When you’re in Skopje, trying rakija is a must-do.
This traditional Balkan drink is a type of fruit brandy that’s often served as an aperitif or digestif.
It’s strong. Very strong. So you’ll want to pair it with some food to balance out the flavors.
But what should you eat while drinking rakija in Skopje?
Find out below…
Rakija: The National Drink of Macedonia
When you visit Skopje, you will quickly discover rakija is an essential part of the local culture.
This strong fruit brandy is considered the national drink of Macedonia, and it is consumed on many occasions, from weddings to funerals.
Rakija is made from various fruits, including plums, grapes, apricots, and quince.
Each type of rakija has its own unique flavor and aroma, and Macedonians take great pride in their homemade versions of the drink.
When you sit down to enjoy a glass of rakija, you will often be offered a small plate of snacks to accompany the drink.
These snacks, known as meze, are similar to tapas and are meant to be shared among friends.
Some popular meze options to enjoy with rakija in Skopje include:
- Ajvar: A spread made from roasted red peppers and eggplant
- Kajmak: A creamy dairy spread similar to clotted cream
- Shopska salad: A refreshing salad made with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and feta cheese
- Sujuk: A spicy sausage made from beef or lamb
It is important to note that rakija is a strong drink, with an alcohol content ranging from 40% to 65%.
Macedonians typically sip their rakija slowly, savoring the flavor and enjoying the company of friends and family.
What to Eat While Drinking Rakija in Skopje
When it comes to enjoying rakija in Skopje, there are some traditional foods I recommend pairing it with.
Here are a few options to consider:
Remember, it’s important to eat while drinking rakija to avoid getting too intoxicated too quickly.
So, be sure to order some food to enjoy with your drink.
Other Traditional Macedonian Food to Try
When it comes to traditional Macedonian food, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Macedonian cuisine is heavily influenced by the Balkans, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern regions, resulting in a unique blend of flavors and ingredients.
One of the most popular dishes is Tavche Gravche, which is a hearty bean stew made with white beans, onions, peppers, and tomatoes.
It’s typically served with bread and cheese and is a perfect option for a cold winter day.
Another must-try delicacy is Ajvar, which is a roasted red pepper and eggplant spread that is often served as an appetizer.
It’s delicious on its own or as a topping for bread or grilled meat.
If you’re looking for something a bit more substantial, try the Macedonian version of Moussaka, which is a layered dish made with potatoes, ground meat, and eggplant.
It’s topped with a creamy bechamel sauce and baked until golden brown.
For meat lovers, there’s Selsko Meso, which is a rustic dish made with pork, onions, mushrooms, bacon, and spices.
It’s typically served with cheese and dry red peppers and is a perfect accompaniment to a glass of rakija.
Rakija Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find the best Macedonian restaurant in Skopje to enjoy with rakija?
Skopje is home to many great restaurants that serve traditional Macedonian cuisine, and some of the best ones can be found in the Old Bazaar.
Restaurants there offer a variety of dishes that pair well with rakija, including grilled meats, stews, and salads.
Are there any Macedonian breakfast dishes that go well with rakija in Skopje?
While rakija is not typically consumed during breakfast in Macedonia, there are some breakfast dishes that you can enjoy with this strong spirit.
One popular option is burek, a savory pastry that is filled with cheese, meat, or vegetables.
Another option is mekitsi, a fried dough that is often served with honey or jam.
These dishes are a great way to start your day in Skopje and can be found at many bakeries and cafes throughout the city.