Balkan cuisine is naturally eclectic because the region has experienced so many influences throughout the ages. From ancient Romans who strarted olive oil production to the Ottoman Turks in the Middle ages and finally the Italian and German influences have made their cuisines and gastronomic customs more sophisticated. However, the true spirit of the Balkans is in their mountains.
Meat is the main ingredient: grilled, baked or smoked. In Christian countries they mainly eat pork, while Muslims prefer beef. There are about half a dozen meat specialties known under the common title of “roštilj” or “skara”, which comes from the name of the specific type of grill on which these meals are prepared. The most popular one, called ćevap (derived from the Turkish kebab), has quite a peculiar geography. Several Balkan cities compete for the title of the Balkan ćevap capital.