Balkan cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines in the world and its most famous dish is ajvar. It is used in the Balkans in Albanian, Bulgarian, Gottscheerich, Slovenian, Macedonian, Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian cuisine. Ajvar is identified as the signal of the winter season. It is also accepted as the symbol of fall because it is prepared in fall. Rich, tangy, smoky, deep, and bright ajvar is a condiment that is produced with roasted red peppers and eggplants that are mashed and then simmered for hours to get this delicious side dish that is vigorous in flavors. This can aid in garnish for grilled meats, be eaten as a side dish, or just by itself on a piece of bread with olive oil and garlic. It is mainly served with kebabs. Moreover, it can be sweet, which is the best traditional way. But you can also eat it spicy or very hot.
How to produce Ajvar?
In order to produce Ajvar, eggplants and bell peppers are roasted whole on a plate on an open fire or in a wooden plate in a stove or in an oven. The baked peppers must rest in a closed dish to let them cool down and to allow the flesh to separate from the skin. Next, the skin is safely peeled off and the seeds are removed. The peppers are then chopped into tiny pieces or ground in a mill. Finally, the resulting mush is stewed for a few hours in large pots. Garlic and sunflower oil are added at this stage to condense and avert water, as well as to enhance water conservation. Salt (and vinegar) is mixed at the end and the hot mush is poured directly into glass jars, which are sealed immediately. Ajvar is offered in many different varieties. You can find its several versions prepared with tomato, carrot, eggplant, or other vegetables per order. As it is typically consumed in winter, it is a must for ajvar to be preserved in glass jars. You can get 15 kilograms of it by using 35 kilograms of pepper. It is mostly preferred at breakfast along with tea and cheese. Moreover, it is referred to as "the king of winter sausages" colloquially.
Ajvar export on a constant rise
On the other hand, recent economic data show that Macedonia's ajvar export was on a rise between 2010 and 2015. The number, which was $17.5 million in 2013, increased to $20.5 million in 2014. Moreover, most of the ajvar produced in Macedonia is exported to neighboring countries.