A Serbian Dish Spanning Generations

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By Sonja Borgmann
SIT Fall 2018
Carleton College

Belgrade – At Kalenic restaurant in the historic Vracar neighborhood, one can sample traditional Serbian Karadjordjeva snicla—a stuffed fried pork dish that is also a reminder of Serbia’s past with foreign occupations.

According to 41-year-old Maja Frankovic, a local Belgradian art conservator, Kalenic is the best choice in town for Karadjordjeva. While other restaurants also offer the dish, Kalenic is unique for continuing to serve it same way it did when her mom was eating there in the 1960s, she says.

When sliced open, this breaded pork-log oozes with kajmak (pronounced it as kay-mak), the local Serbian soul food, a salted creamy dairy product that walks the line between butter and cheese.

A local IT engineer, 41-year-old Milos Tolpa, describes Karadjordjeva as the Serbs’ way of taking Wiener schnitzel, a breaded pork dish traditional to Austria, and “putting it on a higher level”, by preparing it the Serbian way—stuffed.

The dish itself is named after the Serbian revolutionary leader Karadjordje, who helped fight to overthrow Ottoman rule in Serbia during the early 1800s.
Typically served aside French fries and topped with a thick pickle tartar sauce, this stuffed-pork is a restaurant must-try.

It is a dish for the weekends, says Frankovic, “something you would go out to eat with your family as a special treat”.

Both Frankovic and Tolpa recall their parents, among other working Belgradians in the 1980s, saving up their weekly hot-meal coupons from their employers, to take their families out for a hearty weekend lunch, often including Karadjordjeva.

Today, one can still sit on Kalenic’s highly-trafficked curbside tables and partake in locals converging for Sunday lunch.

Of course, a meal of Karadjordjeva, would not be complete without a side of Srpska salata, a light Serbian-style salad of cucumbers and tomatoes, and a pairing of plum rakija—Serbs’ special fruit brandy.

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