Delicious and hearty meals are deeply rooted in Serbian customs and are a staple part of their holidays and celebrations. Century-old recipes infused with history definitely put Serbia on the map as a gastronomic destination, but while their food and interesting traditions play an essential role in Serbia’s worldwide fame, there are plenty of other things worth mentioning.
This article will cover a few things that represent Serbia in the best light and make this small country famous on an international level.
1. Their National Drink Šljivovica (Plum Brandy)
With food and culture being the most commonly mentioned facts when tourists discuss what is Serbia known for, it is only natural to mention their national drink in the same sentence. Šljivovica is a type of rakija (Serbian brandy) made from a special variety of plum exclusively grown in the Balkans.
The production process for Šljivovica has remained unchanged for centuries, with a few modern techniques thrown into the mix. As a drink infused with tradition, you’ll often see toasts being made with Šljivovica instead of wine, as is the case in most countries. Bear in mind that this is a very strong liquor commonly having as high as 40 % alcohol, so we recommend sipping it slowly as opposed to drinking it as a shot.
If you’re visiting Serbia, you’ll be able to find Šljivovica in any liquor store, but we recommend trying to get your hands on a homemade version. That’s the good stuff!
2. Famous Serbian People
Serbia boasts a substantial number of influential people that have left their mark on a global scale. From scientists that have shaped the world we live in today, to talented athletes, actors, writers, directors, and many other artists – Serbia has a lot to be proud of.
Nikola Tesla, arguably the greatest inventor, and innovator of all time, was born in Serbia. Even though he spent most of his life living in the USA, Tesla was always proud of his roots and his tradition. His last wish was that all of his original documents and belongings be transferred to Serbia.
Another important figure hailing from Serbia was Mihajlo Pupin. Like Tesla, Pupin spent most of his life in the USA but was also proud of his heritage. He was responsible for perfecting the telephone and was one of the founders of the organization that later became NASA.
Finally, we have Milutin Milanković, who perfected the modern calendar and has a couple of celestial craters named after him.
More recently, Novak Djokovic has been contributing to Serbia’s fame by dominating the tennis world. If you know anything about this sport, you’ve surely heard of this talented athlete. Novak is also known for his humanitarian work and has been appointed as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
There’s also Vlade Divac, Emir Kusturica, Milorad Čavic, Mila Jovović, and many more famous Serbians, but it would take another whole article to cover them all.
3. Their Unique Holiday Called “Slava”
If you have Serbian friends and you’re lucky enough to visit them during their “slava,” your stay will definitely be a memorable one.
Almost every family celebrates this unique holiday in honor of their patron saint. According to customs, everyone is invited to join in on the feast and celebrate among family and friends. This can be your chance to try out some of the traditional dishes and homemade bread while you wash them down with wine and authentic Šljivovica.
4. Their Local Bohemian Bistro Called Kafana
Kafana is a traditional Serbian tavern that you can find all around the world. Wherever Serbian people immigrated, Kafanas followed. However, if you’re truly looking to experience these bohemian establishments, you’ll need to visit Serbia and find out what’s all the fuss about. Live music that touches your soul, delicious food that fills your belly, and an endless amount of drinks to extend the night. Unfortunately, trying to explain it in words just doesn’t do it justice.
And there you have it, four things besides their delicious food, that Serbia is known for around the world. Speaking of meaty Serbian delights, have you visited our restaurant lately? You can find us at the heart of South Beach, where you can try the most authentic Serbian cuisine on this side of the planet.