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The Serbian cuisine is a heterogeneous one, influenced by the Mediterraneans (Byzantine Empire/Greece), Oriental (Turkish) and Austro-Hungarian cuisine.

It has unique mix of various traditions; Serbian confectioneries are places where koljivo, baklava, nut roll and sachertorte live in perfect harmony. In recent times the Serbian diaspora has spread the cuisine across the world.

Most people in Serbia will have three meals daily, breakfast, lunch and dinner, with lunch being the largest in the Mediterranean fashion. However, traditionally, only lunch and dinner existed, with breakfast being introduced in the second half of the 19th century[1].

A number of foods which are simply bought in the West, are often made at home in Serbia; this include rakija (fruit brandy), slatko, jam, jelly, various pickled foods, notably kiseli kupus (sauerkraut), ajvar and even sausages. The reasons for this range from economical to cultural. Food preparation is a strong part of the Serbian family tradition.

Serbian cuisine is generally lacking in spices and herbs: practically only black pepper and ground paprika are in widespread use, along with parsley used for soups[2]. Other spices sometimes used include white pepper, allspice, Coriandrum sativum, laurel celery and clove.



The first published cookbook in Serbia is Pata's Cookbook (Patin kuvar), written by Spasenija Pata Marković in 1907; the book remains in publication even today[3].


Here, some typical meals of Serbian cuisine will be presented. Note that a number of them might originate, also be typical, or at least known as local meals, in other parts of the world. Also, some links below point to similar meals from other cuisines and/or better known to English speakers; the traditional Serbian recipes may differ in details.



Serbian Rolled Burek (Pitice)

Breakfast in Serbia is an early but hearty meal, although before breakfest most people usually take a cup of coffee, in modern times maybe an espresso. With the breakfest itself either a tea, milk, milk coffee, or cocoa milk is served, pastries or bread are served with butter, jam, yoghurt, sour cream and cheese, accompanied by bacon, sausages, salami, scrambled eggs and kajmak.


Fish soup

There are two types of soups in Serbian cuisine: standard soups called supa, and soups with roux (browned flour) - called čorba. The most common are simple pottages made of beef or poultry with added noodles. Fish soup (riblja čorba) and lamb soup (jagnjeca čorba) are considered to be delicacies.

  • Goveđa supa (Consommé)
  • Teleća čorba (veal ragout soup)
  • Jagnjeća čorba (lamb ragout soup)
  • Riblja čorba - Alaska (freshwater fishermen fish soup)
  • Čorba od ječma i sočiva (Barley and lentil soup)
  • Čorba od zelja i sira
  • Čorba od spanaća, koprive ili zelja
  • Čorba od boranije
  • Paradajz čorba (Tomato soup)
  • Čorba od luka (Onion soup)
  • Ljuta krompir čorba (Spicy potato soup)
  • Čorba jajaruša
  • Alaska čorba (fiery river fish stew)
  • Škembe čorba (tripe soup)

Main course

Roštilj (Barbecue)

Barbecue is very popular in Serbia, and makes the primary offer of main courses in most restaurants. It is often eaten as fast food.

Ćevapčići, a national dish of Serbia
Pljeskavica, also a national dish of Serbia

Other popular main course dishes

Roasted piglet
Serbian sarma

Meat products


Often made during svinjokolj:

Dairy Products

Bread and Porridges

Soda bread

Bread is the basis of Serbian meals and it is often treated almost ritually. A traditional Serbian welcome is to offer the guest with just bread and salt; bread also plays an importrant role in religious rituals. Some people believe that it is sinful to throw away bread regardless of how old it is. Although pasta, rice, potato and similar side dishes did enter the everyday cuisine, many Serbs still eat bread with these meals.

In most bakeries and shops, white wheat bread loafs (typically 600 grams) are sold. In modern times, black bread and various graham bread variations regain popularity as a part of more healthy diets. In many rural households, bread is still baked in ovens, usually in bigger loafs. Also, the following breads and porridges are part of the traditional cuisine:



Serbian word for pie is "pita", which should not be confused with Greek pita. Greek pita is a kind of bread and is not called pita in Serbian (a similar pastry is called somun), while in Serbian language, "pita" refers to a pie in general, either one eaten in Serbia or a foreign one (such as apple pie).

A Serbian pie could, in general, be called in two ways: according to its mode of preparation, and according to its filling (although not every pie is prepared with every filling). For example, a "bundevara" is a pie filled with pumpkin and could refer to either a savijača (made of rolled phyllo) or a štrudla (made of rolled dough). Both sweet and salty pies are made, and some pies could be prepared in the same way with either sweet or salty filling.

