Rostiljijada grill festival in Leskovac Serbia is biggest event of this kind in Blakans. Southern Serbia is all about great food. Especially, famous for grill and BBQ. So, you can expect the best meat food, where ever you eat here. It is not important, if it is kafana or street food. Of course, there are great and the best places for eating. But you will be satisfied anyway. BBQ and grill are different from place to place, but two most important are Leskovac grill and grill in Nis.
History of grill in Serbia and Leskovac
Leskovac grill, is dish that is spread all across Serbia. You can eat Leskovac grill everywhere in Serbia. You can eat it in cities and towns in Vojvodina, central Serbia, Belgrade…everywhere. The origins of this great dish are somewhere in the Caucasus region. With Ottoman invader, Greece, North Macedonia, it came to Serbia. And Leskovac. And after, to all Serbia from there. In the begging this “rostilj” was made from pork and lamb meat. Today, for Leskovac grill dish, you can use only lamb meat. Today, from 2018, this kind of food has protected name, “Leskovacki rostilj”. And promotion of this dish is made on “Leskovacka rostiljijada” event.
What is Leskovac Grill and how it’s made?
Leskovac grill is one kind of grilled meat. It is made of minced meat, with spice that is grilled with carcoal. There are a lot of kinds of grill meat. Grilled sausage, Cevapi, pljesakavica (Serbian burger), liver, chicken, wings etc. Mainly, every meat kind that is grilled on carcoal. There are also electric grills, but that does’t count as “rostilj”. People here, will make jokes of you if they see you that you are using electric grill for rostilj. And also, one “rostilj” has to meet some conditions to be “Leskovacki rostilj” or Leskovac grilled meat.
Rostilj is made exclusively on grill that is not electric. Or it is not rostilj. And certainly not Rostilj from Leskovac.
This Serbian specialty is made by citizens of Leskovac. For start. But not exclusive. 🙂 Exclusive condition is to me made from lamb meat. You grind it first time. After that, you should add spices. Salt, pepper and other you desire and like. Second grinding is after that. The right proportion is secret 😉
Every restaurant or street meat shops has it’s one. The secret ingredient is mostly considered of peppers. But it can be some other spice to give it specific taste. After spice part, you need to live the mix for some time. Usually few hours, max 12. After that, one more grinding is needed. Recepies for “Leskovacka muckalica” and “Leskovacke ustipke” you can see here. That are other thow dishes that Leskovac is famous for.
Roštiljijada grill festival, the biggest meat festival in Balkans
Leskovac is located on about 45km distance form Nis and 275km from Belgrade. On abut the same distance is Sofia, Bulgarian capital. All that combined is influencing it in that way, and also tradition of Serbian grilling capital.. This festival is traditionally taking place on “Široke Čaršije” square in town center. This is biggest event of this kind in Balkans, and one of biggest in Europe. Beside phenomenal grilled food, you can try some other Serbian specialties here. But they are not presented here so much. Because this is grill festival.
Unavoidable with food is music. It is thing called merak. Beside festival competition, festival has also music part. Most famous national folk music performers are guests here. In period of one week, how long festivals lasts, more than 500 000 visitors come. Special stands covered are called “Leskovacki voz” (Leskovac train).
Except domestic, thet are coming there mostly, there are visitors form the world. Domestic and foreign visitors. So, we have many guests there from North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Greece. They all want to be part of this event and taste Grill in Leskovac. Except their large organized visits, there are also many visitors of Rostiljijada form far countries, like Russia and Japan. Rostiljijada Leskovac starts in last week of August. And lasts till first week of September.
Competitions in Rostiljijada Leskovac
Competition in making of largest pljeskavica in the world: Every year there is Biggest pljeskavica in the world competition. And every year in “Leskovacka rostiljijada” that record is beaten. And also made New world Guinness record. At the moment biggest pljeskavica is 66,5kg and 1,5 meter in diameter.
Competition for biggest pljleskavica in hand: This is first competition that was held from the start of the festival. And it lasts till today. That is competition in making pljeskavica without help of others. Master chef will make and shape it all alone. This king of pljeskavica are heavier than 3 kg.
High school students competitions: This is competition of Hospitality high school students of Serbia. Often the guests from other countries. Judge’s are professors from domestic Hospitality high schools. And competition is in cooking and similar disciplines.
Masters competition: Is named Miodrag Gligorijević – Dragi bure. It is most prestige competition on festival. This is competition of Grill msters for the title.
Leskovac grill festival is held in center of Leskovac. More about Leskovac itself and how to come here you can read on this link. Near City of Leskovac are cities Nis, Prokuplje, Pirot, Zajecar, Vranje. Official Leskovac Rostiljijada website you can see on this link.Biggest pljeskavica in the world photo by Ljiljana Stojanovic, Opening fireworks photo by TANJUG, Top photo by Dimitrije Nikolic CC BY-SA 4.0