Serbia’s Pride Served With Fries

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By Bernardo Reyes Facio

BELGRADE, The restaurant “Stari Beograd“, Serbian for “Old Belgrade,” is a gem for food lovers hidden in East Belgrade. Decades-old editions of “Politika”, the oldest newspaper in Serbia, are posted on the restaurant walls, bearing headlines like ‘Great Yugoslavia’ and ‘The Year of the Reform.’ Groovy hat-shaped lamps light its walls. But what this restaurant is famous for is its version of Karadjordjeva Snicla, the pride and joy of Serbian cuisine and one of its most representative dishes.

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Photo: Bernardo Reyes Facio

With a small glass of rakjia – Serbian brandy – Balkan food fans can enjoy the dish just like Serbians did back in 1959, when it is said to have been created. It consists of a rolled steak (pork or veal) stuffed with a kind of cream-cheese filling called “Kajmak”, breaded, fried, and generally served with potatoes. Cut with a knife, its crispy exterior gives way to a combination of juices and melted cheese stuffing.

Legend has it that chef Milovan Stojanovic created the Karadjordjeva Snicla ahead of the visit of a distinguished Soviet official. The dish was named after Karadjordje, a military leader that in early 19th century led Serbia’s uprising to end five-centuries of Ottoman Turkish rule. Little did Stojanovic know that his creation would become one of the most famous meals in Balkan cooking.

Photo: Bernardo Reyes Facio
Photo: Bernardo Reyes Facio

“The short form and the combination of spices of Stari Beograd’s style of Karadjordjeva Snicla, makes it unique in the city,” said Vladimir Antic, the owner of the restaurant.

Karadjordjeva Snicla, known colloquially as “the girl’s dream” due to its phallic form, is a must try when in Belgrade. Make sure to ask for a tomato salata (salad) to accompany it, as Antic recommended.

Bon appétit, or as Serbians would say, prijatno!

Restaurant Stari Beograd

Address: Knez Danilova 4, Belgrade, Serbia.

Telephone: 063/65 18 14.