North Macedonia (FYR Macedonia) Food and Drink
Macedonian cuisine is a hybrid style, blending Balkan and Mediterranean flavours and traditions with delicious results. Turkish influences inherited from centuries of Ottoman rule are also evident.
During summer, markets are well-stocked with fresh tomatoes, carrots, lettuce and onions as well as watermelons, apricots and peaches. To make the summer bounty last through the harsher continental winter, veg is often pickled (turšija) or jarred into tasty spreads.
Meze, a selection of small, creamy vegetable spreads, is usually served with bread to start and is often followed by a main dish of grilled chicken or pork, freshwater fish, stuffed pastry or stew. When it comes to drink, sugared Turkish coffee is the order of the day, though milky, Italian-style coffees, such as cappuccino and lattes are becoming increasingly popular.
Pindžur: A spicy roast pepper and aubergine relish.
Kifli: A half-moon-shaped bread roll filled with feta cheese and topped with sesame seeds.
Gravce tavce: A chunky bean stew cooked in a skillet and flavoured with spices including paprika.
Shopska salata: A mixed salad made by combining tomato, peppers, cucumbers, onions and crumbled feta cheese.
Kebapči: Minced meat sausages typically served with flatbread, kajmak (a type of clotted cream) and onions.
Ajvar: A ubiquitous relish made from roasted red bell peppers, paprika and garlic.
Burek: A flaky pie filled with combinations of ham, cheese, spinach and ground beef.
Selsko meso: A thick stew of meat, potatoes, onions, tomatoes and carrots cooked in a clay pot.
Kačamak: A porridge-esque cornmeal mixture often sprinkled with feta cheese.
Tulumbi: Fried dough rolls covered in honey and nuts.
Rakija: A potent fruit brandy made from grapes.
Mastika: An Ouzo-style aperitif seasoned with mastic and served over ice.