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Local food as a cultural tourism

Categories: Gastronomy

Nikšić

Nikšić

Nikšić is situated at 640 m above sea level, in the plain surrounded by inhospitable rocky  mountains that make a typical landscape of western Montenegro. Although known as a wild beauty, entire area is favorable for farming, cattle-growing, meat and cheese production. Harsh karst highlands with huge meadows and thick pine tree forests have certainly determined the way of life and eating habits of the local people. 
The most popular traditional dishes in Niksic area must include three ingredients:  meat, cheese and potatoes. Perhaps the most delicious is the lamb roast well known all across the Balkan region, but considered here as the purest taste of lamb since the flocks of sheep are grazing in meadows along untouched highlands and green slopes.

Apart from roast lamb, Niksic is famous for goat meat served in traditional cuisine restaurants as a dish called “kaštradina” which is the combination of dark green plant from cabbage family called “raštan ” known also as black cabbage and smoked - dried goat meat. This dish is for those who like strong flavored food. 

There is a wide palette of home-made dairy products in Niksic made by local women and local small farms. Fresh cheese, goat cheese, old cheese, kajmak  and skorup (the last two as the most popular dairy  spreads)  are  served as unavoidable course of almost each and every meal, while the milk comes from the farms in the countryside of Niksic.

Crnogorski pršut - smoked ham or prosciutto, smoked meat and a selection of local cheese is normally served as a cold dish or appetizer. Beef or veal chowder usually comes as a hot appetizer within traditional meals offer. One of the most tasteful and popular main dishes, widespread also across entire Western Balkans and belongs to a category of popular slow food which requires more people to sit together at the dinner table:  meat (usually veal or lamb) with potatoes and vegetables packed in a clay – pot and roasted at the open fire or in traditional stoves for four to five hours.  

Traditional cuisine in Niksic also includes other different types of slow cooked dishes such as vegetable thick soups with bean sprouts, peas, red and white beans, mutton with cabbage, filled paprika or zucchinis, black cabbage or sour cabbage with minced meat called “sarma”, veal or pork stews. 

Most favorite drinks are fruit brandy, beer and wine, not necessarily in this order. Niksic is famous for its “rakija” (brandy)– strong clear alcoholic drink made of apple, plum, pear or quince – fruit that is typically grown in this region. In the fall there are traditional special kind of men’s gatherings in the countryside when they usually make “rakija” by distillation of fermented and previously prepared fruit. 

Niksic is known as a city of beer and steel, while the Niksic beer is among the most popular in the Western Balkans (some say because of the quality of water). Other popular types of local beer are produced in local brewery “Trebjesa”: lager, dark, unfiltered  etc.

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