Cooking Tour No 2

September 2015

READY TO DISCOVER SERBIA?

    FROM PRINCE’S LAMB TO THE ORIENTAL PASTRY

(South-West Serbia)

Located on the crossroad of different cultural influences, Serbia is a place of most unusual culinary interweaving of European and the Oriental cuisines. Thus, in Serbia you can find Wien and Budapest cakes, Turkish kebabs, Mediterranean wine and fruit, Central European noodles and dumplings, but also a wide variety of local authentic dishes and cooking techniques ~ from royal and common citizens’, to monks’ and peasants’ table.

Serbia is a country in which people love to cook and eat and most of all to host a traveler in their own home. At the same time, Serbia is a country of equally interesting artistic heritage, place where Italian Romanesque, Byzantine Classicism, Austrian Baroque and Hungarian Secession meet. All these facts make Serbia an ideal destination for hedonists in terms of food and art. Take the journey through gastronomy and culture of Serbia with one of the leading experts for art history and gastronomy heritage, Tamara Ognjevic, and let it become a real delicacy!  

WELCOME! You got to Belgrade! In the afternoon, ideally. Transfer to the hotel by mini bus, short rest. To keep awake, you will go for a guided walking tour of central Belgrade with Jelena and Tamara. Click here. Have you met our guide Tamara? If not, take a minute to read her bio at the bottom of the page. Tamara will tell you all about turbulent history of Belgrade, one of the oldest standing cities of Europe. We will have a break- tasting Serbian coffee and rakija (traditional Serbian plum brandy) in “Rakija” bar. Check out Rakija bar here. Free evening.

Wake up! Time for a morning walking tour to Belgrade. We will visit places we haven’t yesterday.When you get tired, we will head to the old Belgrade to have lunch at The question mark “?”, the oldest restaurant in Belgrade. Situated across one of the most monumental churches in Belgrade and Serbian Patriarchate for decades this restaurant has stood against the challenges of time. As a reward, it has been listed  a historical monument of Belgrade and the legend behind its name is very intriguing… You will learn why while tasting the Oriental Serbian cuisine.

After the lunch we will head to the first cooking school opened in Serbia to participate Medieval Serbia culinary & wine glass painting workshop at “Il Primo” Cooking school. Of course, you can take your glass with you! If you still have the energy we can walk down the Belgrade streets to feel the charm of old European town in the dusk. Time to sleep! To check out the hotel, click here.

Wake up! Get packed, have breakfast and board our mini bus heading to South West Serbia. We are going to the Maglič Fortress and Gradac Monastery located in untouched natural environment. If you crave nature- lucky you! Wear your comfy shoes as we will hike to get to Maglič fortress at the top of the mountain. Breathe deeply- it is about all the oxygen we get in a month in the city. After we descend we will head to the Gradac monastery and participate in Byzantine beverages workshop with local nuns. You can experience the lifestyle of Orthodox Christian monks, see where they pray, eat and do chores. Of course- we will taste the monastic food! Feeling spiritual? I bet! After the late lunch in the monastery we are heading to Raška. Sleep zZZ

Roosters! Good morning! Let’s have breakfast. Dress sporty- we are going for a morning hike to Golija mountain. It is a natural habitat of many wild fruits and vegetables. And yes! We can do a food collecting tour (picking mushrooms, forest fruits and herbs). Guess what, we will make a fire and do open air cooking class. And EAT! our lunch in the forest. After that we will head to a mountain household to get some rest and have a late supper with natives. You can see how people live in the wild and at times harsh winters. Ask them! They will be happy to share their experiences. When you get tired we will return to Raška. Good night

HEY! Time to move! Get ready to experience the Oriental Serbia. We are departing to Novi Pazar city. Novi Pazar is these days predominantly inhabited by Muslim community. You will be able to see that the moment you spot the city panorama. The bus will drop us at the center of the town and we will first visit to oldest city bakery shop. You can buy a variety of local pastries and pies that this city is famous for. We will walk down the town streets and explore to see what Ottomans left behind. Hungry? Let’s go to do our cooking class for today;  “Mantije” pastry workshop in Muslim household in Novi Pazar. You will be amazed by the way this pie is made! We will have a traditional Bosnjak’s lunch with the local family here. The sun is going down- let’s head to Jošanička banja natural spa city and enjoy the spa evening in Jošanička banja. Overnight in Raška. Till tomorrow!

   

Can you hear the birds? That’s not your iPhone playing a wake up alarm… Pack and get into the bus as we are heading for a traditional shepherd’s breakfast workshop in “Čatmara” ethno-house. After a strong breakfast we will visit a local producer of dried fruits and vegetables. It is a good chance to buy some souvenirs… Our next station is Studenica monastery, one of the holiest places in Serbia, a monastery dating back from the 12th century and a listed UNESCO world heritage site. Please read about it here. We will have a big honor to have a lunch in Studenica Monastery, and see how the monks live there. If we are lucky we can talk to some of them and ask them questions about life… or whatever you have been wondering about. When the sun starts going down we will head back to the capital. Rest and pack at the hotel… night! Tomorrow is the last day of the tour.

Hey! It is the last day already… I know. But you’ll come back, we both know it ;). Depending on when your flight is, we will get up early and go… Shopping!!! at the local market: spices, tea, candies- whatever you fancy. Place I never forget is the last perfumist in Belgrade, Mr. Jovanov. He will make a perfume that fits your style and taste. And it’s really affordable. When you get your bags stuffed- we will go back to the hotel, pick up your baggage and hop on the bus to get to the airport.

Some faces you may encounter… Smile to them, and they’ll smile back!