Hospitality of the north of Montenegro

Posted 01-Jan-2019 by Filip Čađenović

The thing about this country and its people is that it never stops to surprise me.

The immediacy of people, especially in the northern parts of the country is something great to experience.

The role of the host is taken really seriously and some people even decided to make it their profession.

Each day, more and more rural households in Montenegro are restored and used for touristic purposes.

Montenegrin hosts are kind and bright people who gave life to these old houses. Bringing back old family stories that are waiting to be told in these modern times, something they are all proud of.

The peace you can enjoy in these rural places, the food and drinks you can try, not to mention that it is all homemade, is something no five-star restaurant in the world can provide.

Working and managing a tour agency gave me an opportunity to explore my own country. I have made my goal to learn as much as I can, and use this knowledge to give the visitors to Montenegro the best possible experience a one can give.

Exploration this time took me to the small village near the city of Niksic.

The second I got out of the car, I have seen the widest smile I have probably seen in my life.

It was our host - Svetozar. There are people who can smile with their eyes and Svetozar is the perfect example of those type of people.

Along with him came his wife, his son, and two dogs so huge that I felt like I was ten years old. Their breed is Yugoslavian shepherd, and they are extremely huge compared to the breed of German shepherd. It is common to use Yugoslavian Shepherd as guard dogs in the northern part of the country. They are strong enough to fight wolves. These two dogs are more than 30 kilos each and were cuddling us like they are puppies.

After they welcomed us, we entered an old stone house and sat around the fireplace. This was the place where time has stopped, I had a flashback 20 years ago when I was in our old village house. Unfortunately, that house does not exist anymore but it was almost similar to our old house from the foundation, ambience and size. Old irons, nutcrackers, old mowers tools, dishes hung on the wall and a fireplace in the middle of the room with Sač - Sach.

Sač is a large metal or ceramic lid like a shallow bell with which bread dough or meat to be baked are covered, and over which ashes and live coals are placed.

It is a traditional way of preparing food, mostly used in Slavic parts of Balkan. The meat and vegetables prepared in Sač are juicy and taste way better than prepared on fry pan or oven.

Of course like Montenegrin customs, it requires our host right away to offer us Rakija or homemade juices for non-drinkers. I remember he had three different types of Rakija, all from fruits from his orchard. The colours of the orchard are incredible in spring and summer.

As we were waiting for food being prepared by his wife, Svetozar took us through the orchard. As we came to the end of the trees I noticed beehives. I discovered that our host was also a beekeeper. I had never tried honey as good as what Svetozar produced. He also said, the best way to experience a honey farm is to explore the inside of the beehives but of course, he gave us protection like suits and hats.

On the way back he showed us ‘Trop’ – it is a hole in the ground that was used in the north to preserve potato and save it from freezing.

As we went back to the stone house, his wife made Kačamak for us, a dish prepared and cooked out of flour, cheese and kajmak. This dish is one of the most popular traditional food for the northerners of Montenegro. Nothing is better than Kačamak from the north, it tasted absolutely fantastic.

After an hour of chat and laugh, it was time to say adieu to our host and once again, I had witnessed those widest smile coming from his eyes…

We drove back home full, satisfied, contented with a promise to come back again real soon.

Thank you for hosting us Svetozar.

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