Montenegro, a small hospitable country on the Adriatic coast of the Balkan Peninsula, is famous for its mild climate, the beauty of nature and ecological well-being.
This is why families with children come here so often: not only does the sun and sea air have healing and invigorating effect on children’s organism, but also natural products used in local cuisine.
To make it easier for you to choose dishes for children’s table during the holidays in Montenegro, Kidpassage offers an overview of Montenegrin culinary traditions.
The peculiarities of the cuisine in Montenegro can be explained by the geographical location of the country. The influence of Turkey, Greece, Hungary and Italy can be seen here.
However, we can find out the local gastronomic characteristics: Montenegrins prefer simple dishes, avoid a large number of spices and spices, do not pay attention to too greasy food, they prefer all kinds of heat treatment, stewing, baking or roasting on an open fire.
That is why it is easy to order food for a child who is already eating from the common table, both at the hotel and at any restaurant.
Cooking in a sachet is a special kind of cooking. This is a cast-iron pot with a thick lid. The sach is placed in the oven and covered with hot coals to make the food cooks well. Montenegrins are known as big fans of meat. It is safe to say that the national food of Montenegro is lamb and lamb, beef and veal, pork and poultry.
The gifts of the sea – fish, shellfish – are available mainly in the coastal areas. Vegetables are also on the menu, but their selection is somewhat peculiar. Thus, in summer one seldom sees zucchini or eggplant in the markets and on the menu. But sweet peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage and potatoes are in abundance. Of unusual fruits, widely used here is okra. For dressing salads olive oil is used.Bread is served to the meal, most often corn bread.
Montenegrin national dishes: familiar strangers
To have a hearty breakfast or lunch is certainly an important task. But there are some dishes in Montenegro that are worth tasting, not to fill your stomach, but to enjoy the special taste.
Prsut is a smoked or dried pork ham, typical of Montenegrin, Serbian, or Croatian cuisine. In the cuisine of Montenegro, Prsut is especially revered. Negush cheese is cheese made of sheep or goat milk, similar to bryndza, but less salty. Lisnaty cheese is a puffed cheese made in Kolashin.
One of the most unusual dishes of Montenegro with a sweetish taste and delicate consistency. Kaymak is a sour milk product that is often used as an ingredient in meat, fish and vegetable dishes. By consistency, it is something between thick sour cream and cottage cheese. The fat content of kaimac reaches 40%.
Salads: from simple to complex The most common type of salad in Montenegro is coarsely chopped seasonal vegetables dressed with oil and vinegar. Seaside areas make salads with seafood.
- Kupus salata – a salad made with fresh cabbage.
- Rusca salata – a dish reminiscent of olivier.
- Srpska salata – a spicy dish with hot peppers.
To accompany the vegetables, offer your child a pita or pata, a flatbread made of wheat flour, instead of bread.
And a piece of bourek pie with meat or cheese filling topped with a salad is as filling as a full meal.
Soups: quick and nutritious If you are used to eating thoroughly, pay attention to traditional Montenegrin soups.
- Chorba is always a rich, dense dish. It is similar to Hungarian goulash both in its density and the fact that it contains paprika. Most often this soup is prepared with meat or fish, but there is also a vegetable version.
- Chorba od povrcha is a vegetable soup. Pilecha chorba – chicken soup. Govedzha chorba – beef soup.
- Riblja chorba – fish soup. It is cooked from several kinds of fish, to make it thick they season it with flour and spices.
It is a transparent broth, unlike the chorba soup. You can season it with noodles, rice, or green peas, if you like.
Meat: the pinnacle of excellence The real feast begins when you order meat dishes of Montenegro. Portions of meat here are just huge.
Pleskaivica is a famous Montenegrin cutlet, which can be compared in size only to the Viennese schnitzel. The meat and onion mixture for pleskaivica is made only of meat and onions, and this cutlet is fried without breading.
Sacha lamb is one of the specialties of Montenegro, which is cooked in sacha. Jigerica is charcoal-grilled liver. Meshano meso is an assortment of grilled cutlets, meatballs, and sausages.
Muchcalica is a juicy, tender dish for which the meat is first roasted on an open fire and then stewed with vegetables. Leskovaczka muchcalica – meat with a huge amount of spicy spices.
Cookie – spit-roasted meat. Veshalitsa – chop with cheese and prsut stuffing. Cevapcici – chopped meat sausages, popular in the Balkans. Duvec – meat stewed with rice and vegetables, a bit like pilaf.
