Zelnik {Spelt Phyllo Pastry from the Balkans}

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It’s been more than a month since we’ve returned from our longer trip to Macedonia and I hate to admit it, but up until now, I haven’t made any of the recipes I’ve learned to make when I was there. So last week, out of nowhere, I decided it was time to make the “zelnik”, bought a bunch of leeks and planned on making it once in the next few days. Well, that “once” happened to be the same day at 10 p.m. because (as I mentioned in my previous post) I get really impatient when it comes to cooking and want to make everything right away if not sooner. It may not have turned out as perfectly as the one I made in Macedonia under the watchful eye of my boyfriend’s mother, but it tasted really good.

For those of you who don’t know, zelnik is a traditional pastry from the Balkans composed of thin layers of phyllo pastry filled with different ingredients, usually combinations of white cheese, eggs, sorrel, browned meat and leeks, sometimes also brined cabbage and spinach, from which the dish derives its name: “zelje”means spinach. Zelnik is served with yoghurt and is best eaten warm. Continue reading

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Macedonia Timeless

As the official national campaign for promotion of tourism in Macedonia states – “senses are gates of our souls”. And the past month of travelling around Macedonia has been a real treat to all my senses. So many breathtaking cities and natural wonders, lots of great music in restaurants and countless night clubs, so many hugs, kisses and hand shakes from some of the warmest people I’ve met and last but not least, such amazingly delicious and fragrant cuisine!

Bread & Snacks

Almost like Paris, Skopje and Bitola (and any other city in Macedonia for that matter) are scattered with little bakeries, selling all sorts of bite sized breads and snacks, so you do not have to worry about being hungry at any time of the day.

“Varen Gevrek” is a delicious type of bread, which is prepared in two phases after the dough has risen – first the rolls are given a quick cook in boiling salted water, then they are covered in sesame and baked in the oven. The result is more than delicious and if you happen to be strolling down the main street in Bitola (Širok Sokak), make sure to get one filled with olives. Yum!

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