Eco-food in Herzegovina
Variety of natural resources and wealthiness of cultural heritage of Herzegovina are specially enriched by hospitality and heartiness of local inhabitants which, following tradition, welcome guests with rich table of healthy and natural food.
Herzegovina’s people are good and considerate hosts. As a sign of welcome, following old customs, they wide open door or gate. Old houses are most often built in stone, and in the middle of the kitchen used to be fireplace, above which used to hang chains. Some houses used to have one more, slightly raised fireplace, at which bread was roasted. Also above the fireplace, meat was dried. In old times families used to eat at low - set table, sitting on three-legged stools or tripods with carved semicircular backs.
This region is really recognizable by traditional kitchen, which coincides with climate characteristics of the area and takes what the nature offers. All that is confirmed by infinite areas covered by lush pasture lands, various healing flora, numerous lakes, woods, rivers and springs, what is proof of healthy environment. In such surroundings cattle graze, and their milk and meat are later used for famous specialties.
Current time is characterized by huge pollution of food, water and air, so healthy food is very important for man’s health and his life span.
The production of meat, milk, cream and cheese on these areas is based on cattle feeding with natural food (with no use of mineral fertilizers), mostly produced on own farm.
The production of field and vegetable crops is done in naturals conditions, for irrigation is used spring water and fertilization is done with manure only.
From dairy products most usual are:
Kajmak (cream) - is made in a way that casted containers of cream are put in tubs, salt is added in one after another and it is kept in wooden tubs until it grows ripe. The cream in goatskins is called stari (old), and mladi (young) is casted from containers.
Sirevi (cheeses) Torotan - is made of milk from containers from which the cream is collected; Cijeli sir (the whole cheese) - from unskimmed milk, when the milk stays, the sour cream is skimmed from it; Mladi sir (young cheese) - in fresh, filtered milk the curd is poured.
Meals from flour and corn:
Hljeb (bread) is mostly made of wheat and maize flour (bread baked on stone board and under metal lid is special specialty).
Pite (pies) have special place in the traditional kitchen, and what is important concerning them is that skins for pie are made in domestic way, thanks to skillful hands of housewives from here. Cheese pies (from domestic cheese and eggs), spinach pies (spinach, Swiss chard, and it is often made of plants picked on pasture lands) and potatoes pie are most often find on tables.
Cicvara sa medom - favorite specialty of inhabitants here. Cicvara is made of wheat flour in addition with cheese, cream, rendered butter or oil.
Polenta (pura/kacamak) - is made of maize flour in a way that in hot water flour is poured, and when it boils you add salt and pour out surplus of water. Then you stir it with puraca (wooden spoon), add cheese and rendered butter. You can eat it with cream or buttermilk.
Ustipci ili priganice - are made from wheat flour and fried on oil in frying pan. They are served warm with cheese, young cream and (marmalade) jam.
Prijesnac - you knead ready wheat or maize flour with milk. Then you add cream, cheese and eggs and bake it.
Lojanica - prijesnac in which you add suet, and spinach pie is prijesnac with various green vegetables: nettle, Swiss chard, spinach.
Meals from vegetables
Krompir (potato) - made in different ways: boiled or baked in oven. It is eaten with cheese and cream. Special delicacy is when it is poured over with cream and baked in oven or under metal lid.
Suseno meso (dried meat):
Traditional preparing of dried meat for long, cold winters is rescued from oblivion and it is still prepared following methodology that is used from ancient times. Prsut (smoked ham) is made of pork, and certain on table are also: dried beef, dried mutton and sausage.
Meals with meat:
Lamb meat ispod saca and spit roasted. Sac is big metal lid in the shape of shallow bell that is used to cover dough for bread or meat for roast. You throw on it ash and live coals. Restaurants throughout Herzegovina keep this traditional way of baking under metal lid. Thus prepared meat stay juicy, and potato is made rich with the taste of meat.
Roast kid’s meat and boiled kid.
Boiled veal meat
Boiled lamb meat
Seljacka corba sa mesom (peasant thick soup with meat) - it is boiled with lamb meat, with domestic pasta, potato and cream.
Seljacka corba bez mesa (peasant thick soup without meat)
Corba od koprive (thick soup from nettle) - esteemed meal because of its healing features.
Riba (fish) -trout (groundsel), far famous Herzegovina’s specialty.
Pecurke (mushrooms) - picked fresh on pasture lands, are favorite delicacy of inhabitants here and in domestic restaurants. Ways of preparing are different: on live coals, with cream, in thick soup...Most often they are edible bolete, button mushrooms…
Production of honey on the territory of Herzegovina is in great development. Lushness of plants, woods and quality waters provide to the bees healthy environment. It is known that honey from here and honey in honey-comb are not used just in diet but as a medicine too.
Napici (potions) are made from fruits picked on pasture lands and in woods: cornel-cherry juice, elder and raspberry juice, teas (lime, dog-rose, lady’s slipper), mead, brine…