This week in SBS Food’s Blog Appétit – our round up of food blogs worth bookmarking – we bring you Palachinka, with its inspired and not-for-the-faint-hearted recipes. As the author confesses, it's “everyday food made decadent”.
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10 Jun 2014 - 3:00 PM  UPDATED 2 Sep 2014 - 2:21 PM

Ever wondered what Serbian food is like? Palachinka, a food and travel blog by local Marija Petrović, takes readers into the heart of Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Born in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, Petrović, a mathematics graduate, started blogging to document her travels across Europe and beyond. Six years on, she’s still going strong and, while her foreign culinary adventures are appealing, it’s the recipes from her homeland that set this blog apart. Petrović, who now spends half her time in Estonia, learned to cook from her mother and grandmother, and passed countless holidays at her family’s country home preparing classic Serbian fare. These dishes feature on her blog, along with stories from those years, giving readers insight into this distant land.

“Almost all of my childhood memories revolve around food and my family’s country house. I can vividly remember my grandmother and her stained apron, and collecting chestnuts with my grandfather in the backyard. Autumns were particularly memorable. In Serbia, autumn meant saving nature’s bounty before winter arrived, so we always made preserves. We would dry jam jars in baskets in the sun, cook plum conserves in large pots on a wood oven, peel roasted capsicums for ajvar sauce and strain juicy heirloom tomatoes from our garden to make real tomato sauce. It was also the season for making apple, sour cherry and pumpkin filo pies. We were carefree and happy.”

 

The must-cook recipe on my website is...

Doboš torte. It was created in the 19th century in Hungary and is still one of the most beautiful cakes of all time.”

 

I can’t wait to go back to...

“Bangkok to eat a Pad Thai from one of the street vendors on Khao San Road.”

 

My current food obsession is...

Estonian kilu fish. It’s an acquired taste, but now I can’t imagine a week without having it at least once for breakfast.”

 

I learnt to cook from...

“My mother and grandmother.”

 

“When I go back to my home town... Belgrade, the first thing I eat is pljeskavica. It’s Serbia’s take on a burger. I like mine spicy, with lots of sauces and extras.”

 

Friends always ask me to cook my...

Mini burgers.”

 

If I ever met...

“Gordon Ramsey, I would ask him to help me set up my own restaurant.”

 

I always have...

“Tabasco sauce in my pantry, sour cream in my fridge, and pitted sour cherries from a tree at my country house in my freezer.”

 

My favourite biscuit to dunk in a cup of tea is...

“Ladyfingers. I like how fluffy they are.”

 

My most sauce-splattered cookbook is...

Pata’s Cookbook by Spasenija Pata Marinković. It was first published in 1907 and in the preface the author wrote: ‘The best books are cookbooks; most others should have never been written. Too bad cookbook writers are usually unknown’. Ironically, after World War II, the new regime arrested her as a traitor and banned her name, and all editions published between 1945 and 1990 were signed with her initials only. Still, it is the most praised cookbook in Serbia. I have a 1953 edition bought by my grandmother, who underlined the titles of the recipes she tested and liked.”

 

Top picks from Palachinka

1. Red capsicum sauce (ajvar)

2. Sour cherry filo pie (pita sa višnjama)

3. Pork skewers with “chaotic” garlic spread (svinjski ražnjići sa urnebes)

4. Bounty cake (baunti torta)

Blog Appétit editor Yasmin Newman