I’ve been hearing from everyone who had been to the Balkans how awesome the food is there. And by food they mostly meant burek. Everyone was going on and on about it that when I finally booked my flights to the Balkans one of first things to look forward to that came to my mind, besides strolling down the streets of Sarajevo or climbing up high to the fortress in Kotor, was to finally try this delicious pastry!
Basically burek is made of layers of thin dough with various stuffings. That’s a pretty simple food but these are always the best! Originally it comes from Turkey and most probably was invented during early times of Ottoman Empire. Then it spread all over the East Meditaerranean region to finally become a national dish of former Yugoslavia. It’s widely available in all kinds of bakeries (and these can be found literally on every step in Balkan countries) or even in special burek-dedicated shops called Buregdzinica. It can be eaten as a fast food, it may be considered as a main dish as well. And the most common drink to go with it is yoghurt (that is available in bakeries and burek shops too).
There’re four traditional burek’s stuffings: minced meat (obviously not an option to me), cheese (then it’s called sirnica), potatoes (krompirusa) and spinach (zeljanica). I’ve tried them all and well, there’s no way I can choose between cheese and spinach! Every time I ate one, no matter if it was in Serbia, Montenegro or Bosnia, they were so delicious, melting in my mouth. I just couldn’t get enough of them. Potatoes one was really good too but these two just stole my heart. I ate bureks every single day but one when I was in Balkans and still didn’t have enough. Sure, I could go look for some other food but that’d be a challenge and well, I loved it and it couldn’t get boring in only one week!
Burek can be served as a seperate pastry, often rolled (that doesn’t look very appetising but don’t get fooled by the look of it!) or as a piece from the big round one. Either way it’s delicious! It’s also not that expensive, a piece of burek costs less than 1€ so it makes a really affordable eating option. And sitting with your burek (and yoghurt!), enjoying it while looking at Belgrade/Sarajevo/Mostar/amazing sea is quite a memorable experience!
You can find burek not only in the Balkans. A very similar pastry, even with a similar name, is a Turkish borek! It’s just as good as its Balkan equivalent.
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