| 93 I have to embark on this gastronomic journey from Istanbul, because that’s city I coincidentally return to every few years. The world’s only city that stretches across the territories of two continents is a story in its own right. Described in countless books and lms, it only reveals its true nature when you start exploring it one step at a time. Istanbul isn’t a city; Istanbul’s an adventure. History just a step away from the modern, tradition in close proximity to avant-garde. Islam and Christianity. Baklava and pro- teroles. The Grand Bazaar and huge shopping centres. It was in Istanbul that I learnt that burek pie isn’t lled only withmeat, that pastry for the best baklava isn’t bought in shops, rather is made by the hand of genuinemaestros, stretchedover giant rollingpins, and that thebest baklava is eatenwith bu alo milk curd, which has a taste that cannot be described with words. In Istanbul you can eat probably the best pro teroles that I’ve ever tried, in the İnci Patisserie near TaksimSquare. It was there that I learnt that the city’s best restaurants have been owned by the same family for more than seven generations. Istanbul is a book that I can reread over and over again, and which I always keep open. And while we’re on the subject of colourful hues and wonderful aromas, one of the most inspiring places where I had the opportunity to dive into the world of spices was Israel. My motto for my journeys is – if you really want to acquaint yourself with a city, you must tour at least one market. Thechoice in Israelwas,without anydilemma,MahaneYehudaMarket in Jerusalem, which has been located in the same place for more than a century. For anyonewanting toexperienceall the splendour of aMiddleEasternmarket, this is the right place, as the atmosphere is primarily such that you forget that aworld exists beyond it. If you’re interested in a place that prepares authenticMiddleEastern food, head toAzuraRestaurant. No, it doesn’t have anexpensive interior, nor aMichelin star, nor evenwaiters inuniforms created by Karl Lagerfeld. People come here for the food, and keep in mind that it can easily happen that you have to wait up to half an hour for a free table. And when I return to this region of ours, my wish is to go to Macedonia, to Lake Ohrid, which has so much to o er. Given that I’m not a classic tourist lured by trendy destinations and cuisines, visiting Ohrid was a great revelation for me. The lake’s trout is class; something that you simply must sample in one of the restaurants overlooking the lake. Potpesh Beach Restaurant is really worthy of every recommendation, while for those with an adventurous spirit there’s the restaurant at the source of the BlackDrimthat specialises in eel from Lake Ohrid. This is something that can only be sampled there, given that it’s an indigenous species. Itmight comeas a surprise toyou, but Prague ismy latest love.Wemight have fallen in love late, and at rst glance. I love to stroll, and Prague was worth every step that I took there. Refreshment can be found everywhere in traditional beer halls, where you can eat perfectly prepared pork knuckle or ribs. This isn’t exactly what could be described as a light meal, but after many hours spent strolling through the fairy-tale Prague, Czechia’s traditional heavy cuisine is fully justi ed. One place that really remained inmy heart is the Luka Lu Restaurant, in the part of the city called the Little Quarter.With an unusual ambience, it provides the perfect service and quality of food.The restaurant’sownershail fromthis regionand theentireexperience of the venue could be described as a playful Balkan eclectic in the middle of Prague. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t great local dishes, such as Czech goulash with dumplings. And to conclude, this top- ve selection of mine must include Sweden, where I’ve been many times, with each trip representing a story in its own right. Stockholm is known as a large, exciting, cosmopolitan city that has something to o er for everyone. However, my heart remained in the south of Sweden, in theprovinceof Skåne, or – tobemoreprecise – in the area surroundingMalmö. That’s alsomymost recent journey, which I returned from this summer. I visited estates where organic food is cultivated and where meals are prepared with the kind of love and dedication that can’t possibly leave one feeling indi erent. However, when I viewedmy hosts through the prismof their relationship towards food and their dedication to detail in the areas inwhich they create, it was clear that there’s a lot of warmth that’s preserved for those who are capable of recognising it. U Istanbulu sam naučio da burek nije samo s mesom i da se kore za najbolju baklavu ne kupuju u radnji It was in Istanbul that I learnt that burek pie isn’t filled only with meat, that pastry for the best baklava isn’t bought in shops ISTANBUL ŠVEDSKA / Sweden IZRAEL /Israel