Results tagged “meat”


bosnia-herzegovina, bulgaria, croatia, serbia

Meatballs, or 'minced meat fingers' as they are often translated, are found all over the Balkans.  The best I have had were in Belgrade, served with fantastic kaymak (slightly soured clotted cream) and ajvar (red pepper relish).  They are also great with pickled cucumbers or raw chopped onion, and puffy white bread.  To mimic kaymak, simply mix clotted cream with a little sour cream and a pinch or two of salt.  

Cevapcici.JPGThis recipe is very simple.  The secret to success is making the mixture ahead of time, and then cooking the čevapčiči at the last minute and serving them immediately, since they dry out quickly. 


In Tuscany some tell you never to season the meat with salt before cooking it as it makes the meat tough.  In my experience seasoning the meat in advance hugely improves flavour and does not make it all tough, as long as you don’t overcook it.  Rocket leaves are traditional, but I like a mix of rocket and watercress and whatever else is to hand.  And for a further British touch I serve creamed horseradish alongside. 


Ten Turkish tastes

Copy (1) of Smzelispazaraubergines0001.JPGIt's ridiculous to try to sum up Turkish cuisine in 10 flavours.  Turkish cuisine is hugely rich and infinitely varied, not least because a) Turkey's absolutely enormous - have you looked at a map recently? - comprising three different coastlines, high snowy mountains, very hot, dry plains and lush wooded hillsides, among other things, and b) its cooking has been influenced over the centuries by Mongolian, Chinese, Persian and Greek cultures and then, through the enormous Ottoman empire and its trade routes, many more, including Moroccan and French.

But I'll give it a go...

Sensitive balls

Smiclikofteplated0001.JPGIt’s not all tea and candy in Turkey of course, and meat is a very important part of the diet for most Turks.  Of course practically no pork - which was a nice change for us after our pork ‘n’ lard fest in central and eastern Europe. 

Beef and lamb are the most common red meats, with beef overtaking lamb, especially in the west, due to the increase of factory farming and hence smaller price tag.  (Lower price in terms of pennies from the customer’s pocket that is, not cost to their health, the cows’ wellbeing or the environment, of course…) 

And there’s plenty of chicken too, but we found those dishes less interesting.  So I'm not writing about them here.  Instead you can find out about 'sensitive balls'...


Culinary Anthropologist