Wednesday, November 13

Mountain Wreath of Montenegro

"Everyone is born to die once ,
honour and shame are eternal! "

Petar II Petrovic Njegos

"In times of  prosperity, being kind is easy,
In times of torment true heroes are recognized!"

"Where the law lies in the mace, inhumanity fills the air."

" No one can tastes sweet honey 
before tasting bitter bile;
bitter bile calles for sweet honey
 when mixed together is easiest to swallow. "

Petar II Petrović-Njegoš (Serbian Cyrillic: Петар II Петровић Његош, pronounced [pêtar drûɡiː pětroʋit͡ɕ ɲêɡoʃ] was born exactly two hundred years ago in Crna Gora (Montenegro )(13 November 1813 – 31 October 1851). He was the Prince-Bishop of Montenegro, the Serbian Orthodox Metropolitan of Cetinje and a above all one of the greatest philosophers and poets of his time. 
As a ruler and reformer, he led one small country of Montenegro to become Bastille and symbol of freedom from Ottoman Empire who never succeded to ocuppied it completely. Mountaonous region, heroic people and great leaders like Njegos were main reason for that. Njegos also introduced to this primitive mountain communities fair taxation, codified set of laws based upon common rights etc.  He became a leading proponent of liberating and uniting the Serbs, although this did not occur during his lifetime, he successfully laid foundations for political and cultural ideas of Yugoslavism and at the same time introduced modern political concepts to Montenegro.
Venerated as a poet and philosopher Njegoš is especially known for writing the epic poem The Mountain Wreath, which is considered to be a masterpiece of Serbian and South Slavic literature, as well as the national epic of Montenegro, Serbia and both the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Coast of Montenegro has loads of history - old town of Budva

The Bay of Kotor 

Mountainous area of Zabljak where you can experience untouched nature

Njegoš has remained largely influential in Montenegro, as well as in neighbouring countries. His works have been used as ideological tools by a wide variety of revolutionary and liberation groups on Balkans including nationalists and Communists. In 2011, he was deemed the "Montenegrin Shakespeare" by the British newspaper The Independent.

Today Njegos has been quoted often in real life all over Eastern Europe as his wise words can always find place and be related to todays world. His philosophy led his Montenegrin people to be proud, heroic and to put some moral values above all in life. 
As some of his thoughts ,like "Everyone was born to die once, honour and disgrace live forever ! ", are still very alive and still part of ordinary people's life philosophy.

That's why I wanted to introduce you to few other areas of Montenegrin culture: tradition, crafts and food, as my blog is mostly about that..

Montenegrin cap
Gusle play in villages

Let's mention something so characteristic about this region regarding music: Gusle, one stringed musical instrument where epic poems were performed if front of villages and transfered trough generations this way.

Handmade shirt
Traditional hand made clothes

Montenegrin Recipes

Gastronomy of Montenegro is very simple and it reflects modest and inaccessible nature and high mountains with mostly sheep, goats and vegetables like kale. So milk and cheese with high fat content or kajmak (kaymak) is added to almost every meal.

Presukači or Zeta cake
Mix flour , salt and water . Knead the dough as tightly as pie . Tear the small balls that are stretched with rolling pin and fry in hot oil on both sides . Presukači are to be served with the young and old cheese , jam or with honey .

Cook white potatoes until they are fully cooked. When the water is cooked but add in wheat or corn flour that it absorbs water and cook the mixture until is fully cooked (30 min). Then remove it from heat and add kajmak, cheese and cream . 
Kacamak is served with sour milk or yogurt.

Dried boiled mutton - specific taste and smell . Usually ready to split up, although the national restaurants serve as a main dish.

Green plants from the cabbage family-closest to kale. It's harvested in sheets ,washed and chopped and then cooked with finely chopped carrots and onions. Towards the end of cooking, add the finely chopped white potato. 
Raštan taste the best if is cooked with a fatty smoked meat, it gets the right flavor and taste.

The main feature of this dish is the cover in which this dish is prepared. Sac or Crepulja dish is most often made ​​of cast iron and used it to cover the pan with the meat and potatoes . It is something like Montenegrin tagine - The dish is very aromatic and delicious because sac does not allow the liquid to evaporate and leave aroma in food.

Lamb in milk
Needed:1.5 kg lamb than the shoulders or sirloin , 1.5 liter of milk , 3 carrots , 2 bay leaves , 5 - 6 peppercorns, 1 kg potatoes, parsley and salt .
The meat is washed , put in a pot and cover with milk . Add a whole carrots , bay leaves , pepper and salt to taste . In another pot cook the peeled whole potatoes. When the meat is cooked remove from the pan , cut it , put in a deep pot and add a whole boiled potatoes and carrots . Pour milk back in meat  and vegetables and garnish with parsley .

Japraci (collard rolls)
1 kg of collard
400 g veal
200 g of dried meat
0,4 dl oil
150 g of onions
80 g of rice

Young leaves of collard separate from the stems and remove the thickened part of the leaf. Wash in cold water, boil briefly in salted boiling and cover again with cold water.
Cut veal and finely chop the onion. Saute onions, then add the meat and rice together and cook more. Add a little salt , freshly ground pepper and chopped parsley and cool down .
On each collard sheet place collard stuffing and wrap. Place Rolls in a saucepan along with pieces of dried meat , fill with water , bring to the boil on high heat, and cook on a low for about 2 hours. Finally fry fried flour with pepper and allow the dish to cook for a few minutes . Serve with sour cream .

1 comment:

Nat Mico said...

Hey Sandra! It's Sandy, I was wondering which Beef Bourguignon Recipe looked better to you!


1 6 ounce piece chunk bacon
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds lean stew beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 onion, sliced
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups red wine, young and full bodied
3 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf, crumbled
20 small white onions
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
herb bouquet (4 parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf, one-quarter teaspoon thyme, tied in cheesecloth)
1 pound fresh mushrooms, quartered

Thanks in advance,
Sandy :)