February 19th, 2007

Separating the Yoke from the White

I've been reading The Cooking of Vienna's Empire in the Time-Life series that has been in heavy rotation in my life for nearly a decade. It's one of my favorites. The writing is excellent. And it features in-depth discussion of the fate of national cuisines under Communism. Last night I pored over the chapter on Yugoslavian cooking. Mmmmmm.

It's a shame they broke that country up, because it made a much simpler -- not to mention tasty -- tourist destination before it collapsed in the lingering animosity over the fascist "shadow" regimes in Slovenia and Croatia during World War II and the still-longer-lingering animosity over the post-WWI jugo that bound them to Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia etc. in the wake of the Habsburgs demise. I wonder if the denizens of Belgrade shout, in their best German, "Dubrovnik bleibt unser!" Time for a nightcap of illicitly distilled шљивовица.