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Macedonia Cuisine


Macedonian cuisine is a representative of the cuisine of the Balkans, reflecting Turkish, Greek and Middle Eastern influences and to a lesser extent Italian, Mediterranean and Hungarian ones. The relatively warm climate provides excellent growth conditions for a variety of vegetables, herbs and fruits. Thus, Macedonian cuisine is particularly diverse.

Famous for its rich "Shopska" salad, required at every meal, Macedonian cuisine is also noted for the diversity and quality of its dairy products, wines, and local alcoholic beverages, such as rakija and mastika.

Macedonian cuisine does not imply knowing any special cooking techniques. People use the same preparation methods as the rest of the Europeans. Of course, each dish requires to be prepared in a certain way, but all the manners are typical.

Hence, some of the foods may involve either deep frying, boiling, stewing, baking, steaming and grilling, while others would require seasoning, salting and simmering. There are specific preparation techniques to be used when starting from raw ingredients and others when the goal is only to enhance the taste of the foods. People that want to cook a Macedonian recipe should have, hence, basic knowledge about the general cooking methods used nowdays.

Lamb is the most common meat dish, but beef and pork are readily available. Chopped meat, grilled Balkan style, is also quite popular.

Traditional Dishes

Tavče Gravče

Traditional Macedonian dish. It involves boiling the beans first and then mixed with onion, peppers, tomato, oil, flour and various spices baked in a pottery saucepan.


A Macedonian paprika relish made principally from red bell peppers, with eggplant, garlic and chili pepper. It is predominantly popular in the Balkans, mainly in Macedonia. Depending on capsaicin content in bell peppers and the amount of added chili peppers, it can be sweet, piquant (the most common), or very hot. Ajvar can be consumed as a bread spread, a condiment, or as a salad.


A dish of grilled minced meat, they may be served on a plate or in a flatbread, often with chopped onions, sour cream, kajmak, ajvar, cottage cheese, and so on.

Shkembe Chorba

A kind of tripe soup.


A spicy Macedonian relish, and is commonly used as a summer spread. Pindjur is similar to ajvar but is generally made with aubergines. In some regions the words are used interchangeably.


A cold soup (or a liquid salad), popular in the summertime. It is made of yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, walnuts, dill, vegetable oil, and water. It is best served chilled or even with ice. Local variations may replace yogurt with water and vinegar, omit nuts or dill, or add bread. The cucumbers may on rare occasions be replaced with lettuce or carrots.


A meal made with left over or fresh bread.


A hamburger dish popular in most of the Balkans. Traditional pljeskavica was made from a mixture of lamb or pork and beef, grilled with onions and served hot on fresh somun with a thick pita bread.


A dish made of corn flour, potato and, sometimes, feta cheese or skorup. Similar to the Italian polenta and Romanian mămăligă, it is prepared by boiling the mixture until it is thick or runny, depending on taste, and then mashing while the pot is still on the fire. It is usually served with milk, plain yogurt, sour cream or sometimes with bacon.





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