Lukashenka: No Toilet Paper In Belarusian Sausage

It’s a point of pride for Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka: No toilet paper in our sausage.

Lukashenka says that’s one thing that makes Belarusian products better than Russian ones.

He told Russian reporters on October 17 that Russia had lowered its food-quality standards after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union “while we, thanks to Lukashenka, retained state standards.”

The second best part about this is that Lukashenko refers to himself in the third person.


I’m Lovin’ It (Most of the Time): A Brief History of McDonald’s in Serbia
Russian courts on Wednesday ordered the closure of three McDonald’s restaurants in Moscow for the maximum 90 days allowed by law, including the first location to open in the Soviet Union back in 1990. Officials said the three American culinary outposts were being shuttered for health violations, but the mounting case against McDonald’s in Russia has been widely interpreted as retaliation for Western sanctions. Some media outlets have reported that the more than 430 McDonald’s restaurants in Russia are all due to be inspected soon. Whatever the Big Mac’s fate is in Russia, McDonald’s already has a history of stirring up major controversy in the former Yugoslavia, where the fast food chain has been both loved and loathed, a source of national pride and a detested symbol of US foreign policy. 
In March of 1988, Belgrade, Yugoslavia became the first city in the communist world to open a McDonald’s restaurant. American newspapers were still steeped in quaint Cold War clichés at the time, and ran headlines like “First Big Mac Attack Against Communism!” and “McMarxism?” Nearly half a century after two brothers named Mac n’ Dick opened the first McDonald’s restaurant in California’s Inland Empire, “Mickey D’s” received a heroes’ welcome in communist Yugoslavia. With lines wrapped around the block and police forces brought in for crowd control, the opening of the first McDonald’s in Eastern Europe was by all accounts the most successful restaurant launch in Belgrade history. More than 6,000 people were served on opening day, setting a new record for Europe.
And thus began the long and deeply conflicted relationship between McDonald’s and the people of Belgrade.

Continue reading ->

I’m Lovin’ It (Most of the Time): A Brief History of McDonald’s in Serbia

Russian courts on Wednesday ordered the closure of three McDonald’s restaurants in Moscow for the maximum 90 days allowed by law, including the first location to open in the Soviet Union back in 1990. Officials said the three American culinary outposts were being shuttered for health violations, but the mounting case against McDonald’s in Russia has been widely interpreted as retaliation for Western sanctions. Some media outlets have reported that the more than 430 McDonald’s restaurants in Russia are all due to be inspected soon. Whatever the Big Mac’s fate is in Russia, McDonald’s already has a history of stirring up major controversy in the former Yugoslavia, where the fast food chain has been both loved and loathed, a source of national pride and a detested symbol of US foreign policy. 

In March of 1988, Belgrade, Yugoslavia became the first city in the communist world to open a McDonald’s restaurant. American newspapers were still steeped in quaint Cold War clichés at the time, and ran headlines like “First Big Mac Attack Against Communism!” and “McMarxism?” Nearly half a century after two brothers named Mac n’ Dick opened the first McDonald’s restaurant in California’s Inland Empire, “Mickey D’s” received a heroes’ welcome in communist Yugoslavia. With lines wrapped around the block and police forces brought in for crowd control, the opening of the first McDonald’s in Eastern Europe was by all accounts the most successful restaurant launch in Belgrade history. More than 6,000 people were served on opening day, setting a new record for Europe.

And thus began the long and deeply conflicted relationship between McDonald’s and the people of Belgrade.

Continue reading ->

Cooking with balls: Serbia honors animal testicles | The Raw Story

A delicacy for medieval monarchs, a plate for the poorest and a treat for Tito, animal testicles, with a pinch of humour, are back on the menu, at least at one Serbian food festival.

A visitor needs no road signs to reach the tiny central village of Lunjevica, population 500. They can follow the smoke and smells from the barbecues and kettles at the 10th unofficial testicle-cooking “world championship”.

“In our region, we have cooked testicles for ages: our fathers prepared them, our grandfathers before them,” local farmer Dragan Todorovic said, slicing a set of horse testicles.

The challenge for this year’s 20-some competitors was to make the best “balls-goulash”, a twist on the ubiquitous regional stew but replacing classic meat cuts with testicles from rams, calves, bulls, donkeys, horses or other animals.

Some say the testicles should be diced into tiny pieces and soaked in wine for at least 30 minutes for the right consistency before simmered with the onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes and herbs.

“Beware. They should be cut diagonally, otherwise they lose their aphrodisiac effect,” warned Zdravko Djuric, a competitor from northern Serbia.

I feel like the news is just particularly weird today.

Making dinner in Dragomirna Monastery in northeastern Romania.

Making dinner in Dragomirna Monastery in northeastern Romania.

At the market in Omiš, Croatia.

At the market in Omiš, Croatia.

(Source: Flickr / wellsie82)

At the Budweiser Budvar beer factory in České Budějovice, Czech Republic.

At the Budweiser Budvar beer factory in České Budějovice, Czech Republic.

Sarmale (stuffed cabbage leaves) in Romania.
There’s a recipe at the source!

Sarmale (stuffed cabbage leaves) in Romania.

There’s a recipe at the source!

From the photographer’s note:

Knedle are very similar to the Polish ‘Pierogi’. The two usually make use of the same dough and the only major differences are that, rather than being filled with a potato mixture, the Knedle are instead filled with fruit. Yummy! :)

From the photographer’s note:

Knedle are very similar to the Polish ‘Pierogi’. The two usually make use of the same dough and the only major differences are that, rather than being filled with a potato mixture, the Knedle are instead filled with fruit. Yummy! :)

At the market in Pristina.

At the market in Pristina.

Getting ready to make ajvar (yum!) in Prizren, Kosovo.

Getting ready to make ajvar (yum!) in Prizren, Kosovo.