Thursday, November 20, 2008


I must start with the ajvar (Macedonian: ајвар) because it's the most common food in Macedonia and the origins of this relish are probably from Macedonia. Ajvar populary is made in autumn, and all the family is involved in the process. Sometimes if the amount of ajvar is big, the preparation takes a whole day. It's made originally from red bell peppers, first grilled on a metal plate on open fire. Then they're placed in plastic bags and let to cool so they can be peeled easily. After they are peeled and cleaned from the seeds, the peppers are ground in grounding mill. After that, the mush is stewed in a large pot (commonly made from copper) on a very low fire with constant steering to avoid the ajvar from burning. At the time of cooking, a sunflower oil is added, and salt also. Then it's packed in glass jars and eaten in the winter. Many families in Macedonia add a garlic, chilli peppers (for piqant or hot variant), eggplant (baked, peeled and ground), and someone prefer to add tomatoes, carrots and some spices like bay leaf e.t.c. But the original recipe is made only from red bell peppers. It's eaten with white cheese, spread on a piece of bread. It's also used in preparation of some salads, served by the dishes, or included in preparation in some dish. Nowdays ajvar is industricaly maded, but the best ajvar is the homemaded ajvar because it has the right texture, taste of smokey grilled peppers, and it contains no seeds of little pieces black skin from the peppers. If the ajvar is not clean, the women who made it is consider not to be a real housewive:-)!


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