Something Abuzz About Belgrade: Things to Do in Serbia’s Capital

 

Belgrade. It’s an old city with a new vibe, and as we discovered during a whirlwind two days there, it is abuzz with creative energy, innovation, and tradition.

In one corner of town a woman wearing a babushka-style scarf sells lavender, white and cranberry-colored flowers at a market, alongside vendors peddling a bounty of cherries, strawberries, and green peppers. Just around the corner, in the up and coming Savamala district, young entrepreneurs mingle in an industrial-building-turned-cultural center that could just as likely be in San Francisco or Berlin. And, in the city’s sixth-century fortress, old men cluster around a park table, playing a heated match of chess, while a young couple embraces on a bench overlooking the city’s skyline.

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A Perfect Pair: Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese & Traditional Balsamic Vinegar in Modena, Italy

Modena cheese maker Carlo has been producing Parmigiano-Reggiano for more than 50 years. Still, the farmer-turned-cheesemaker does not tire of the prized Italian cheese.

“I always have Parmigiano-Reggiano in my mouth. (When not at work) I constantly keep eating it,” he joked, as we toured the Hombre Organic Cheese Farm in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, just outside of Modena. The opportunity to learn about another Modena prized delicacy, traditional balsamic vinegar, would be next our next stop.

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Krolo Winery: Slow Food & Wine in the Croatian Countryside

In a cozy country winery near the town of Trilj, where Croatia’s Continental and Mediterranean climates meet, winemaker Dražan Krolo is making magic with Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay and Zinfandel grapes.

Together, with our friend, Srđan of the Art of Wine, we journeyed to the Krolo’s country home in the Dalmatian hinterland not far from coastal Split, to meet the Krolo family, taste their wonderful wine, Pašticada & Gnocchi (recipe below), fresh cheese, and catch a glimpse of life in the Croatian countryside.

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Photo du Jour: Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese on the Move – Modena, Italy

A Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese-maker transports approximately 230 kilos (500 pounds) of the prized cheese at the Hombre Farm outside of Modena, Italy. An organic wheel of this magnificent cheese sells for approximately 700 Euros ($975 USD), and is typically aged for 24 months. Hombre is able to produce about twelve of these wheels a day.

We were fortunate to have toured parts of the Hombre Farm yesterday, savoring several pieces of authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano, and mingling with the pampered Friesian cows that produce the milk that goes into making it.

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