Traditional gastronomy

Comparing to the diet of today, population of Laktaši district had quite a different diet about hundred years ago. Food was healthier and people used to eat it in smaller quantities. People usually ate vegetables, porridge, dough, milk and dairy products. Meat was rarely  consumed, most often on Sundays or holidays, and more during winter (smoked meat) than in summer. Meals were rich and heavy only during Christmas, Easter

and some other holidays.

Below mentioned are some forgotten meals, but are still cooked in villages and served in some places, which should certainly be tasted.

 

Baked goods

 

Bread or "kru" with some rural people, or "pogača" (flat, round bread) is kneaded with wheat, flour, yeast, some salt and hot water. Women used to knead it in long wooden kneading-troughs, so called "naćve". It was always round and was baked in a range, "hackney-carriage." It was usually served on holidays. Otherwise, people ate bread made of maize flour. Maize was also mixed with cottage cheese to prepare small cakes (šape – paws). Special bread "česnica" is kneaded for Christmas. It is kneaded at dawn, a coin is put in it (in some villages 3 coins are put). It is a good fortune for one who finds a coin during meal. "Slavnica – Slava cake"is a special bread prepared for Slava (Serbian family feast for its patron saint).

 

Wheat and dough meals

 

Meals of flour and dough were most frequently used in everyday diet. "Cicvara" is made of maize flour with previously melted kajmak (milk cream) and then it is cooked for 20 minutes until a dense mass is made.

Wheat flour porridge is frequently served. Flour is added slowly into a bowl where kajmak and a little fat is already put in. Then it cooks for about an hour.

"Omač" – layers of dough are dried as for pie; when dried, they cook. It is usually taken with kajmak and milk.

"Pura" – maize dense porridge. Some maize flour is put into boiling salted water. It is boiling until the mass starts detaching from the dish. It is most frequently taken with milk. We should mention some more porridge meals, like "žganci", "bunjgur", "rezanci"

(noodle), cornflour, etc. Various dough meals are prepared. e.g. Dough is prepared for bread, however, small parts of it are taken and put in hot oil to fry. These are cookies, doughnuts (salt or sweet), "bipuš" which are usually served with hot cheese or kajmak. This area is famous for various pies.(Pita).

"Gužvara" is a cheese pie. Dough is prepared in thin layers, then they should be slightly dried, filling of cheese and kajmak is put on them. Then the mass is crumpled with fingers and, at last, it is put in oven.

Pies are also made with cheese- "sirnica", potato - "krompiruša". "Ljevuša" which is also usually served is something similar to pie.

 

Milk and dairy products

 

Milk and dairy products are very much consumed, and they have been irreplaceable food in everyday diet. Cow milk or "varenika" (as country people in this area call it) used to be

kept in special dishes "karlice" or "dižva" in a small accompanying building "mlječar".

The most frequent milk products are: kajmak, various kinds of cheese, and sour milk.

 

Kajmak is very much consumed. When milk is boiled, skin is taken away and piled in special dishes and then salted.

"Sirac" – kind of cheese very frequently consumed. It is prepared by adding rennet "sirište" ( a dry pig stomach sunk in water) into boiled milk, after which cheese becomes solid with liquid straining and the whey pouring off.

"Čimbur" is a meal made of kajmak and eggs. First eggs are scrambled and kajmak is added, then it is fried together in a pan.

 

Meat

 

Most frequent kinds of meat consumed in this area are chicken, pork and beef. People used to smoke pork and beef in garrets, because there were no chimneys, but nowadays people have special buildings, curing sheds.

Cracklings are made from pork, melting fatty parts.

Head-cheese is also made of pig, boiling of the head meat and liver. After boiling, the meat is strained and put into a shallow dish where salt, pepper and garlic are added. Then some products are prepared, like sausages, black pudding and jelly, whereas bacon is most frequently consumed.

Chicken used to be prepared on Sundays only, bur nowadays it is prepared very often.

 

Vegetables and greens

 

Potato is most frequently used. People used to bake potatoes cut in halves and then rolled in maize flour. Thick soups with potatoes and chicken, as well as thick soups with potatoes and spring cabbage are also prepared. Yellow peppers are roasted in oil or filled with grated potatoes, sauerkraut prepared with smoked meat and/or bacon, beans, green beans, tomatoes and cucumbers. Winter food stores are normally prepared in this area and they contain pickled cabbage, usually grated and hot peppers.

 

Cult meals

 

On Christmas Eve people prepare meatless meals: mashed beans, potato pie, sweet pie, fish (usually salted) and fried potatoes.

On Christmas day "Česnica" – a special kneaded bread is baked, poultry and pig are roasted and all that with "cicvara", cheese and kajmak.

For Slava women prepare "Slava" cake or "Slavnica" from wheat, flour and yeast.

 

Sweets

 

Jam strudel is frequently prepared. It is made of flour, milk, yeast and oil. Dough is most

frequently filled with plum jam, then rolled and put in oven.

Noodles with plums are very often prepared. It is a mixture of flour, mashed potatoes, eggs. When the mixture becomes compact, a part of it is taken and a plum is put inside;

balls are made. They are put in boiling water. When they come to the surface, they are

taken out and fried in hot oil with bread crumbs on them.

Doughnuts filled with jam, sweet biscuit, various cookies are also prepared.

Jam and jelly from various kinds of fruit are made as well.

 

Drinks

 

In the past people used to drink water, pickle juice or boza. As for alcohol, brandy was mostly consumed.

Boza is made of warm crumbled maize which is put in a dish, then two spoons of white flour cover the maize, and then all this is poured with water.

Turšija – Pickle juice comes from wild fruits which were put in water and salted.