Meat Plate and other Nummies

One of the fun things to order here translates roughly into meat plate (or platter.) It is an Atkins dream, and frightfully filling. Many places offer it for 2. You get a big platter that has a light covering of pomfrit (French fries.) On that is a scad of different meats. You might have a pork filet, a breaded veal steak, some tasty thing that is 2 meats cut in strips and twisted together, bacon, Salisbury type steaks, and little steaks. Most of that will show up on the plate. They always include onions too, which rocks. I love onions.

It may seem like a terrible amount of meat. It is. But, it is so damned good. I am preparing myself for the let down on food when I return to the States. Stuff here has so much more flavor. It is cliche, but it’s true. A couple times I have been delighted at what I was fed, only to be told with raise eyebrows that it was cheap meat, and nothing special.

I have also learned to filet my own fish. The first time was a bad scene for me, but the second I nailed it. I got the tail, skeleton and head of in one slow pull and left no bones behind. That day I was eating a version of meat plate done with fish. I think there that was 4 or 5 kinds. (Ask me another day about “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on accordion.)

Jelena’s folks always make the best soup. Each time I have eaten at their place, it is the first course. It is a broth soup, with these tiny dumplings. It hammered home that most every broth soup I have had in the states is pretty much salty water. The flavour of their homemade soup is fabulous! I wish I could describe it more. The night of the fish plate, I also had some unbelievable Hungarian soup, which is borderline stew. It tasted similar to a stew my Ma made, but much, much better. Kind of like, “Ohhh, now I get it!”

A wondrous creation that I make sure to eat when I go to Sarajevo is pita. Again, hard to describe exactly but so freakin’ good. There are 4 kinds: spinach, cheese, meat, potatoes and meat. You can make it in a pan, but if you get in out, it is in links or coiled like a sausage and about that size. It is made of dough sort of like philo dough that is layered with the filling and baked. The cheese is one that I understand you cannot get in the States. We have them for breakfast with a glass of yogurt. The place right by the Sarajevo flat has perhaps the BEST in the city. Jelena claims it is number 2.

Getting back to meat briefly, I will often have a steak when I am out. There are a variety of ways they come. It seems that instead of ordering a cut, you order a preparation style. You can get it in garlic sauce, mushroom sauce, plain, and so on. There is also no real aversion to baby meat here. I thought Chicago had meat eaters! —Make sure you are sitting down.— I have even had ham, yes HAM, here that I have liked. Yes, liked; not just tolerated.

From the store, I have also had some delightful sausages from the region that I couldn’t possibly tell you what they were. I will also get one chocolate bar a week. Would you believe they actually contain a discernible amount of cocoa? Makes Hershey’s an appalling tragedy. I have been slowly working my way through the variety of juices: blueberry, cherry, and other interesting ones like peach.

I have also had this stuff I can’t recall the name of that I plan to get a recipe for. It is essentially potatoes, cabbage, and meat optional covered with water and cooked a long ass time. Jelena showed me a way to roast potatoes, involving pouring a milk, oil and spice mixture over them first, that is stellar.

That is all the food I can think of right off the top of my head, though I know I am forgetting stuff. I just need to remember: recipes, recipes, recipes.

Posted by Andrew     

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