Often when we are meeting some new state, people, culture, we start from the question what their national cuisine is like, and with what pleasant thing that civilization can surprise us. Montenegro is a culture like that, hidden, like a pearl, in the very heart of Europe, ready to surprise you, to surrender to all your senses, and to offer to you on its national table the things which you are seeing for the first time, as well as those that you had the chance to see before, but now in a new arrangement. One thing could never be reprimanded to Montenegrins – they are exquisite hosts. The doors are opened for you here; you will be given the best seat at the table, and offered with the best things that your host has… Montenegrin national cuisine opens its doors for you – taste the tradition…
About the milk and its energetic value everything is known. The quality of milk is a special thing, and Montenegro can commend itself with a high quality of milk. On the mountain pastures of the north of Montenegro and in the fertile valleys of Zeta and Bjelopavlici, cows, sheeps, and goats are getting the most quality graze in this part of the Europe. Far from the polluters and industrial zones, Montenegrin agriculture becomes an example of the fight for healthy food and healthy life. The milk which is boiled (milk is otherwise called “varenika”, variti – boil) is extremely rich with dairy fat and proteins – and the products which with further processing are obtained, such as cream or butterfat, are therefore of first-class quality. Sour milk – refreshing drink – almost the same as yogurt, even though some Montenegrin producers do not agree with this statement, can be found on every table because every household is making it. It can be more sour and thicker than yogurt so usually people recommend the tasting of the special sheep’s sour milk because of the level of the dairy fat.
Potable specialty made of sheep’s milk. It is made in the late summer and early fall months because the graze in those months is richer and the milk curds easier, it thickens. The milk is boiled, stirred and mildly salted during the cooking. The result is a delicious and salty product with more fat. It is mainly eaten with “kacamak” (polenta), another domestic specialty.
The tradition of production of cheese is the oldest when we are talking about the production of food in these areas. The quality and the experience, transferred from generation to generation, have made the cheese favorite Montenegrin meal – unavoidable apart of every meal. Geographical position of Montenegro which is dominated by the plateaus rich with grazes suited the development of cattle breeding, and with that it suited also the dairy industry when we are talking about the production of the food. Today almost in every part of Montenegro you will come across a specific way of production which is too different from the one from the beginning of the last century. Somewhat south – you will come across an exquisite and healthy goat cheese, recommendable for good function of respiratory organs. In the surrounding of Cetinje on Njegusi far known Njeguski sir (CHEESE FROM NJEGUSI), as an exquisite companion of “prsuta” (smoked ham), is being made. After coagulation it is being kept on a cool but airy place up for 3 months until it is tasted for the first time. Dry and rich with dairy fats – it is simply exquisite. The cheese which is mostly produces in the north of Montenegro – “fat cheese” maybe is the most quality cheese, especially if it is made from the mixture of cow’s and goat’s milk. Special taste and aroma Montenegrin cheese gets from the wooden tub, big wooden dish in which the young cheese is being put on which a plate is put and a stone in order for it to become more thick. Today wooden tubs are less and less being produced and they are slowly becoming souvenirs which will just remind us on the way in which our ancestors prepared cheese and “kajmak” (creamy cheese dish). “Zetica” – is a cheese which is obtained from uncooked milk. It is the so-called “youngest” cheese which hasn’t become thick enough to be sold to the buyer. It is a nourishing product which is advised by all doctors to be used for the necessary regular function and regeneration of the liver. “Urda” is somewhat poorer cheese when we are talking about the proteins, but it is an exquisite diet product. The cheese from bellows, with its specific aroma and bigger firmness, as well as with the attractive look of the bellow which is made from a specific skin, most often from lamb skin, which undergoes a specific cleaning process, is something that you have to taste. About the very kinds and techniques of production we could write in details – one thing is certain and always true: if you decide to take the cheese from any Montenegrin household you have chosen a healthy and tasteful way of meeting Montenegro.
Kajmak is the trademark not just of Montenegrin but also of the Middle East cuisines. Extremely tasteful and a rich dairy product which in Montenegro, also called “skorup”, is something that you have to taste in order for you to find out from where comes the extreme physical strength and freshness of Montenegrins. The way in which it is prepared for centuries is the same – after from a boiling milk you take of the “kajmak”(creamy cheese), it is put in the wooden tubs where during the time a creamy mass is being created with a rich and somewhat sour taste, depending on the length of standing. Especially tasteful, but also more expensive and rarer is the one which is kept in bellows (made out of animal skin or giblets). It is eaten as a part of the cold snack, and often you will find it in the fast food restaurants where it is being eaten with a small flat bred.