The Republic of Macedonia maybe a small country, but it has some delicious dishes that makes this land of sun also the land of flavor. Because of its rich soil, Macedonian cuisine is full of freshness and comfort – all at the same time. Here are some of the traditional dishes that you should enjoy to eat like a Macedonian.
For a meal on the go, Macedonian’s enjoy burek or zelnik. These Macedonian phyllo-stuffed pastry pies are filled with cheese, spinach, poppy, leeks, pumpkin, potato and countless flavors and variations. You drink matenica (sour milk) with them. We highly recommend trying zelnik, which is loaded with feta cheese, leeks, eggs, spinach and ground meat.Because Macedonia is surrounded by mountains, many meals combine meat and vegetables cooked in the traditional earthenware from Macedonia, such as turlitava, consisting of okra, potatoes, eggplant, ground meat, peppers, carrots, rice and onion. If you love a good and hearty stew, turlitava is the dish for you. It is usually served with a side of plain yogurt. From the town of Kočani, they cook an incredible combination of chicken and rice in a pan. Travel to Kumanovo, where they serve a specialty dish called mezaluk, prepared with lamb meat and lamb kidneys and heart, cooked with vegetables. Selsko meso (village meat) is a very traditional pork or beef dish mixed with onions, mushrooms, spices, tomatoes and some delicious smoked meat, which gives this dish its distinct flavor. Tavče gravče (beans cooked in a skillet) is a thick and chunky bean stew, using a variety of different spices and vegetables that enhance its flavor, including fresh Macedonian paprika. Kompir mandza (potato stew) relies on chunky potatoes, meat, parsley, tomato, onion, garlic and carrots.
If you had your fill on dishes served in pans or in the Macedonia earthenware, then let me introduce you to pastrmajlija. This oval-shaped fried dough pie is sooo good that Macedonia has a festival for this dish. I don’t know about you, but anything that includes the words “fried” and “dough,” has called my name. 😉 Pastrmajlija is usually topped with salted, cubed meat.
The story of the Macedonian cuisine is incomplete without the mention of ajvar and one of its variations, pinjur. They carries the charm of the whole Macedonian cuisine. At the end of the meal, enjoy some baklava with walnuts and raisins and Turkish coffee, which is mostly common in Macedonia.