We stayed on a houseboat a bit outside the city, rode rented bicycles all over the place, and enjoyed Belgrade immensely -- but truth be told, this particular leg of the journey wasn’t culinarily oriented. Generally our lunches were crafted from goods we’d buy at the market (pictured below). Serbians we spoke with boasted of how delicious their tomatoes were (and I have to agree), but admitted that Macedonia’s were even better (I agree with this, too).
We did manage to sit down for one hearty, traditional Serbian meal at Znak pitanja, or "?" ("The Question Mark Pub", so named because the Church across the street took offense at the original moniker, “The Cathedral”). This was a bit too touristy a spot for us, but we did enjoy pasulj prebranac, or sausage and beans, and a side of sheeps cheese-stuffed peppers:
As the temperature was 90-plus degrees each day, upon disembarking from our bicycles nothing ever tasted better than Lav Beer, a smooth golden lager brewed by Carlsberg Sribija:
I loved the Serbians, all those we met being gentle, friendly, smart and beautiful -- not at all what I expected from a people who throughout history have been among the toughest warriors in the world. In fact everyone was so incredibly nice to us that I will root for the Serbs should they decide to kick ass and take back stolen Kosovo. Honestly. Yet as I’ll have to keep reminding myself, this blog is about food -- and drink, such as the home-brewed beer served on the raucous boat ride upon the Danube that we took along with mostly Serb tourists:
Perhaps I had one too many. Here is what the Danube looked like at night:
We met a sweet family on the boat, who invited my wife and I to their home for a quick snack before we headed out together to see the town. The mom, Svetlana, very quickly baked a savory corn bread flecked with cheese, which she served with sausage on the side. I have never tasted a better, moister version, and as soon as I get the recipe from her via email I’ll print it on the blog.
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Just a few hours later we were on a ten-hour overnight bus ride heading south to Skopje.
Tomorrow: The serious eating begins in Macedonia.