Nameless country MacedoniaNalynn Dolan Caine ▼ | Wednesday April 9, 2008 3:50AM ET
In September of 1991 Macedonia become sovereign and independent state, in 1993 Macedonia is admitted to the United Nations and it becomes a member of the Council of Europe, 1995. Due to disputes with Greece regarding the name "Macedonia", the state has temporary name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
If we must to describe it with few words we would say that Macedonia is the country of exceptionally kind people and beautiful nature. It can commend with lake Ohrid, one of the oldest lake on Earth, and three national parks: Galicica, Mavrovo and Pelister. Along Ohrid lake, Prespan and Dojran will leave you breathless just like its more than thousand monasteries, basilicas and chapels.
Macedonia has well known skiing place Popova Shapka, while Šar Mountain is the homeland of shepherd dog sarplaninac, highly protective dogs by their nature. It is one of the rare countries that don't use pesticide in its agriculture and because of very warm summers fruits and vegetables are full of sweet and taste deliciously.
But, what characterizes Macedonia the most, are its charming, smiley and amicable hosts. Although they are know by good wine producers as Tikvesh, Bovin and Skovin, Macedonians likes brandy more. They finish every meal with brandy served is a small bowl.
Usually, people connect Macedonia with a part of Orient therefore you can feel influent of Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Greek, Bulgari and Byzant cuisine. But, not so long ago, Macedonia was a part of Mediterranean what its cuisine make even more interesting.
We may say without adulation that Macedonia is a gastronomic heaven. Pork cutlet filled with a cheese and folded in bacon, or tiny cute veal liver spiced with oil, garlic and chopped parsley, penetrate nose and stimulate saliva just by describing. Macedonians adore barbecue and if you ever visit Skopje or any other Macedonia city, don't let some not so fancy "barrack" that serve meal reject you, because you will eat there better than queen of England and at funny prices.
Macedonians start meal with salad, but what characterizes it more is paprika. Macedonians know numerous recipes for paprika and make the best aivar in the world like green and red aivar, or they mix smashed roasted paprika with potato or in some versions they mix smashed roasted egg-plant with walnuts and mayonnaise. Tourists honourable white sheep cheese and roasted bean that is a high class Macedonia's speciality.
Macedonia's sweets are story for themselves that will make you understand more clearly how colourful mixing of the cultures can influence a nation's cuisine. Greek or Turkish pie (baklava) covered with melted honey and lemon juice can be made with different stuffing with walnuts as the most common.
"Ordinary" Macedonia sweets are chocolate cake (you must eat it hot) served with raspberry sauce, apple pie with caramel sauce, cheesecake, or pie which dough is made of melted walnuts filled with two chocolates and a chestnut cr?me. You will get a kilogram or more likely five kilograms if you taste all that, we can guarantee.
Former Yugoslav citizens long ago made jokes with Macedonian people and said that every Macedonian has a chair near bed to rest after sleep, alluding to Macedonians' easy lifestyle. Slowly or not, Macedonians are good-hearted people that will give you all they have if you show an interest for them. Capital Skopje has two 5 stars hotels, 2 four stars and few 3 stars hotels. Each of them will host you slowly (ups, joke). Seriously, they will host you like a sultan, its warmness is unique, indeed.
Before you leave Macedonia don't forget to buy some souvenirs. We recommend jewellery made of Ohrid pearls or bottle of Macedonia's brandy, what ever occupy your heart more. ■