TOP 8 MOST DELICIOUS DISHES IN THE BALKANS
Food in Montenegro is not only delicious but also very unique and fresh. Throughout history, many cultures had influence on Montenegrin cuisine. Some of the most popular Montenegrin dishes are similar to others found in the Balkans, Greece and Turkey. You’ll notice that the cuisine in the coastal area is quite different to the food you’ll find in the mountains, which cover approximately 70 per cent of the country. Being by the Mediterranean coastline, fresh seafood is definitely a must. A large part of Montenegrin cuisine is also meat dishes such as lamb, chicken, pork and veal. You’ll find succulent meat dishes across the country, particularly inland around the mountain area.
1. Njeguski Prsut And Cheese
Prosciutto from Njegusi is a must-try in Montenegro. It’s dried and durable processed pork meat. Njegusi ham is usually served with Njegusi cheese. It’s one of the most popular starters usually served to guests on any occasion. The ham requires special salt from the coastal town of Ulcinj; the meat then needs to be smoked on a low heat during the day and then dried at night for 15 days. On the last day of salting, the meat is washed and then pressed with barrels full of water, but the process is far from over because the Njegusi ham is exclusively smoked on beech wood and it takes almost half a year for the delicacy to be ripe and ready.
2. Seafood Carpaccio
Fish carpaccio is an authentic Montenegrin delicacy – at least for the Boka Bay area. In particular, the best fresh seafood and fish dishes are at Ribarsko Selo in Boka Kotor Bay. The most popular seafood choices include lobster, grilled calamari, octopus, prawns and tuna.
The tradition of commercial farming of Mediterranean mussels goes back 30 years. Producing edible bivalves (oysters and mussels) began in the 1960s in Boka Kotor Bay. Today, there are 17 locations rearing Mediterranean mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis), all in that particular region. All farms use the cage system of production. Mussels (mušlje or dagnje) are, as a rule, eaten “na buzaru’ – stewed in a tasty sauce of wine, oil, garlic and parsley.
4. Njeguski Steak
This is made of veal or pork schnitzel filled with Njegusi prosciutto and cheese. The best ones come with a generous serving of melted kajmak – a local cream cheese. The Njeguški steak (a dish invented by a Serbian chef) often flies under the radar in Montenegro. You’ll sometimes see it on restaurant menus in Njeguši, Podgorica and on the coast.
5. Montenegrin Lamb In Milk
This popular traditional dish, found in northern Montenegro, is often sold out in restaurants. The lamb is slowly stewed in milk with potatoes, carrots, fennel, rosemary, garlic, parsley and seasoning. Traditionally, this dish is made in a sac over coal and the meat comes out beautifully tender. In the mountainous Balkans, lamb is a national dish but made the Montenegrin way as an exclusive entrée.
6. Ispod Saca
It’s the Balkans’ version of a good Sunday roast. Meat (usually veal, lamb or goat) is slow roasted with potatoes, carrots, onions, maybe a tomato and a pinch of paprika under a metal dome covered with coal. The finger-licking result is fall-off-the-bone tender meat and succulent vegetables.
7. Black Risotto
A coastal speciality! Black risotto gets its famous black colour from cuttlefish ink. Subtle flavours of white wine, bay leaves, garlic and nutmeg make it a winning dish. It’s a must-try when visiting the coast.
8. Chorba (Čorba)
Chorba is made of a mixture of meat, fish and poultry – with vegetables or noodles. Different regions have special ways in cooking this unique dish. If you’re by the seaside, it is worth trying fish Chorba (Riblja Čorba). For those who like soup, we recommend traditional Chorba (Čorba). This is a common name for all thick soups and it’s the most famous dish in Montenegro.
9. Red Meat Under the Bell
This is probably the most Montenegrin meal you’ll find, which is mainly found in the north. It is called “sač” in Montenegrin. The meat is slow roasted in the ashes of a fire in a clay pot, under an iron dome, and the result is succulent meat that will simply melt in your mouth.
10. Squid Stuffed with Prawns
The heading pretty much says it all. For those who love both delicacies there’s nothing more divine than taking a grilled squid then stuffing it with the meat of a juicy prawn. Go ahead, try it out.
Essentially these are little donuts, or rather little balls of fried dough. They are normally served with honey, cheese and jam and they are simply delicious – especially at teatime!
A regional favourite and a traditional breakfast. Burek is filo pastry, filled with spinach, cheese or meat. You eat it with plain yogurt. In case you wonder why all the bakeries sell yogurt, this is why.
Fancy some cheese, sour cream and prosciutto wrapped in veal roasted, then deep fried? It’s so juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside, succulent and deeply satisfying.
14. Octopus Salad
The Octopus is cooked and cut into small bite sized pieces served with parsley. Depending on where you go, you might get it with potatoes – either way it’s simply yummy.
A Montenegrin version of creamy polenta made with salted cream and served with yummy buttermilk or yogurt. There are two main sub regional varieties. In both cases, the main ingredient is flour. One variation-tučenjak, uses wheat flour and potatoes, the other only corn flour. The flour is cooked to get a porridge-like consistency. After that, it is greased with animal fat, kajmak (cheese fat) and mature white cheese.
16. Šopska Salad
Refreshing and tantalising! Organic fresh thick cut tomatoes with cucumber and red capsicum coated with a layer of soft white cheese. This is the perfect accompaniment to any fish dish.