What makes Serbia widely known is a traditional specialty – ajvar! Many jokes related to this delicacy can be heard among the locals, for example, that the right girls smell like ajvar in September, as well as that the only thing more popular from I-phone in Serbia is I-var.
This year, a fun-competitive project revived under the humorous slogan “MEET ME ON THE JAR”, and all housewives (and hosts) with skilled culinary abilities could try and “levy their powers” in over 20 cities in Serbia from 28 August to 20 October.
The finals took place on Zlatibor, on 20 October, and those who made the most delicious ajvar, judging by the voices of the crowd that liked to eat very much, went back home with the valuable prizes as the stove SMEDEREVAC for the runner-up in order for the fans of Serbian specialties to ensure that in the coming years in the autumn everything would smell of roasted red pepper and households in Serbia would be full of colorful jars of homemade ajvar!
THE RECIPE THAT IS BEING PRESENT IN OUR FAMILIES FOR MANY YEARS IS THE FOLLOWING:
- 30 kg of red pepper-1 liter of oil
- 200 ml of vinegar
- ½ sachet of preservatives
- a lot of love and patience
Instructions for preparation:
- Bake the peppers in the traditional way – on the furnace or on the good old Smederevac. Stack baked peppers into a deeper dish, while they are hot and covered them in order to steam the skin and peel it off from the peppers. Peel carefully, clean of seeds and mince the peppers.
- Warm the oil well in a wide saucepan, then add the minced peppers. Make sure the oil is hot, so that the peppers cheerfully “sizzle”. Bake them and simmer for a long, long time with occasional mixing. Be careful not to be burnt! First stir occasionally until ajvar boils, and then constantly so that it does not stick to the pot. Near the end of cooking, add vinegar and preservative. Ajvar is ready when there starts to remain the clear mark of spoon with which bottom of the pan is mixed and when it is very thick. You can add salt into the finished ajvar, and while it is hot pour it into jars.
- Allow ajvar to “spend the night” in the oven at 60-80 degrees C until it browns. Warm up about 200 ml. of oil before closing the jars and coat the surface of ajvar so that it “sizzles” again. Close the jar first with the cellophane, then with the lid and leave it in a cool and secluded place (so that the hungry folks would not immediately devour it)! Additional advice: It is very important to cook ajvar for a long time, because only well-baked ajvar does not spoil. So, the point is not to add a lot of preservatives, but to simmer it for a long time.
Additional advice: You can cover the cellophane with which you close jars and lids with the cotton pad or gauze moistened with alcohol – because it works great against spoiling of ajvar!
We hope you will enjoy this “godlike” local specialty at least half as much as we were enjoy while tasting the first “season’s” jar. We know that it takes a lot of time and effort for ajvar to compete with ajvar of our grandmothers, but it give you so much in return throughout the winter with its wonderful taste!
If you have an interesting recipe to prepare this traditional specialty, contact us. We can`t get enough of the quality ideas for this delicious winter specialty~
AJVAR- promote what`s local!
If you want to be part of this adventure, or any other fascinating place that we wrote about on our site, please contact us HERE and we will make sure that you enjoy visiting our beautiful country, Serbia. We are here to make your dreams come true!