Macedonian Cuisine seems endless. This is because in past Macedonia has always been influenced by other cultures. So, over time people got ideas and created Macedonian variations of different dishes. What makes the food special are the ingredients. It is a country with rich farmland that the veggies and fruits planted always grow with the richest flavors and nutrition. Each part of Macedonia is famous for specific veggies and fruits. For instance, Tetovo is known for the best white beans and tasty apples, Kocani for the rice, Kriva Palanka for the butter like potatoes. Each city is special and when all those are combined in one dish you can’t imagine how delicious it is.
But since there are so many different dishes I wanted to share my favorite ones. This will also give you a perspective on what to look for if you are planning to visit this wonderful place.
“Sarma” is made from ground beef and pork and sauerkraut leaves. It is traditional to prepare preserves in late summer or in the colder days and most houses have sauerkraut at home for the winter. So, this dish is usually made only in the late fall and winter. The meat is fried with onion, seasoning and for even better taste small pieces of bacon are added. Once fried the sauerkraut leaves are filled and tightly rolled. It takes about 3-4 hours to be cooked over low temperature.
Musaka is one of the most common dishes that we make at least once a week. This is because it is simple, fast and super delicious. It is made by frying ground meat with onion, seasonings, and in a baking dish, we layer circle pieces of potatoes (not too thin and not too thick). After the first layer of potatoes, the meat is spread we finish it with another layer of potatoes. It is baked for about 30 minutes and finished with 1-2 eggs mixed with milk, which is drizzled over the “musaka”.
Oh, I can’t describe how good my day will be if I start it off with a tasty breakfast, Ajvar, white cheese, and bread. Ajvar is made as a preserve in late summer – beginning of fall and we have as much as we want in winter. Yes, it can be bought in the store but the homemade is the real deal. It is made with a lot of love, carefully picked red peppers (sweet) and hard work. You must try it!
The perfect dish for summer. With fresh ingredients, tomatoes, peppers (red or green) and eggplant this dish is perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner or appetizer. It goes perfectly with white cheese and for those who enjoy spicy food, you can have a spicy pepper on the side.
5. Selsko Meso
Depending on who is cooking it this amazing traditional dish prepared is made from meat (beef, pork or mixed), onion, spices, and tomatoes in a clay pot is something you would even wait for hours if needed just to eat it. For even better touch smoked meat can be added. This gives the dish a distinct flavor.
Cornmeal gives us endless possibilities and one of the best is “Kacamak”. It can be served as a side dish with a delicious piece of meat; an appetizer or a breakfasted served with yogurt and crumbled white cheese.
These 6 Macedonian dishes are just a few of many that leave everyone speechless with the first bite, especially people from other countries. I have met people who even stop on their travels just to have lunch or dinner in a restaurant that serves traditional food. No one can resist it. Macedonians have an open heart and they always welcome people without any hesitation and the best part you will always leave with a full stomach and a smile on your face.