Culinary Adventures, Gastronomy in Ráckeve
The first flowering period of the settlement came when a mixed population of Hungarians and Serbs moved in this region around 1440 A.D. Serbs were fleeing the city of Keve on the Danube banks to escape Turkish raids. That was when the city was started to be called Small Keve (Kis-Keve); and later Rác-keve (rác meant Serb). As this short introductory presents, the settlement has had a sizable Serbian population for centuries now. They define the gastronomical characteristics of the city to this day.
As a settlement near the Danube, it is only natural that the popularity and consuming of dishes prepared with fish will far surpass the average rate. All that has a benevolent effect upon health and a balanced diet. Once we are at dishes made from fish and the Serbian population, let us take a look – at least on a photo – upon one of our favorite dishes, Rácponty (a Serbian carp dish), which refers to both attributes.
Serbian cuisine is not famous from light salads and fowl meat, though it uses the latter, especially those of wild animals. The characteristic base material of Serbian burgers is mutton. With the addition of beef and pork chevap is made, one of the most typical Serb dishes; its success is attributed to the appropriate meats and their ratio.
The ground meat is mixed up with much garlic, red peppers, salt and pepper, a touch of baking soda. Let it stand covered in the refrigerator; take it out the next day and the meat, formed into little rolls, can go on the grill.
The method of preparation of pljeskavica is hauntingly similar to that of chevap, with the difference that these are formed in the shape of burgers, but a point they agree with is that ajvar and onions are freely offered as a side dish to both.
Fresh salads are offered with every meat dish, that is how they try to compensate the effect of greasy meats.
One of the most filling one-plate dish is gyuvecs, which is prepared on a similar basis as Hungarian lecsó, with the amount of tomatoes and peppers being identical, but Serbian cuisine enriches this with meat and rice, which resembles most to some layered dish, and one thing is certain that no stomach will remain half-empty after eating those. They use olive oil and as a by-product of raising sheep, much sheep cottage cheese with green spices, either as a breakfast item, or as a starter.
Gibanica is the name of the Serbian version of strudel with “soft quark cheese,” with numerous quark cheese and pasta layers heaped upon each other.
All that is accompanied by super wines, fruits and honeys. Let yourself try a few dishes, for example, the best-known chevap, once favorable weather comes, in the place of a garden barbecues!
The Boat Market offers excellent cuisine materials for these, as well as for Hungarian specialties, on every Wednesday and Saturday, where many people arrive to shop by boats.
Visiting a market can be an excellent program on such days, since you can buy such specialties as hand-made cheese, fresh honey, homemade syrups, tasty and fragrant jams and for example a Serbian culinary specialty, ajvar, which is nothing but a creamy mix of baked peppers and eggplants prepared with spices, tomatoes and onions.
It is frequently served to accompany meat dishes, but it also makes an exquisite special meal by itself on a toast. Once you visit the market, we recommend you acquire at least a small bottle!