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There are written records on food preparation that date back to the end of the 18th century in Vojvodina, when Zaharije Orfelin published his first cook book in Sremski Karovci. The recipies for The First Serbian Соok Bоок were collected by Jeromonk Jerotej Draganović and the book itself was printed in Krušedol, on the Feast of Saint Peter and Paul in 1855.
The cook book written by Katarine Popović – Midzin was published in Novi Sad in 1877 and The cook book of forgotten dishes was printed in Bečkerek in 1914.
Gastronomy of Vojvodina has emerged out of complex living circumstances, geographical characteristics of the area such as natural environment and social events. There have been huge fusions of cuisines in the region of Vojvodina, which resulted in a variety of dishes. Therefore, this cuisine is a mixture of diverse influences of nations inhabiting the area for centuries. Diet and food preparation in Vojvodina was highly influenced by the arrival of the Germans. They brought with them their dishes, customs, pickled food preparation, wines, fruit and grapevine growing. Thus, Serbian population adopted many of their dishes and food preparation styles.
There is also a variety of culinary knowledge and interference of Hungarian, Romanian and Slovak cuisine. In addition, numerous dishes originate from either Russian or some other mostly neighbouring cuisines.
Diverse influences are perceived in food names which have been preserved to present day: fruštuk / breakfast ( Das Frühstück ) , jauzna / snack ( Die Jause ) , foršpajz / appetizer ( Die Vorspeise ) , rinflajš / beef meat ( Die Rindfleisch ), cušpajz / vegetable ( Die Zuspeise ) originate from German as well as the names for dumplings / knedle, štrudel / štrudle, doughnuts / krofne, etc. Names for fried meat in its own juice/ perklet ( pörklöt ) , goulash / gulaši ( gulyas ) and paprika stew / paprikaš ( paprikaš ) originate from Hungarian.
In the old times, the food was prepared by the oldest women in the house holds, who were exempt from agricultural jobs, whereas the other household members spent their time in the fields.
Breakfast was usually a high calorie meal. Customary foods for breakfast were freshly baked flatbread or bread with lard and sprinkled with milled red paprika. During winter people in Vojvodina used to have three meals a day: breakfast or frustuk ( at 7 a. m. ) , lunch ( always at noon ) and dinner ( at 6 p.m. ) . In summer when daylight hours were longer two more snacks a day would be added: ” jauzna ” or ” mala uja ” at 10 a. m. and ” velika uja ” at 10 a. m. Customary foods for those meals were breaded apples, bread and lard with milled red paprika, etc. The people spending their mealtimes in the field used to eat bread with season fruit.
It is hard to identify today what dishes are nation specific ( the same dishes are sometimes prepared by different nations ) , since the same living space was shared, they managed to convey to each other their unique cuisine of Vojvodina.
It can be said that gastronomy is rated among the most attractive tourist offers in Vojvodina and anyone visiting Vojvodina may forget about their low calorie diets.
This is the place where people traditionally eat abundant meals.