We did not have one bad meal on our tour which explains why I carried four more pounds home with me. We had lavish breakfast buffets in our hotels, we had home cooked food, we had food from small cafes as well as larger restaurants – all local cuisines. We ate on farms, in cities, and at road stops. All was yummy!
We had soup as a starter with many lunches and dinners. My favorites were thick and creamy mushroom soups. We had fresh vegetable salads often served with a coleslaw. We had a variety of meat dishes that included sausages, meet stews, grilled fish and chicken. We had potatoes in various forms, picked veggies, and various sauces including ajvar, a red pepper and paprika relish.
In Bosnia-Herzegovina, I especially liked Cevapi, a pita filled with lamb/beef sausages with chopped onion, sour cream, and ajvar. It was not that different from a gyro.
We also had a delicious snack which is made in different versions throughout the Balkans, berek, logs of phyllo dough filled with various stuffings including cottage cheese and feta, spinach, zucchini, etc., and some served with sweet fillings and some served at breakfast. There are shops that only sell berek.
On the left is a thick pasta dish made with potatoes – like gnocchi. On the right is a stew.
We had home hosted meals where the tables were laden with wonderful home cooked dishes.
We all liked the fried bread. It reminded me of Portuguese fried dough, but not sweet and much lighter.
Desserts included phyllo pastries like this apple turnover.
Cakes were often multiple layers. This one had custard, poppy seeds, apples, cake, and nuts!
On the left was a dry crumble of chocolate and nuts moistened with whipped cream. On the right were jam filled cookies.
We visited a bakery that specialized in licitars, heart shaped cookies that are popular throughout the region. They are decorated and embellished with a mirror and hung on Christmas trees. When a young man gives one to a girl, he says, “when you look at this cookie, you will see who is in my heart.”
We visited food markets with gorgeous produce. This one was in the center of Sarajevo across from our hotel.
On the right are strings of dried okra that are used in soups and stews.
These ceramics that I saw in Montenegro caught my eye.
In Mostar, Turkish rugs and lamps were displayed on the street and in shops.
Throughout the tour we had a very professional, organized, knowledgeable, charming, and witty guide, Damir. He opened my eyes to a wonderful region of the world with a long history and rich traditions and prospects for a prosperous future. I also enjoyed the company of 15 other travelers in the group. All were interesting, widely traveled, easy going, and on time!
I’m planning my next trip for the spring. Wait and see where I go this time!