What’s Interesting at the Kotor Market?

By , 17 May 2018, 10:13 AM Made in Montenegro
What’s Interesting at the Kotor Market? Yulia Mengo

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Kotor farmer’s market, under its Medieval walls, is a famous attraction on the Montenegrin coast. It is definitely worth visiting, especially on Saturday morning when the farmer’s stalls are the richest. If you are in Kotor on any other weekday, however, don’t miss an opportunity to check out the local goods and taste some unusual delicacies. 

There are two rows at the market. The first one (the one you see when you pass it) offers all kinds of fruits and vegetables along with ten sorts of olives, and the smells of garlic and rosemary. The other market row is behind in the stone sun-protected gallery, making it perfect for selling fish, meat, and cheese. Here, my friend Miodrag displays his various homemade delicacies produced under traditional recipes.

"Sir iz ulja" or cheese in oil is the most popular coastal recipe for preserving soft cheese. A rosemary or marjoram sprig in the jar brings an additional herb flavor.

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Miodrag is very creative about cheese flavor combinations. At his stall, along with the traditional plain cow, goat and sheep cheeses, you could find cheese interspersed with crushed basil leaves, walnuts, pine nuts, sweet red pepper, dried wild blueberries and even porcini mushrooms. Cut into bite-sized pieces, all sorts of cheese are offered here for tastings, together with traditional prosciutto (dried ham) and homemade sausages.

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Over the centuries, the local people worked out different ways to preserve cheese in the mild and humid Mediterranean climate. One of them is keeping it in the cereal seeds like, for example, how this hard cow cheese is kept in the oats.

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Next to it, there is another container with five-month-old hard sheep cheese that is kept in dried and smashed porcini which gives it very unusual and attractive smell. This original product costs 25 euro per head.

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Though mushrooms come mainly from the North of Montenegro, you can always find large sacks of dried porcini, chanterelle, and morels at the Kotor market.

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Another one of Miodrag's sacks is filled with dried figs that grow in abundance on the Montenegrin coast. The figs are dried in the sun under a net cover to protect them from the insects and are then transferred into barrels layered with dried bay and fennel leaves.

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I was curious about the two containers filled with roots. Miodrag explained that it is the Gentiana plant (lincura or srcanik in the local language) which grows in the mountains and is widely used in herbal medicine. It is also used for bitters. Discovered over 2000 years ago, the curative roots help with digestive problems, fever, hypertension, muscle spasms, parasitic worms, and wounds. The most famous local recipe is adding them to rakija.

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Kotor farmer's market is open every day from 7 am to 2 pm and to 4 pm on Saturday. Enjoy your visit!

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