A number of Serbian pies are made with phyllo, called "kore" in Serbian language. These include:

  • Burek
  • Gibanica
  • Savijača
  • Čalabrca
  • Pita
    • sa sirom (cheese pie)
    • sa jabukama (rolled apple pie)
    • s višnjama (sour cherries pie)
    • sa spanaćom (spinach pie)
    • s gljivama (mushrooms pie)
    • krompiruša (potato pie)
    • od praziluka (leek pie)
    • Uvijena pita zeljanica (sorrel pie)
    • Bundevara (pumpkin pie)

A common Serbian pie, not made with phyllo, is called "štrudla". To add to the confusion, it is not similar to strudel, but rather to the nut roll; but it is commonly made with poppy seeds and not walnuts. Various štrudlas include:

  • štrudla s makom, also called makovnjača (nut roll with poppy seeds)
  • štrudla s orasima (nut roll with walnuts)
  • štrudla sa sirom (nut roll filled with cheese, eggs, and usually raisins)

Tarts and similar pies have appeared in Serbian bakeries relatively recently and are not a traditional meal.


Šopska salata

In Serbia, salads are typically eaten with the main course and not as an appetizer. Common salads include:




Vasa's torte (type of cake)
Typical Baklava
  • Alva
  • Baklava
  • Compote (kompot)
  • Dobos Torte (Doboš Torta - Dobosh Torte)
  • Doughnuts (krofne)
  • Jam (džem and pekmez - preserve)
  • Slatko (fruits in jelly)
  • Kadaif
  • Knedle (Knedle sa šljivama - also called Gomboce in Banat)
  • Kuglof
  • Krofne (doughnuts)
  • Kitnikes
  • Krempita (custard pie)
  • Makovnjača
  • Oblande (Oblatne)
  • Orasnice
  • Palačinke (crepes)
  • Profiterole (princes krofne)
  • Serbian Cherry pie(Pita od Višanja- sour cherries and walnuts with fillo dough)
  • Salčići
  • Shampita (Šampita - Tasty whipped marshmallow-type desert with fillo dough crust.)
  • Shenokl (Šenokle)
  • Štrudla
  • Ratluk, Turkish delight
  • Ruske Kape
  • Reform Torte see information about torte
  • Rice pudding (sutlijaš - rice pudding with cinnamon)
  • Tufahije
  • Tulumbe
  • Urmašice
  • Uštipci
  • Vanilice
  • Vasa's torte (Vasina torta - traditional Serbian cake (torte) rich in chocolate, nut and orange flavour (see recipe in external links))
  • Žito (ceremonial sweet made of wheat, walnuts and some raisins)


Koljivo from wheat



High quality and quantity of fruit and abundance of water result in a number of high-quality fruit juices and mineral waters produced in Serbia, and being among its most widely known exports. There are few domestic carbonated soft drinks however. An interesting traditional soft drink, made from corn, now less commonly consumed is boza. Kvas is also being made by some breweries.

Serbian coffee, Turkish coffee prepared the Serbian way (домаћа кафа 'domestic coffee' or кафа 'coffee'. Especially strong coffee (without sugar and milk) is often referred to as 'Turkish' or 'black' coffee) is a traditional drink of Serbs. Tea is far less popular and mostly herbal teas are consumed, drunk on their own or as supplementary medicine.

Of dairies, yoghurt is common, as are kefir and similar varieties.

The famous Serbian Knjaz Milos mineral water is considered a national brand and can be used in any meal, also with the traditional greeting sweets "Slatko".


Sljivovica is a famous alcoholic drink in Serbia

Beer is widely enjoyed in Serbia, which has 14 breweries (see Beer in Serbia). Even though rakija is the traditional Serbian drink, wine is popular too.

Of distilled beverages, the most popular are various fruit brandies called rakija. Comparatively many people brew their own rakija, which is highly prized by friends and relatives. Various kinds of rakija are named after fruit they are made of; among the most known ones are:


In a February 2004, in an online poll conducted by, the largest Serbian search engine,[4] 5304 visitors voted on what is the "best domestic beer". The winner was Jelen, with 30% of the votes, followed by MB (26%), and Nikšićko (16%), while all other brews received 7% or less votes.[5]




Some specific kitchenware for Serbia are:

See also

External links


  1. ^ Antonić, Dragomir (2006-07-23). "Царство за гибаницу" (in Serbian). Politika 33300 (Politika): p. 11. 
  2. ^ "" (in Serbian). Ekonomist magazine. 2006-12-11. 
  3. ^ Istorija pisanja kuvara u Srbiji
  4. ^
  5. ^ On-line "best domestic beer" poll,


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