Minced meat is also used in many dishes, such as sarma (tiny stuffed cabbage rolls) or pugna paprika (stuffed peppers).
Fish: a rich catch Fish dishes are not peculiar to Montenegrin home cooking, but in seaside restaurants fish and seafood are cooked very tasty. There are especially many recipes for shellfish – from the usual boiled mussels to exquisitely prepared oysters.
Dalmatian goulash is a dish from several varieties of fish. Ohrid fish – fish fillets drenched in cream and baked in a crockpot. Prjeni ligni – fried calamari (usually in batter). Yaprake – baked carp, lavishly doused with cream.
Also, pilaf with seafood is often on the menu. Vegetables and porridges: not only a side dish, but also baked or boiled potatoes, grilled sweet peppers, or corn on the cob are usually offered as a garnish to the meat. Dolmatinsko varivo – boiled potatoes with greens. Zrmnicko varivo – a vegetable stew with the addition of fennel, and often wild herbs.
Kachamak – specially prepared mashed potatoes with corn flour and kaimak. Pechena paprika is a grilled sweet bell pepper. It is served with butter and minced garlic.
And in Montenegro porridge is less revered. Although one dish can be called “porridge”.
Citsvara is a dish made of corn flour boiled in the melted young cheese.
Cicvara is often eaten for breakfast in Montenegro.
Desserts: ingenuous and delicious
And in the desserts (here they are called “slatkishi”) you can feel the influence of the cuisines of neighboring countries.
In Montenegro, for example, Turkish sweets are common and much loved.
- Tulumba is one of the Turkish desserts, fried unleavened dough soaked in syrup.
- Gibanica – pie with cottage cheese filling.
- Palacinka – pancakes with a sweet filling.
- Krofne – large doughnuts with cream or marmalade.
- Priganice – small doughnuts served with kaimak or honey.
- Kifle – crescent-shaped puffs.
- Strukli – special cakes with cheese, plums, and nuts. Saviyacha sa poppy – poppy seed roll.
- Sladoled – ice cream.
Drinks: can we do without tea?
To dessert Montenegrins order coffee. Tea is almost not drunk here, but children can be offered a drink made of camomile or mint nana.
Fresh fruit is also a nice end to a meal. By the way, if you do not need to worry about the quality of food, you should be careful when drinking water: only bottled water, but never tap water.
Tips for children and their parents
What can be offered to children from the national cuisine of Montenegro? Almost everything: salads from fresh vegetables, soups, stews, grilled fish, vegetable stew. Especially good for children’s table are vegetable, chicken and beef chorba, pleskavica cutlets, lamb chops, mućkalica, dyveć, puňena paprika.
As a side dish or as a separate dish you can order dolmatinsko and zrmnicko varevo, kachamak, pechena paprika. Since Montenegrins love to pour a lot of vinegar on vegetables, tell the waiter to dress the salad for the baby with oil only. In general, the wish to change the composition of the dish by removing some of the ingredients or spices is met with understanding.
We recommend not ordering “leskovacka mukalitsa” and “srpska salata” dishes for children that are dressed with hot spices.
Be sure to offer your child Montenegrin sour milk products. Kaymak can also be ordered in a restaurant, while fresh syr (soft curd), kiselo mleko (sour milk) and natural yogurt are sold in supermarkets.
Where to try: what is konoba, fishbarnitsa and mesara In Montenegro you can safely go to the national restaurants – konoba. There they cook delicious dishes (often according to family recipes) and use only high-quality products of local origin.
The farther a restaurant from tourist places, the more chances to try dishes of Montenegrin national cuisine and eat to excess: portions in konobas are huge.
Choosing what to try, you can not order a separate dish for the child, and divide a large portion for two. Breakfasts in Montenegrin cafes are very simple: boureki with yogurt, pancakes with jam or unsweetened filling, cicewara or scrambled eggs. Meat and fish are usually eaten at lunch and for dinner. Note that in Montenegro there is a surprisingly high quality fast food.
For example, a hamburger here consists of a piece of fried meat, fresh vegetables and a soft bun. The hamburger kiosks also sell sausages and kebabs. We also advise you to remember the names “fishbarnitsa” and “mesara”.
These are stores where they sell, respectively, fish and meat. And not only sell them, but if you want, they clean them (this applies to fish) and grill them.
The name “pekara” is most correctly translated as “bakery” because they do not sell desserts, but pittas, bureks and other fresh pastries.
The bakeries have small tables where you can eat right away, but you will be offered yogurt instead of tea and coffee.