Eastern European

Balkan cuisine

Balkan cuisine represents a regional culinary style that blends elements of European cuisine with those from Western Asia. This cuisine is predominantly found in the Balkan Peninsula of Southeast Europe, encompassing modern countries such as Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania, and Greece, as well as the former Yugoslavia. However, the boundaries of this region are not clearly defined and may exclude Slovenia and certain northern inland areas of Croatia.

The influence of Balkan cuisine extends beyond the region, as evidenced by its presence in cities like Vienna, where it was introduced through post-WWII migration. Similarly, Germany boasts restaurants offering Balkan cuisine, which were commonly referred to as Yugoslavian restaurants until the outbreak of the Yugoslav Wars. Beginning in the 1960s, Balkan Grills in West Germany contributed to the popularity of dishes like ćevapčići, although these establishments have become less common since the late 1980s, with many now identifying as “Croatian” instead.

In addition, Slovenia saw the opening of a restaurant specializing in Romani cuisine in 2014. Romani cuisine, which represents the traditional food of the Romani people, incorporates elements from traditional Balkan cuisine, further highlighting the cultural significance and widespread influence of Balkan culinary traditions.

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Bon appetit!

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