Macedonia is surrounded by diverse cuisine. This gives you numerous opportunities to indulge your palate with fabulous delicacies. The country is a paradise on earth for foodies who love to try local dishes.
Of course, you will find some similar dishes of Balkan cuisine in other countries as well. This is because many countries in the Balkans were part of the Ottoman Empire for some time.
Dishes like Cevapi are also popular in Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia. Both among locals and visitors. Furthermore, you will surely know some Macedonian food already from Turkish cuisine.
In this article, we will introduce you to some of the most delicious Macedonian dishes. If you plan a vacation in the southernmost country of the former Yugoslavia, these dishes should not be missed.
If you don’t have much time, you can also join a food tour through Skopje or any other city in North Macedonia.
You Have to Try This Incredibly Tasty Macedonian Food
Originally, Ajvar was a dish that was only served during the paprika harvest. Nowadays, however, you can enjoy this specialty of Balkan cuisine all year round. Only a few households with their own garden cultivation continue the tradition.
The harvest time for peppers is towards the end of summer. In fact, Ajvar is so popular among locals that they like to call this time the “fifth season.” You can already guess that this Macedonian food is an indispensable part of the local cuisine.
Basically, Ajvar is a mush prepared from peppers. These are baked beforehand in a wood-burning oven according to the traditional preparation. Then you remove the peel and seed the vegetables. Afterward, they are roasted in a saucepan until they have dissolved into a homogeneous mass.
Therefore, the preparation takes several hours. Despite this, the cook must constantly stir the mass so that nothing burns. For this reason, several people often cook Ajvar together. In this way, they can take turns with each other.
Macedonians prepare a larger quantity of this specialty, given the amount of effort involved. After they finished the cooking process, Macedonians put it into preserving jars. This gives them a supply that usually lasts until the end of winter.
Depending on the region and the household, the locals add some more ingredients. A variation of Ajvar is Pindzur. For this dish, the inhabitants of Macedonia use tomatoes and eggplants, peppers, and some other elements that vary from region to region.
The delicacy, also known as “red gold,” is usually eaten by the country’s inhabitants as a side dish for various meat dishes. But Ajvar is also ideal as a dip for Cevapi or bread.
Cevapi are one of the most popular dishes in the Balkans. They are delicious fried rolls of minced meat. They consist of a mixture of ground pork and ground beef. Muslims only use beef for preparation.
When you order a portion of Cevapi in a restaurant, you have a choice of two different portions: The small one consists of five rolls, the large one of ten rolls. You can also add chopped onions and Kaymak. In restaurants, you will get served the Cevapi in pita bread.
In Macedonian cities, you will not have any problems finding restaurants which are specialized in Cevapi. TripAdvisor is a good source if you look for some of them. In Skopje, Old Bazaar is the best place to find delicious Cevapi restaurants.
We are sure you will enjoy your Macedonian Cevapi much more if you want them in the sunshine. Then it’s better to know when to visit this country. So, have a look at our guide about Skopje’s weather. It is also helpful for other cities to find out the best time for a holiday.
Unlike the previous dishes, you will actually get this delicacy almost only in Macedonia. It is precise because of the stuffed peppers that a visit to the southern Balkans is worthwhile.
The name sounds obvious enough. The filling for the peppers includes various ingredients. In the traditional way of preparation, these are minced meat and rice. But also, onions often find their way into the peppers and round off the taste.
As a rule, the inhabitants of the country use sweet peppers. This is mainly because they are much easier to stuff. In addition, in households with their own garden, homegrown red peppers are very popular.
Sarma is the Macedonian version of cabbage rolls. However, the meticulous preparation depends on the region you are staying in during your trip.
For the filling, you fry ground meat and onions in a pan. Most of the meat is beef, but people like to use minced pork as well. Then wrap the whole thing in cabbage.
Usually, you use White cabbage for this purpose. However, the locals also use any other cabbage that is suitable for wrapping to prepare Sarma. After that, the cabbage wraps have to cook again for about an hour.
Pastrmajlija — The Macedonian Pizza
Whoever says that you have to go to Italy for a good pizza is very much mistaken. Macedonians also have a variation of the Italian specialty, the Pastrmajlija, which is worth visiting the southern Balkans. So if you’re looking for some delicious Macedonian food, you should definitely try this dish!
Of course, it is not really a pizza. Strictly speaking, it’s more like a kind of topped pita, the flatbread popular in the Balkans. Nevertheless, because it is prepared, this treat often has to endure comparisons with Italian pizza.
The difference from traditional pizza is that Pastrmajlija is baked in an oblong shape. It is then topped with an egg or feta cheese. The most popular ingredients for this Macedonian food include pork or poultry meat and various spices.
If you want to enjoy this Macedonian pizza authentically, you can’t miss red wine. In fact, in this former Yugoslav republic, you can get high-quality wine.
It can easily keep up with grape varieties that are popular all over the world. And since Macedonians like spicy food, pepperoni should not be missing.
Now you know some specialties that you should definitely try during your visit. Of course, there is much more Macedonian food that will also make your palate jump for joy. However, if you skip these delicacies mentioned in this article, you are missing out.
Of course, you won’t eat all the time during your vacation in North Macedonia. There is still a lot to do, as we wrote a blog post about a journey to North Macedonia.