There are many interesting facts and stories that inspire people to visit Montenegro. Besides its rich and long history, things that draw people to these parts of the Mediterranean are also food-based delicacies.
All kinds of meat are as equally as popular as fish, and what’s very common also are plant and milk infused traditional dishes in Montenegro, that you can taste almost anytime you venture inland. Mutton, lamb, pork, beef and poultry are part of almost every bigger dish of diverse Montenegro cuisine, they give a variety of choices but are often prepared with some domestic food in Montenegro, and a delicacy such as “kajmak”.
This text will proudly present to you some of the best traditional Montenegro food, show you the differences in eating them in several parts of our beautiful country and try to enhance Montenegro’s popularity through the eye of a selective, gourmand context.
Organically picked and raised traditional food of Montenegro
Traditional Montenegro food possesses an authentic tradition built on simple and easy recipes, created with fresh and organic ingredients. Every region has their own traditional Montenegro specialities and types of foods, and the locals are very proud of their various culinary offering. Strangers are most welcome to taste, but also see the making process of their dishes.
Most of those fulfilling traditional Montenegro food is farm-based, and it will be inquired of you to visit some villager and eat in domestic farms, rustic restaurants or even at some friends home – Montenegrins are well known for their hospitality and ways of getting into people’s hearts.
The real comfort food – traditional Montenegro food tastes like heaven
Montenegrins are very passionate about everything they do, and, when put that way, it’s easily understood why the food here tastes different, even better. Traditional Montenegro food strongly shaped our history, behaviour of the citizens and whole culture.
Due to the history of Montenegro as a country on the Balkans, you can find many similarities in basically everything: from food to customs, but thankfully to Montenegro’s “adoptions” with the other neighbouring countries outside the Balkans – our country emerged with a unique taste for living and food that you can’t find and enjoy only here.
The table of joy – domestic Montenegro flavours
The average Montenegrin table at the farm or in a village consists generally of variations of meat – smoked and roasted, fresh cheese and other more or less known dairy delicacies, homemade bread and pies, salads of all kinds, made from fresh vegetables. At the table, your host, or – “domaćin”, will present you with different types of soups and flavoured dishes such as stews.
You’re not part of the family until you sit down and eat three plates full of several different culinary wonders and choose to treat your appetite and stomach with some of the best known and loved traditional Montenegro food that we will present to you. Prijatno – Bon appetite!
Meat as a holy grail of traditional Montenegro food
Like almost every country on the Balkans, Montenegro traditional food has based its purpose on including different types of meat in its daily cuisine, and there is almost no man in Montenegro that would give up meat. Meaty meals have sustained hard-working people in the mounty-rock inlands, and some of those meat-based traditional Montenegro meals have made their way into many popular restaurants.
Lamb and veal chops – deliciousness in milk or under a baking bell
One can easily tell that by the selection of the meat that inland Montenegrins are fond of – lamb and veal are the most common choices. These types of meats are usually served with onions, largely chopped potatoes and fresh vegetable salads.
Ways of cooking are different but between most popular, and certainly most beloved by the nation and visitors are chops cooked in milk with different seasonings, or meat baked under the baking bell, on hot coal. Meat prepared in this way realises juices and other aromas that soften the chops and make a natural and delicious gravy.
Japraci are meat and rice-based traditional Montenegro food
Although this dish has many similarities with another Balcan speciality – sarma, Japraci are much richer in flavours and more nutritious. This traditional Montenegro food is prepared with a generous amount of veal meat, rice, pepper and other seasonings. Sometimes, for the fuller aroma and richness smoked meat is added. The fatty parts of all the given meat realise a juicy like consistency that no one can resist.
Meaty fritters of Podgorica – a crispy traditional dish of Montenegro
We all like a good gourmand dish that is well presented and attractive. One of those marvels can be found in many Montenegrin cities, but the best place to look for the original recipe is Podgorica – our beloved capital.
Fritters from Pogrorica are a specially arranged and devotedly prepared steak, wrapped around a chunk of cheese, an older (fattier) piece of kajmak and a slice of prosciutto, topped with some bread crumbs and fried that way.
