/ 96 | that soft meat from the middle out with a spoon, so dad wanted to give us a beating. And for us thatMontenegrin pršut ham is still the food we love the most in the world. We don’t prepare popara; that remained dad’s, and he’s been gone for a long time. We wouldn’t even know how to prepare it, we lack one essential spice – gratitude for having not died of starvation. While he was alive, we spent every summer holiday in Montenegro, and before we stopped by in his home region, to aunt Mika’s place, in the village of Polica above Berane. It was there that I rst encountered kačamak, but we didn’t like it. We would nag our aunt to feed us cheese and pršut, and that poor woman would chase us with that kačamak and a cup of hot ‘varenika’, sweet milk. Even today, thirty years later, I still remember that milk, which my aunt claimed was the best in the world because it had just been milked from the cow and the varenika was still warm. And we kids, who nearly fainted just thinking about a cow’s udder, ed from our aunt like lunatics. Dad died a long time ago, andmy aunt died too, and we stopped going to their home region. When we meet again in some parallel worlds, I have no doubt that he’ll await us with popara, and she with a cup of hot varenika. Andwe’ll certainly also seek pršut hamand cheese in that world! In the meantime, after a break of a long time, I was again indad’sneighbourhood. At theLipkaHotel inKolašin there are gourmet delights for dinner; I wolf down the customary pršut ham and cheese, then stand in front of a bowl with a note reading“national speciality”. I peer inside, only to nd kačamak! Okay, giveme a little, so I don’t come across as being arrogant towards national specialities. And, Dear God, a great miracle occurs when I try that kačamak! Soft, tasty, lling, wondrous; you’ll think I’m crazy, but it was perhaps the best thing I’d ever eaten! And not only me: we fought over that bowl until the end of dinner, all but licking it! I think to myself, sorry aunt, I didn’t know; I was only little! In the north of Montenegro, everyone prepares kačamak in their owndesiredway.Withmoreor less cream curd or di erent cheese, but it all boils down to the same. It’s beaten and sloppy, and it isn’t easy tomake. You need a wooden kačamar pin with which to beat it, which resembles a small baseball bat. If you do not have that, try something round that has a at bottomwith which you can hit it. The elderly say it must be hit 365 times! Montenegrin cuisine in general, but especially in the north, is simple, modest and delicious. Its fundamentals comprise cheese, cream, potatoes and, clearly, kačamak. However, you don’t need to go to Montenegro to enjoy these avours. The secrets to preparing specialities from Montenegro were revealed to us by a Montenegrin with anaddress inBelgrade. AthisKatunrestaurant,Vladimir Lutovac preserves the spirit and soul of Northern Montenegro and welcomes his guests with, amongst other things, the best sloppy kačamak. - For good kačamak the most important element is cheese. Itmustbeleafykolašincheese,andapart fromall that it also has to be beaten and not blended in a mixer, which would objectively speed up the preparation process, but insteadof kačamak you’dendupwithmash,”saysVladimir. Try to make it yourself. It might be a bit complicated, but it’s de nitely worth the e ort! NJEGUŠKI STEK POTREBNO JE: 500 g svinjskog filea, 100 g kajmaka, 100 g njeguške pršute, 100 g kiselih krastavčića, so PRIPREMA: Meso zasecite sa strane da dobijete veću šniclu, lagano je istucite tučkom za meso, posolite, pa stavite kajmak, pršutu, seckane krastavčiće i urolajte. Meso pecite na tiganju ili roštilju. Montenegrin cuisine in general, but especially in the north, is simple, modest and delicious. Its fundamentals comprise cheese, cream, potatoes and, clearly, kačamak Crnogorska kuhinja, naročito na severu, jednostavna je, skromna i preukusna. Osnovu čine sir, kajmak, krompir, pršuta i jasno – kačamak NJEGUŠKI STEAK INGREDIENTS: 500g of pork llet, 100g of milk curd, 100g of Njeguški pršut cured ham, 100g of gherkins, salt PREPARATION: Slice the meat across the middle to create a bigger steak, gently tenderise it with a meat tenderiser, add salt, then top with the curd, cured ham and chopped gherkins before rolling. Fry the meat in a frying pan or on a barbecue.