About the food of Montenegro

Prokletije. Photo by Vlado Vujisic.

This week we’re eating Montenegro – where the mountains reach right up, into the clouds, like giant forks. By all appearances, they hold up the very sky herself. And then there are Montenegro’s lakes which sparkle like eternal springtime. With beauty that has even captured National Geographic’s attention for their coveted magazine cover photo, Montenegro is at once rugged and disarmingly serene.

Funny that the country means “Black Mountain,” a name which sounds straight out of Lord of the Rings, because as far as I can tell, there’s nothing even a little sinister about her beauty.

This eastern European country is home to an array of comforting dishes which will seem Yugoslavian (thanks to being part of Yugoslavia), as well as a little Italian, somewhat Hungarian, a tad Turkish, a bit Asian, and – of course – very, very Montenegrin.

Black Lake, Montenegro. Photo by Nije Bitno.

One dish that I didn’t expect to see on the list of specialties was Buckwheat pasta (a.k.a. soba noodles in Japan) tossed with feta and olive oil [Recipe]. In fact, I had never realized buckwheat noodles were enjoyed much beyond Asia. Despite my surprise, this dish is definitely a part of the culture, although sometimes whole wheat pasta is substituted and, on the shore, squid ink noodles might take preference.

Montenegrins also enjoy things like stuffed grape leaves (or even the odd stuffed kale leaf – japraci), rich multi-meat burgers (called pljeskavica [Recipe]) topped with red pepper relish (usually made with paprika pappers, called ajvar [Recipe]), and a happy bottle of homemade wine (yummers).

Montenegrin maps & flag courtesy of CIA World Factbook.

Like many eastern European countries, the people of Montenegro enjoy their dinner in crepes and pancakes. In a throwback to the early days of this Adventure, when we cooked Albania, I even ran across lamb baked in yogurt.. a fine, tangy way to enjoy what can be otherwise gamy meat.

Ulcinj. Photo by Matěj Baťha.

For those wishing for a stunning escape from the ordinary, Montenegro can deliver in scenery as well as in food.

If you need me, I’ll be daydreaming in the shadow of the beautiful, black mountains today.

Won’t you join me?

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Comments

  1. Keith Glennon says:

    I had a teacher in high school…Mr. Montenegro–I think it was Spanish class. Anywho, he let us call him Mr. Black Mountain!

  2. I am very interested in learning more about Montenegro. It really looks beautiful. Buckwheat pasta is actually popular in Italy too, a favorite mountain dish in the western Alps in Italy, and it goes by the name of pizzocheri. I don’t usually link to my blog, but I wrote/photographed it a couple of times if you want to take look.
    http://nutsaboutfooditaly.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/madesimo-dogana-vegia-and-osteria-vegia.html
    http://nutsaboutfooditaly.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/taste-of-valtellina-mountain-food-not.html

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Oh thanks! I’m off to check it out. Love that name “pizzocheri” … does it mean something?

  3. I’ve been to Montenegro – sailing! There is the only real fjord in the Mediterranean. High, high mountains loom over the sea (I’m talking 2000 m tall mountains right on the shore – incredible), and white Venetial-like historical towns and churches climb up the hill: the sight is breathtaking. I remember there was a little market on the shore in Kotor (or Cattaro) and I bought delicious fruit there; I also remember eating feta stuffed borek everywhere.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Oh, how fun! Your description is wonderful, so picturesque. I can just see the towns on the hill… Borek is fun. I made some of that (or similar) for Bulgaria, if I remember correctly (it’s been a long time ;) )

  4. Hello:)
    I am from Montenegro and I am following your website.
    However, I need to say that nothing from dishes are from Montenegro and that we have other dishes that are more Montenegrin than this.

    Greetings
    Ivana

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