Beyond ajvar, burek and ćevapi: building your kafana cred with must-try offal and regional dishes

While Serbia and the Balkans come nowhere near Italy in purism about food and food related customs (aka culinary fascism), there are certain things that are not done, and certain other signs that signal to you that you are in the presence of a true gastronomic veteran. For example, one of the main tells that you are a non-local in Serbia is ordering ajvar in … Continue reading Beyond ajvar, burek and ćevapi: building your kafana cred with must-try offal and regional dishes

Montenegrin roadtrip: Tito’s villas, best lamb roasts in Grahovo, castles and monasteries

Even with the current petrol prices, the best way to enjoy Monetnegro is by car. There is stunning scenery almost literally wherever you look, you can see many unexplored places, you don’t have to rely on public transport (although scenic rail is still notoriously unreliable) and/or get stuck in the usual tourist haunts all of which, after a few days, become a bit stale. Furthermore, … Continue reading Montenegrin roadtrip: Tito’s villas, best lamb roasts in Grahovo, castles and monasteries

Belgrade to Novi Sad on Soko express

Train travel used to be the stuff of nightmares in Serbia. While I was in highschool I remember packing up lots of food for a 90km train ride to Novi Sad, while any attempts to venture further – to Zagreb and Budapest (both about 400km away from Belgrade) – were day-long out trips in crappy trains that stopped in crappy stations. I n a lot … Continue reading Belgrade to Novi Sad on Soko express

Pokretači #135 Staša Tončev iz 21grams o balkanskoj duši u Dubaiu

Straša Tončev je pokretač 21grams – izuzetnog restorana balkanske hrane u Dubaiu koji je uspeo da dovede dušu naših protora na ovo zahvetno tržište. Pričali smo o nagradama koje su ona i 21grams uspeli da osvoje, pokretanju posla u stranoj zemlji i tome šta je duša naše hrane. Beleške Lokacije 21grams u Meyan Mallu kod Jumeriah beach-a i u TimeOut Marketu kod Burj Khalife Tekstovi … Continue reading Pokretači #135 Staša Tončev iz 21grams o balkanskoj duši u Dubaiu

Where to go in Serbia in 2020?

Spring is almost here, and given the global Corona virus health scare it will probably make sense to keep travels local in the next few months. Following the tradition of my recommendations from 2019 here are a few suggestion on what to check out in Serbia in 2020. Niš appeal Serbia’s third largest city, with the second largest airport in the country, is unjustly overlooked … Continue reading Where to go in Serbia in 2020?

All is Fair in Love and “Hybrid War”: How “Russian Interference” and “Fake News” Narratives Are Used to Further Stalinist Causes in an EU Candidate Country

A dispute involving a church and government in a mountainous European country of 600,000 people, is hardly the stuff that is normally deemed relevant  in the context of global politics. However what has been going on in Montenegro in the past two months should be an indicator of how governments, in their attempt to cling on to power, can and will weaponize their legal systems … Continue reading All is Fair in Love and “Hybrid War”: How “Russian Interference” and “Fake News” Narratives Are Used to Further Stalinist Causes in an EU Candidate Country

Autumnal Road Trip Down the Drina

One of my favourite family trips was going rafting on the Tara river in the summer of 2011. Back then, I had little knowledge of how beautiful the nature is in the Balkans, and was sad that I will not get the chance to explore it at leisure as I was set to move half-way around the world (that, thankfully, did not happen, but I … Continue reading Autumnal Road Trip Down the Drina

Pokretači #57 Dr Ana Russell-Omaljev – Contemporary Balkan Art / London

Dr Ana Russell-Omaljev o radu na promociji kreativaca sa Balkana u Londonu kroz Contemporary Balkan Art (CoBA) i naporima da se percepcija našeg regiona ispravi kroz sjajnu umetnost koja se ovde stvara. CoBA takodje organizuje Southeast European Future Festival čije je najskorije izdanje bilo u septembru 2019-e u Rich Mix kulturnom centru u Shoreditch-u. Beleške Anina knjiga o identitetima u Srbiji Divided We Stand: Discourses … Continue reading Pokretači #57 Dr Ana Russell-Omaljev – Contemporary Balkan Art / London

Going “Down South”

Apart from expressions of admiration for the beauty we were almost constantly seeing, the most common conversation topic within my group touring Serbian heritage sites in Kosovo and Metohija was hushed and almost embarrassed question: „Why did you decide to come here?“.  It was closely followed by an admission, that seemed to unite all of us : “My friends and family thought  that I was … Continue reading Going “Down South”

Northern Macedonia: (Quint)essential Balkan Country

Stunning scenery, beautiful historic sites and friendly faces are what you can find almost anywhere in Northern Macedonia. During both of my recent trips to the country, I was in equal measures surprised by the how wonderful many of its sites are – from the ruins of Marko’s Fortress in the dramatic hills over Prilep to the bustling Bitpazar market in Skopje – and shocked … Continue reading Northern Macedonia: (Quint)essential Balkan Country

Hip Markets to Majestic Mosaics: Four Things to Look Forward to in Belgrade in 2019

Due to a culture of unrealistic promises and hectic decision-making, it is often impossible to know for certain when, and even if things will happen in Belgrade. Nevertheless, in order to keep the spirits up during these dark snowy days here are four things, with a reasonably high probability of happing, which I hope will make life in Belgrade a bit more fun this year. … Continue reading Hip Markets to Majestic Mosaics: Four Things to Look Forward to in Belgrade in 2019

Brief Histories of Favourite Balkan Foods

While foreign rule and power struggles often brought havoc to the Balkan peoples, it also left behind a diverse cuisine in which various influences merge and make the best use of the region’s fertile lands. While some regional specialities do not cross borders, the limits between the national cuisines in the Balkans tend to be blurry, with many nations enjoying same foods, albeit claiming them … Continue reading Brief Histories of Favourite Balkan Foods

Four Places You Need to Visit in Serbia in 2019

In the past few years, tourism has been booming in Serbia thanks to the country’s better connectivity with the rest of the world. According to the Serbian Statistical Office, between January and September almost two million people visited the country, a growth of about 11 per cent compared to the same time period in 2017. While most of those visiting the country stay in its … Continue reading Four Places You Need to Visit in Serbia in 2019