The beauties of Montenegrin landscapes and authentic experience can only be complemented by the scents and tastes offered to you. Have you ever thought about how much food can mirror what you see in a country and its nature – open spaces, hills and sea? Montenegro is exactly like that – colorful and worthy. Here, your palate will be surprised by that perfect bland and it will render some new tastes, which you have never had a chance to try before.
Montenegrin cuisine can be divided into Northern, Continental and Mediterranean. Nearly all products are organic, and tastes are distinctive. A traditional form of cooking is -under the coals – in a pot known as a sac.
The northern area features forest berries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, also herbal teas and wild mushrooms. The most popular local homemade specialties are sour cream ( kajmak ), yoghurt and cow’s and sheep’s cheese which taste differently in every household. The finest kajmak comes from Trsa, the highest pasture in Durmitor. Naturally flavoured with wild herbs it makes a delicious dip. Dishes include stewed sauerkraut, lamb cooked in milk, peppers in milk cream (kajmak) and Durmitor steak. Montenegrins are mainly meat-eaters and different kinds of meat are served for every lunch and dinner.
The continental area uses a lot of fish from the Skadar Lake, especially carp, trout and eel, smoked, fried or in salad. People from these parts prepare smoked ham, cheese in olive oil, sausages and smoked mutton ham. Pogorica area specialities are cabbage leaves stuffed with minced meat and rice, and carp with risotto and dried plums.
The Mediterranean holy trinity are various kinds of sea fish, homemade olive oil and wine. Olive oil is the basis of every meal with fish, salad, vegetables and sauces, usually flavoured with garlic and parsley.
Montenegro produces both red and white wines but the former have more character. Vranac is the best known and very drinkable red wine, with a fine ruby colour and a Mediterranean character. Vranac Pro Cordem has high level of prothoanthocyanidol and is marketed as very good for the heart. The third popular variety is Merlot. Krstac is a pleasant dry white which competes with local Chardonnay and very decent Sauvignon.
The real national liquors are different kinds of brandies (rakija). Loza is white grape brandy which is the universal mark of Montenegrin hospitality and a great source of goodwill. The slightly upmarket version is Kruna, distilled in copper stills fired with vine twigs and wood, while Podgorica brand is called Crnogorski Prvijenac. Well-known is plum brandy (sljivovica), too.
Rakija is a drink that is literally served everywhere and in every situation. It is usually drunk with friends and family, or as an aperitif with desserts. It is also commonly used as a base for cocktails, but, no matter how it’s served – it’s an unavoidable drink on every occasion, from birthday parties, wedding ceremonies, family patron’s celebrations and other special circumstances.
Besides wine and rakija, another one that stands out is Monenegro beer. There are more than a few local breweries that produce a variety of different beers that conquered prizes at international fairs and exhibitions – with some of them positioning to be national drinks of the country.