We caught wind of a Serbian Festival happening in Sydney on Facebook and, having never tried Serbian food before, we just had to go! We invited our Serbian friend along with us to explain everything (lucky we did, everything was in Serbian when we got there!) and dove right in.
Our friend’s recommendation was to try the Burek, a baked filo pastry filled with a variety of ingredients. We found the pastry to be a bit heavy, underdone and I would have liked more meat in the pastry. My girlfriend tried the Apple Burek and she found the apple to be a bit on the chewy side. Perhaps this wasn’t the best example of the dish.
Feeling a bit unsatisfied, I also tried the Ćevapi Roll topped with cabbage and caramelised onion. Ćevapi is a traditional skinless sausage native to South Eastern Europe. This was much more filling than the Burek and, because of the lack of sausage skin, was much more tender than a normal sausage but meant they were a lot smaller as well. The roll had 4 sausages in it.
Against all logic, the Serbian Festival was held at the height of the summer heat despite the normal weather in Serbia being quite the opposite. We spent most of the time under the tent trying to cool off. To help, we got a cup of mint lemonade. It tasted very fresh and was perfect for this weather.
Cockta is a soft drink native to the Balkans. It’s main ingredient comes from rose hip along with 11 other ingredients. It tastes quite similar to cola but doesn’t have any of the caffeine. Very refreshing.
We would have liked to write about the entertainment but unfortunately most of it was in Serbian with no translations. As a result, it was hard to get into the atmosphere of the festival. The food felt out of place in the scorching Australian sun and we couldn’t help but feel like this event would have been better suited to the cooler months. All of these factors left us confused and feeling left out.