Smoked meat and homemade bread – the Montenegro national dish
Prosciutto, especially the star one, the Njegusi prosciutto which can be considered Montenegro national dish, different types of sausages, hams and other fine chopped, smoked meat is probably the best ambassador of the Montenegrin cuisine, especially the traditional food of Montenegro. Many of those delicacies are state-protected, because although there are many other similar products in the Balkans – the smoked meat from Montenegro is far better, and one of the most valued in the world.
Now bread is something else. When an old lady-cook prepares you a hot, golden loaf that smokes of the table, you might wish not to eat anything else – it has happened. Domestic corn, rye or wheat flour is mixed to provide a supreme taste and smell.
Traditional bread and loaves are the essential components of every successful lunch or dinner, but no meal is complete without some fritters topped with honey, homemade jam or just powdered sugar. There are people that prefer them in salty versions, like the ones with sour cream, cheese or kajmak.
Pies, popara or kačamak? Which Montenegro traditional dish do you choose?
Montenegro traditional food choices are that diverse and rich that even pies are not just pies but culinary work of arts that come in many shapes and fillings. People around here just love to bake, to mix and stir, to create something new and yet unseen. That is the reason why traditional Montenegro food will be in our hearts forever.
When choosing a pie, you can’t go wrong with spinach, cheese or potatoes, but if you wish to experience a long term traditional breakfast in this areas, feel free to order “kačamak” – corn flour-based porridge, served with sour cream or yoghurt.
Also, by mixing old bread chunks, some milk, water and grease you are given “popara” – also an interesting type of porridge, very affordable yet deeply rooted in the Montenegrin culture.
Dairy products that exist only here
Did you know that no yoghurt is Montenegrin yoghurt? This, dairy delicacy is much different in the Balcans, as you will probably notice during your touristic adventure through our beautiful lands. Although the Turks provided people in these areas with the recipe for yoghurt – the Montenegrins have refined the making and given a special kind of milk-based food to the other, surrounding nations.
Besides a special and irresistible taste of yoghurt, between Montenegro traditional food you can find sour cream, a unique sort of buttercream – a little thicker than our yoghurt, but in your adventure through Montenegro one can never miss trying out some kajmak (a thich residue that forms on freshly cooked milk, that is collected and preserved for later use).
There are many delicious meals prepared with kajmak or a lump of old Montenegrin cheese, such as cicvara or cheesy porridge – a high in calories but very pleasant tasting porridge originating from Durmitor, that is made of young and fresh cow cheese or kajmak, stirred with flour until all the fatties are liberated.
No feast goes by without a selection of different and fresh vegetables such as potatoes, chard, spinach and other leafy greens, cabbage, zucchinis, bell peppers. These greens are every soup main ingredient, sometimes appetisers but mainly are served besides meat.
Is there a better way to finish a meal but drinking a glass of domestic, sweet and sour vine? Many Montenegrins would say no, and once you are given the opportunity to try out some of the harvests – further explanation won’t be needed.
An excellent wine to top of the exquisite traditional cuisine
Traditional Montenegro food and cuisine has just started to be also known for its’ wines, beers and rakias. You won’t be allowed to leave the country without trying some of the best of both drinks, and we are about to show you what to enjoy first.
You may have never heard of Montenegrin wines before but they are quite unique and definitely worth trying. This should be easy because they are widely available in local restaurant menus.
Montenegro has the largest vineyard in Europe belonging to Plantaze and measuring 2,000 hectares. The vineyard and cellars are located towards the southeast mountains, near the capital of Podgorica and the border with Albania, so it’s quite a sight too.
Aside from Plantaze, there are several other wineries in Montenegro with wonderful wines, and the most important autochthonous grape variety is Vranac – named after a local Montenegrin word for black horse and refers to the feisty and strong red grape.
Radevic Estate produces “Aman Saint Stefan” – with red wine as one of their best selling brands. As you can imagine, the St. Stefan island has of the country’s most luxurious hotels, and the wines that are produced there are all premium wines, packed in long, luxurious black bottles.
If you got hungry from all the traditional Montenegro food presentation, there is no other but to plan another adventure, straight to our country. Montenegro can really satisfy many different tastes, starting from modern or traditional Montenegro food and drinks, all the way to exceptional and luxurious accommodation in one of the nicest marinas of Europe.