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How I Learned the Serbian Mating Call

September 2, 2010

When I met my husband in 1998, he was living in a boarding house and subsisting on sandwiches, so the bar was set pretty low when it came to impressing him with my culinary skills. He’s always been appreciative of my cooking, but on those occasions when I really knock his socks off, I’m rewarded with the ultimate compliment: the Serbian mating call.

It’s nothing official and I’m not sure if any other Serbs actually do this, but when my husband takes a bite of something extra delicious, he can’t help but lean back in his chair, pound on the table a few times and let loose with a litany of Serbian swears. The first time he did it I took offense, until he collected himself and explained that eliciting such a reaction was a huge compliment. And so the term was coined.

I’ve never found cause to break out my own version*, until we get to Baščaršija, the old town in Sarajevo. It’s an eclectic mix of kitschy Turkish souvenirs, places of worship, funky boutiques and a variety of Bosnian restaurants. My husband has been hankering for cevape (pron. chi-vah-pay) since we arrived (more like since he left), so we search out a non-descript place recommended by our driver. Cevape is a meal consisting of small pork sausages wrapped with onions in a thick pita smeared in kaymak (pron. kiy-mack), which is similar to cream cheese.

I’ve had cevape at a Serbian restaurant in Canada and it was pretty good, but nothing that prepared me for civape in Sarajevo. This cevape, that cost about $5.00, was culinary porn of the highest order and it turned me into a table-pounding, swear-spewing fool.

My new favorite place comes with a new favorite food, and I could eat my shoe just writing about it.

This does NOT do cevape any justice...

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. September 2, 2010 3:50 pm

    Is that sausage? What’s the meat?
    And, I can’t believe you have a category called ‘mating calls’! I need to hire you to rename all of my categories.

    • September 3, 2010 8:53 am

      It’s all pork, all the time, baby! Apparently, they only use certain parts and it’s prepared a specific way, because it’s like nothing else I’ve tried…we’re going to see a place here in Croatia for cevape, but my husband has warned me not to get my hopes up… 🙂

      Also, being drunk in Dubrovnik is helping my category labeling IMMENSELY!

  2. September 2, 2010 11:38 pm

    I must say – you are awesome! I just love everything you write!

  3. September 10, 2010 11:58 am

    okay the view in the last one I read was awesome…but baby…where do we find this here? Royal Meats??? imagine some of that saucy goodness on here??? IMAGINE IT!

    • September 10, 2010 4:33 pm

      Royal meats does them, but we may have to upgrade to Zam or McAdam – name the day baby! (And not only can I imagine it, I’m drooling on the keyboard REMEMBERING it!!!!)

  4. September 30, 2010 5:12 pm

    That is hilarious. My husband who is bosnain has the same reaction to certain things and I find it so funny, especially when he and his friends get together you would think a riot was breaking out:)

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