Montag, 1. Februar 2016

Washington Post - Makedonische Küche würzt Radtour

Die Washington Post mit einem Bericht über eine Radtour in Makedonien, Fahrrad fahren macht hungrig und es scheint der Autorin geschmeckt zu haben. 
Hier einige Auszüge (englisch) aus dem Artikel, den ganzen Artikel könnt Ihr unter folgenden Link lesen - Macedonia’s local cuisine adds spice to a bike tour of the mountain lakes:


I caught the aroma while pedaling up a hill in the vertical village of Brajcino, in southwest Macedonia. Snapping my head to the left to locate the source, I spied a woman out of the corner of my eye, stirring whatever was in a wide enamel pot.

Could it be? As much as I hated losing momentum, I had to stop and see.

A few hours earlier, at our adorable stone guesthouse in Ljubojno, one village down the road, my wife and I had sampled our first homemade ajvar (EYE-var) — a rich roasted-red-pepper spread popular across the Balkans. We’d been served it at breakfast with a basket of fresh, crusty bread. While I’m usually not one to indulge in garlicky dishes with my morning coffee, I could not stop plastering thick layers of the condiment on slice after slice. I’m so glad I did, because it turned out to be the best we tasted all week.

...
Since hearing our driver’s reminiscences, I’d been on the lookout (sniff-out?) for an ajvar cooking session and was thrilled to have perhaps found one.

“Hello,” I said to the woman, who I saw had a sheltered stove area set up outside her house. I wondered how I would pantomime my question, since I’d encountered few English speakers in this region.


Thankfully, not only did Divna Kostovska turn out to be one of them, but she also rents rooms and cooks traditional dishes for travelers, meals that might include a portion from this huge batch of what she confirmed was ajvar.

“I thought I smelled the peppers several times today,” I told her, watching as she stirred in wide circles. Buckets of freshly plucked tomatoes, peppers and a large pile of white beans drying in the sun surrounded her.

“That’s because we have time to cook because it’s a free day,” she said, referring to the Sept. 8 holiday celebrating the country’s independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

...
Our first night was spent in Krushevo, one of the highest towns in the Balkans, at about 4,400 feet, where Macedonians ski in the winter. We visited its two best-known sites: a shiny, modern memorial to Tose ­Proeski, a famous Macedonian pop singer who died at age 26 in 2007, and a surprisingly shabby monument honoring the still-
recognized 1903 uprising against the Ottoman Empire, when the “Republic of Krushevo” became an independent state for all of 10 days.

In the evening, we toasted with local Skopsko beers and watched the sky dim from the hilltop patio at the Hotel Montana Palace (we stayed at a much smaller inn), which looks over the town of some 5,300 people. Although the hotel was billed as four-star, its backside was derelict, with crumbling stairwells and peeling walls — a condition we came to recognize as common, especially in areas with holdover Communist-era buildings.

...
We had an early flight the next morning, so we headed for a restaurant near our hotel that we’d read served great traditional food. After a long search, we found it closed — for good. Changing course, we came upon Nadzak, a restaurant whose outdoor tables fill up a street corner. We called the bounty from this unremarkable-looking place our Macedonia miracle — perfectly grilled kebabs served with a huge bowl of the second-best ajvar we’d had, and fresh charred bread. For dessert? Shopska ­salads, of course.

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