfast itself either a tea, milk, milk coffee, or chocolate milk is served.

Proja - Burek with yogurt - Kiflice - Kačamak - Popara


Meze is an assortment of small dishes and appetizers, though, unlike the Middle Eastern meze, it does not usually include cooked dishes, and is therefore more similar to Italian antipasto. A Serbian meze typically includes slices of cured meats and sausages, cheeses, olives, fresh vegetables and Turšija. Meze is served either to accompany alcoholic drinks or as a starter before a soup on bigger meals.

Meze - Turšija


Soups are eaten as an entrée at almost every lunch. They are considered to be very important for good health. There are two types of soups in Serbian cuisine: thin soups called supa, and thicker soups with roux or eggs called čorba. The most common ones are simple pottages made of beef or poultry with added noodles. Lamb, veal and fish soups are considered delicacies.

Consommé - Veal soup - Lamb soup - Fisherman's soup - Green soup - Tomato soup - Cauliflower soup - Egg drop soup

Main course

The main course is most commonly a meat dish. Besides roštilj (barbecue) which is very popular, braising, stewing and oven roasting are the most common cooking methods.

Rotisserie - Đuveč - Karađorđeva šnicla - Kavurma - Moussaka - Mućkalica - Goulash - Rinflajš - Podvarak - Prebranac - Sarma - Škembići - Beans - Stuffed peppers - Stuffed zucchini - Peas - Green beans - Wedding cabbage - Noodles with cabbage - Sač

Roštilj (barbecue)

Grilling is very popular in Serbia. Grilled meats are the primary main course dishes offered in restaurants. They are commonly served as mixed grill on large oval plates. They are often also eaten as fast food. The city of Leskovac is especially famous for its barbecue.

Pljeskavica - Ćevapčići - Pork loin - Skewers - Sausages


Bread is the staple of Serbian meals and it is often treated almost ritually. A traditional Serbian welcoming is to offer the guest with bread and salt; bread also plays an important role in religious rituals. Many people believe that it is sinful to throw away bread regardless of how old it is. Although pasta, rice, potato and similar side dishes did enter the everyday cuisine over time, many Serbs still eat bread with meals.

In most bakeries and shops, white wheat bread loafs (typically 0.5 kg) are sold. In modern times, black bread and various graham bread variations regain popularity. In many rural households, bread is still baked in ovens, usually in bigger loafs.

Đevrek - Soda bread - Bread - Pogača


In Serbia, salads are eaten as a side dish with the main course. The simplest of salads are made of sliced lettuce, cabbage, sauerkraut, tomato, cucumber or carrot with oil, vinegar and salt. Some, such as beetroot or potato salads, require cooking.

Serbian salad - Shop salad - Greek salad - Cabbage salad - Sauerkraut salad - Turšija - Russian salad - Tarator


Urnebes - Ajvar - Ljutenica - Pinđur

Dairy and meat products

Dairy products are an important part of the Serbian diet. Fermented products such as sour milk, kajmak, yogurt and pavlaka are common breakfast foods, consumed daily. White cheese, called sir are much more common in Serbia than yellow cheeses. There are numerous varieties, some of which have been awarded for their quality, such as the white cheese with walnuts from Babine, which won the 2012 "best autochtonic cheese" award.[7] Serbian Pule cheese, made from donkey milk, is the most expensive cheese in the world.[8] Although less common, several yellow cheese are locally produced.

Every autumn or early winter, on an event called svinjokolj pigs are slaughtered and meat is dried in the cold air, cured and preserved for winter. Cured meats, bacon, salo, čvarci, Sausages such as krvavica and kulen are produced. Offal and cheaper cutts of meat are utilized as well, made into processed products such as švargla.

Meat being smoked - Kulen - Cured meat - Feta - Šar cheese


In Serbia, pies are very popular. They are eaten either for breakfast, dinner, or as a snack. Most commonly they are made with thin layers of phyllo dough. There are several preparation methods and numerous types of fillings, both sweet and savory. Usually, pies are named after either the preparation method, or the filling.

One pie variety that is not made with phyllo is the štrudla, which, in turn, isn't similar to strudel, but rather to a nut roll.

Gibanica - Meat pie - Mushroom pie - Pumpkin pie - Cherry pie

Sweets and desserts

Sweets are served at the end of meals. Sweets and desserts enjoyed in Serbia include both typical Middle Eastern and typical European ones, as well as some authentically Serbian ones. Besides the ones mentioned here, pies with sweet fruit fillings are also commonly eaten as desserts.

Uštipci - Vanilla cookies - Ruske kape - Šampita - Palačinke - Orasnice - Krempita - Krofne - Knedle - Quince cheese - Kompot - Tufahije - Tulumbe - Baklava - Halva - Ratluk - Slatko - Reforma cake - Dobos cake - Vasa's cake - Plazma cake

Ritual food

Česnica - Koljivo - Slava's kolač


Non-alcoholic :

Domestic coffee (or Turkish coffee) is the most commonly consumed non-alcoholic beverage in Serbia. It is mostly prepared at home, rather than bought in coffee shops, and preferably consumed in the company of friends or family. Slatko, ratluk and rakija may be served alongside coffee. The majority of the Serbian population starts a day with a cup of coffee in the morning. Herbal teas are consumed as a medication, rather than a beverage. Yogurt and kefir are commonly consumed dairy beverages. They frequently accompany savory pastries. A beverage made from maize, called boza, used to be popular in the past. Today it is rarely consumed.

A number of fruit juice and mineral water brands are produced locally. The Knjaz Milos mineral water is considered a national brand.

Alcoholic :

Rakija :

Rakia in special bottle, as the national drink of Serbia
Rakija is a general term for distilled beverages made from fruits. There are numerous varieties, which are usually named after the type of fruit they are made from. Comparatively many people brew their own rakija. Šljivovica, made from plum, is considered the national drink.

Beer :

Beer is widely enjoyed in Serbia. There are 14 breweries in the country.

Wine :

There are nearly 70,000 hectares of vineyards in Serbia, producing about 425,000 tons of grapes annually. Despite that, Serbia still has little international recognition as a wine producer.

Thank you for your attention.