For such a small country, Montenegro’s traditional cuisine comes in many delicious flavors. It ranges from garlicky seafood on the coast to hearty mountain fare designed to keep hard-working farmers going. Every region has its specialties. Take a gastronomic journey around Montenegro with the most and traditional Montenegrin food.
Njeguški pršut (prosciutto) is a delicacy that originated from Njeguško polje, a field at 800 meters above sea level near Lovćen mountain in Montenegro.
Many local delicacies such as cheese and sausages are made in that part of the country, but none are as famous as the prosciutto. The secrets of making this delicacy are passed down through the generations of locals and the process of making the prosciutto takes about a year.
The locals say that the unique wind rose of the area is responsible for the meat’s acclaimed taste and there are exact procedures in place on what to do with the meat depending on the conditions outside, i.e. the wind, the humidity, etc.
Once the meat is ready, the first tasting by the makers is usually accompanied by rakija. It is meant to be cut thin enough so that you are able to see the Lovćen mountain through it and the longer you chew it, the tastier it becomes.
Ćevapi is a dish that is found in all countries of the western Balkans. They are primarily associated with Bosnia & Herzegovina but they can be found in Montenegro as well.
Ćevapi can be best described as small skinless minced meat sausages that are prepared on a grill.
In many places, ćevapi will be served on a special type of bread and they are usually enjoyed with a side of minced onion, kaymak, or both, depending on personal preferences.
The bread is usually put on the grill and smoked for a short amount of time to absorb some of the favor and the juices of the meat which makes it incredibly tasty even to eat on its own.
Ćevapi are usually made from a mix of two or more types of meat, most often beef, lamb, or veal, and some spices. Pork meat is uncommon but it is a component in some recipes.
Crepes with Jam
Crepes are not a Montenegrin invention and we don’t aim to portray them as such, even if they are quite popular in Montenegro. The real star of the dish is the homemade jam they are usually served with. This jam can be made at home and many households in Montenegro make their own jam out of all sorts of different fruit.
The jam will have an entirely different dimension of flavor if the fruit was grown locally without the use of growth enhancers.
You’re most likely to find just such jam sold in the countryside where the locals grow their own fruits and vegetables that are more likely to have been grown the old-fashioned way. This will make the jams much juicier and tastier than the mass-produced fruit you’ll find in most markets.
Fresh mussels were one of our favorite dishes in Montenegro. Of course we’ve had mussels countless times before, but there really was something different with these. The bare minimum seasoning was applied to keep them fresh and traditional. Not to mention, the huge portions and cheap prices kept us coming back for more! If you’re looking for what to eat in Montenegro, you can’t ever go wrong with mussels.
Mixed meat plate
The order in the picture below was considered a small. Can you believe it? Meat and hearty meals are a staple of the country. The seasonings are thick, but not overwhelming or spicy. All the fixings are a great addition to fries and salads. This mixed pork and chicken plate was meant for one person, but easily could have fed two to three people!
All coastal Montenegrins grow up loving buzara. Shellfish, prawns and shrimps are cooked in either a red or white sauce. The red sauce is made with red wine, onions, tomatoes, herbs and spices. The white sauce is considered an art form and is made with white wine. Montenegrins love nothing more than to cook up a huge pot of buzara on a summer night and invite all their friends over.
When in Montenegro, forgo your usual bland toast or cereal. Go to the local bakery and get some burek. Burek is made of filo pastry and filled with cheese, meat, spinach or potato. It comes in spirals, wedges and tubes but the wedges are best. An oily, crunchy layer of pastry gives way to a delicious filling. Add a bottle of plain yogurt and you’ve got the ultimate Balkan breakfast.