Fruska Gora and daily menu

Fruscka Gora
Greetings from sunny Serbia! Here in Belgrade, the weather has turned to Spring literally overnight, and the streets are filled with beautiful girls in bright dresses and handsome boys in crisp white shirts and new haircuts. I must say, the Serbs I have encountered in Belgrade are terribly good looking in a sporty sort of way, totally unlike the lanky hipster paperdolls in Berlin (who are also, actually, pretty bloody attractive in their own way). I guess what I'm saying is, if you are single and looking for a hot tennis player with a country house, try Belgrade, and try Berlin for all of your hot starving artist needs.

Ahem. Using Europe as a boyfriend buffet ASIDE, I am very much enjoying my stay in Belgrade, but a lack of variety in vegan options has led me to eat more or less the same thing day in and day out. As you can imagine, this does not make for very interesting blog posts, however, feast your eyes on THIS:
So here we have my daily lunch, from a local a la carte restaurant that has slightly different offerings every day. The thing in common is that its always simple, good food, and that its INSANELY cheap- less that 2 euros usually. (That's crazy-town.)

So above we have, from clockwise- red beet salad, Serbian cornbread (Proja) which the owners insisted contain no jaja or mleka (eggs or milk) but I'm a little skeptical. Next to that we have pirinac (rice) with leeks and what may be the national dish of Serbia, Prabanac- beans with paprika and other spices. (Sometimes made with bacon or other meat stuffs so ask!) On the side are some simple grilled veggies. I eat this literally every day and I'm not sick of it yet, which either says something about me or the good food on offer.

Anyways, the weekday lunches might be monotonous, but Belgrade itself is city that really knows how to relax in style. The prices are so low in comparison to the rest of Europe that it seems silly not to enjoy the vibrant club scene, enjoy the view from a water-front restaurant, or stay up all night dancing on the tabletops of a local kafana with live folk music.

And I have been doing some of that. But I was also offered the chance this last weekend to head to the Fruška gora (a country area outside of Belgrade known as the Frankish Hills, as Rebecca West says, for a reason far too dull to interest anyone). Now, this area is sort of a wide green valley filled with small country houses, Orthodox monasteries, and acre upon acre of fruit trees. Its special in Serbian history for offering a retreat from Turkish dominated territory, and to this day houses the tombs of many Kings. But I'm no Serb historian, I'm in it for the fruit! We're talking cherries of all seasons, pears, figs, grapes, plums, and all manner of sunflowers, lavender and corn. Its not the season for these yet, but Oh my G-D, it is still so insanely gorgeous.

Here we were in the tail end of winter and the area was still a sight. In the little, elegantly appointed home I stayed at we stayed outside all day and ate bread and apples, played cards, and watched neighbors walk by on horseback. Its truly hard to believe that such a beautiful and seemingly ancient place exists to close to bustling Belgrade, but it does, and if you ever visit Belgrade you would be extremely remiss not to pay this area a visit.

I'm hoping to go back when the fruit trees are full and lie in the fields gorging on cherries in the sunshine! Ugh, doesn't that just sound almost too divine?

song of the day: The Shoes- Time to Dance


Martin Matej said...

That food looks really delicious :-)

Bianca said...

Stayed outside all day, eating bread and apples and playing cards! That sounds sooooo lovely! And the photos are gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

My grandma always used to say that "our men" were much better looking than non Serbian men. I'm glad you are enjoying.