One would expect that when it comes to Montenegro cuisine or Montenegro traditional food, you can expect the usual: lots of tasty seafood prepared in different manners, which is not exactly unexpected, but as the matter of fact, Montenegro food is as diverse as their surrounding nature.
Montenegro food specialties vary at the coastal and mountainous region, as well as the central part of the country. An interesting fact concerning Montenegro traditional food is that the preparation process is distinctly different in restaurants and in villages, which is why, if you have the time, recommend both experiences equally.
The origin of the Montenegro cuisine is mixed, having Italian, Turkish and Greek blended with more traditional Montenegrin national dish, making it very distinctive and exotic, and more importantly, very tasteful. Many dishes that belong to the traditional food of Montenegro can be tasted in our beautiful Porto Montenegro resort, along with many foreign other national cuisines, making it at an ideal start for you to start exploring some of the following specialties of Montenegro.
Montenegro food culture along the coastline
Unique and fresh are the first two things that come to mind when you think of Montenegro cuisine, especially the diverse coastal dishes, contained mostly of fish and seafood dishes. The fish preparation is a traditional practice in Montenegro, when the fish is scaled, gilled and laid out under the scorching sun, all the while being daily dipped in sea water.
When the drying process is completed, it is smoked over a fire and placed into paper bags. This is a delicacy that can be combined differently, and for example, the most common winter variant is boiled and served with vegetables. Also, if somebody doesn’t like fish, there are alternatives such as fish salad and goulash.
The fish salad is cooked from the freshest seafood and then combined with the aromas, seasonings and spices most common in the Montenegro cuisine. Some of the most famous seasonings are definitely palenta, made of corn flour, chards and boiled potatoes, representing some of the tastiest fish/seafood dishes you would hate to miss out on.
White and red prawn buzara
The buzara is a particular dish made with prawns, a special type of crayfish, but it can be made with squid too. It is cooked in a special sauce, the white buzara being cooked with white wine, and the red with mixed red wine and tomato sauce.
When it comes to Montenegro local food, buzara is among the best specialties out there, but most people agree that the white buzara is particularly delicious, coming with white sauce made of white wine, olive oil, onion and fennel.
Grilled fish and seafood
Grilled fish and seafood is a national dish you can never go wrong with, and apart from different kinds of fish, calamari, squid and octopus, the other sorts of seafood are grilled as well, mostly prawns, lobster, crayfish and shrimps. It is always freshly prepared, with that sea aroma emitting from every bite.
Calamari squid salad
This is one of the most common Montenegro food specialties, and it can be found on every menu, especially along the coastline, making it completely unavoidable, but delicious.. They are mostly grilled or fried, and can be served both as a starter and a main course, hot or cold, but always tender and rich with flavor.
Central Montenegro local bring you the tastes you can’t live without
When asked what to eat in Montenegro most folks would reply with the absolute certainty that the meat specialties are the most local when it comes Montenegro local food, and it doesn’t go beyond that. For instance, mutton, pork, beef and poultry are used for cooking variety of dishes, mainly combined with kajmak, another delicatesse common in the Balkan countries.
Kajmak is made by pouring sheep’s milk into a flow bowl and then putting the flow bowl in the oven, leaving it for 3 hours straight. When the milk is cooled, the upper layer is slowly removed and shifted into another bawl, where salt is added – enter kajmak. This cream is especially good being used as a spread for meat and chicken, making it more tender and juicy, like in the dishes below.
Lamb cooked in an iron pan
This is a type of dish more common inland than on the coast, but almost every Montenegro restaurant set in the central part of the country will probably serve it. It represents a heavy meat-based dish cooked in an iron pan and topped with a hollow lid called sač and hot coal.
This dish might be cooking for ages, but the end result is more than worth it, since the meat becomes so tender it falls off the bone. It can be made of various kinds of meat, but most commonly the lamb combined with specially made potatoes, onions and tomatoes. Since the dish glistens with fat released from the meat, make sure to order some bread to dip into the gravy, you won’t be disappointed.
Lamb in milk
This Montenegro national dish literally indicates that the lamb is cooked in milk for a longer period of time, with milk allowing the meat to come off bones more easily and become more juicy, as well to absorb some of the more earthy flavors from the added root vegetables.
Probably the most common food in the Balkans, cevapi are certainly the grilled meat specialty you cannot resist when it comes to Montenegro cuisine. They can be made with different types of meat, those being chicken, pork, lamb or beef, chopped and skewered along with onion, peppers and other types of vegetables.
To really explore Montenegro cuisine, head to the mountains
Now we are talking about the foundation of the Montenegro cuisine, the dishes that are mainly served as starter courses, with these servings tending to be bigger and served family style.
The most famous item is probably prosciutto (pršut), commonly known as the national meat, and the best of the best is made in Njeguši, near Cetinje, which is why it’s locally called Njeguški pršut. It is made of pork dried in the mountains, where the air is fresh, making it a kind of dried meat with a unique taste.
Montenegro cheese is another one of the common Montenegro specialties, with a very distinct flavor, varying from the area it’s made in. One of the most popular is definitely Kolasin cheese, originated from Bjelasica. It’s pressed by large rocks during preparation and the end result is layered cheese that is a fundamental part of the Montenegro cuisine, deep into the mountains.
If we managed to present you all the savours of the Montenegro cuisine and their specialties, the good thing is that the best restaurants in Porto Montenegro happen to be the best restaurants in Montenegro, period, allowing you to taste all the unique dishes our charming country is known for and relish in them and the view of our divine coastline.