The foods eaten by the people of Serbia

The culinary landscape of Serbia has evolved significantly over the last 500 years, reflecting the country's complex history and various cultural influences. Here is an overview of the foods that have shaped Serbian cuisine through different periods:

Ottoman Influence

  1. Grains: Millet, rice, and maize were introduced or became more prominent during the Ottoman rule.
  2. Stuffed Vegetables: Dishes like sarma (cabbage rolls) and stuffed peppers owe their presence to Ottoman culinary traditions.
  3. Sweets: The famous baklava, tufahija (walnut-stuffed apples), and Turkish delight are all sweets that entered Serbian cuisine due to Ottoman influence.

Austro-Hungarian Influence

  1. Meats: Various sausages, smoked meats, and dishes like schnitzel became popular due to Austro-Hungarian influence.
  2. Bread and Pastries: Types of bread, strudels, and other pastries reflect Central European culinary traditions.
  3. Dairy: The use of dairy products like sour cream in various dishes.

Traditional Serbian Foods

  1. Ćevapi: Grilled minced meat, a staple in Serbian cuisine.
  2. Pljeskavica: Serbian hamburger, often spiced and sometimes filled with cheese.
  3. Ajvar: Red pepper-based condiment, usually prepared in autumn.
  4. Kajmak: A creamy dairy product similar to clotted cream, often used as a spread or in cooking.
  5. Sogan-dolma: Stuffed onions in a tomato-based sauce.
  6. Podvarak: Roast meat with sauerkraut or shredded fresh cabbage.
  7. Riblja Čorba: A spicy fish soup often consumed as a first course.


  1. Rakija: A fruit brandy, often homemade, is a popular alcoholic drink.
  2. Turkish Coffee: A leftover from Ottoman times, this style of coffee is prevalent.
  3. Jelen and Lav: Popular brands of Serbian beer.

Modern Times

  1. Fast Food: Globalization has brought fast food and international cuisine to Serbia, but local fast food like ćevapi, burek, and sarma are still very popular.
  2. Vegetarianism: While traditionally a meat-heavy cuisine, vegetarianism and veganism are becoming more prevalent, especially in urban areas.
  3. Wine Culture: Serbia has an increasingly prominent wine culture, with both local and international varieties being cultivated.

Over the years, Serbian cuisine has continued to evolve, blending its rich history with new influences, making it a fascinating and delicious reflection of the country's past and present.

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