Gastronomy in Montenegro

If you know where somebody lives in Montenegro, you can guess what s/he eats. Cuisine succumbs to the relief and takes what the nature has to offer. Culinary art of Montenegro blends in the best possible way the gifts of the Mediterranean and the treasures of the mountains from the north.

It is faithful to tradition, and yet open to experiment. You will find the basic European cuisine in restau¬rants, but what you should try by all means is: lamb or kid's meat under sac, pivski kajmak (special milk cream from Piva), clear fish soup and boiled fish, fried carp and smoked bleak. Then pour wine Vranac or Krstac on it all, have something sweet like cheese cake, peach or water melon; then relax in the afternoon with Niksicko beer, and in the early evening invigorate yourself with grape brandy, along with smoked ham, goat cheese and tomatoes. If you opt for a slap up dinner you can add some surmuletts in the frying pan or a grilled greater amberjack.

The vilage of Njegusi

Under the peak of the mountain Lovcen there is the village Njegusi, known for its numerous speci¬alities: smoked ham, cheese, kas- tradina (dried mutton) and sausages. Smoked ham is made of pork, and its particular taste and aroma are the result of the mixture of sea and mountain air and wood burned for drying them.

Mediterranean moderateness is the virtue of the seaside diet. It is based on cereals, fish and olives. Fishermen go fishing in the coastal belt with small and medium size boats, not venturing into great depths. Most often there is surmulett in the net, and if one is lucky there is also a common dentex, pandora, gilthead sea-bream. Fishermen's delights be¬gin from mid summer: they come across migratory fish, from small greater amberjack, to gray mullet, bonitos, leerfish, greater amberjack and dolphinfish, then by the end of summer they fish for large shoals of horse mackerel and pilchards.

Fish is mainly prepared grilled, boiled, stewed and fried. Grilled fish is prepared on barbecue. During grilling it is sprinkled with aromatic herbs, most frequently rosemary. It is served with a topping made of garlic, parsley and olive oil, with veg¬etables and lettuce. Boiled fish is pre¬pared in water to which oil, wine, wine vinegar, onion, bay leaf and other spices are added. It is served with boiled potatoes or chard and is an ideal choice for dinner. Fish stew is prepared from several kinds of fish (dusky grouper, scorpion fish, moray, gray mullet, cuttle-fish). Polenta - hard corn mush is served with it.

Carp in pan

At Skadar lake carp and small bleak, which is caught in large quan-tities and therefore dried, are most often caught. Specialties of the lake cuisine are carp in a frying pan, pre-pared with dried plums, apples and quince, carp fried with onions, eel with rice, grilled eel... What is partic-ularly highly valued is smoked carp, and something else one remembers for a long time is the taste of dried bleak, fried for a short time or boiled and prepared as a salad.

Owing to the rich pastures of Dur- mitor, Sinjajevina and Bjelasica, dairy products and meat from the moun¬tains of Montenegrin north are a real generator of life energy. There is nothing like the taste of lamb un¬der sac, of the grilled trout or the one prepared in sour milk and of various kinds of game. Home made sour milk goes perfectly with the tradi¬tional dishes kacamak and cicvara.