Serbian in Serbia
Breakfast is generally eaten around eight a.m. Lunch, the largest meal of the day, is eaten between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m., and supper is served at around 9:00 p.m. Often, older Serbs observe a meal schedule which serves both lunch and dinner at an earlier hour. A predominantly meat-based cuisine, Serb main dishes include veal, pork, chicken and beef, all of which tend to be fried and quite rich. The meat is accompanied by potatoes, pickled vegetables, salads, and sauerkraut.
When breakfast is eaten out, it consists of coffee and an item from the bakery such as a croissant or roll. At home, choices for breakfast include an omelette with bread and butter, a sandwich made of cream cheese and ham, or simply a portion of bread and jam. Regular or turkish coffee, tea, juice or milk accompany the meal. A typical lunch includes broth, a main meat course, vegetable, bread and dessert. On cooler days, the beverage would be wine and in summer, beer. Dinners in Serbia depend more on the individual’s lifestyle. If one works late and misses the large afternoon meal, dinner will be a larger meal. For those who have a large lunch in the afternoon, the evening meal is smaller and may consist of leftovers from the afternoon meal or some other small portion of pasta, sausages, or possibly even a sandwich. Desserts with lunch and dinner might include fruit pies baked in filo dough, fruitcake, cookies, crepes, or even fresh fruit. Dessert is not considered necessary to every meal.
Many restaurants, often set in beautiful old houses, offer traditional Serb cuisine. A majority of the international restaurants in Serbia are Italian. Other international restaurants include American fast food, Yugoslavian hamburger stands, pizza parlors and a few Chinese restaurants. Restaurants located on boats offer a wide selection of seafood dishes. Reservations are not usually necessary. Although some restaurants may accept credit cards, one should be prepared to pay cash with a 5% tip. Asking to take leftovers home is considered impolite but take out and delivery services are available when ordered as such.
Cafes, which sell coffee, juice, soda and alcoholic beverages, are open often until as late as 3:00 a.m. although some close as early as 10. There is no drinking age in Serbia. Shops devoted entirely to desserts sell a wide variety of ice cream, crêpes, cakes and coffee.