Tastes of Serbia
The production of cheese and honey in Žabalj has a long tradition. They are homemade, delicious and healthy food. Cheeses are made of cow’s and goat’s milk. Therefore, together they make a whole panoply of flavors satisfying even the most demanding gourmets. Travelling along the cheese and honey paths is for all those searching for new and old flavors, as well as the pleasure of discovering new places, cultures, customs, traditions, natural beauties and new attractions.
This travel takes place in Žabalj itself, as well as the surrounding villages of Čurug, Đurđevo and Gospođinci. In Čurug, interesting to visit is the Radišić Family’s Estate, with a full production process – from the field to the table. On the estate, small-cut cheese, cottage cheese, rolled cheese, kashkaval cheese, and recently Gouda cheese (the winner of the gold medal at the Agriculture Fair in Novi Sad), are produced. Global Seed – the biggest dairy cow organic farm in Serbia is also located in Čurug. On the “honey road”, one should not circumvent the Bee-Farming of the Ivkov Family, which does not only produce honey, but it also produces fruit liqueur with honey. Apart from locust honey, linden honey and classical clover honey, the reed-patch honey of Čurug could also be singled out as a brand. Amongst the local major honey producers, there are also the Stojadinović, Dajanović and Gvozdenac families. The recently started Bee-Farming of the Pinjić Family is also worth visiting and its products are worth tasting.
The attractions of small Čurug
One of the impressive places in the village is the imposing “Rođa’s Windmill” of Čurug built of almost 70,000 bricks. For gastronomic enjoyments, you may visit “The Quiet Tisa” Charda, and the candy-maker’s handicraft shop “The Miniature Candy” is also one of the interesting spots. If you like wines, do not leave Čurug without first having tasted the great wines of the Botić Winery. Today, the Botić Winery is the only winery in the territory of the municipality, although winegrowing and wine production had had a long tradition by the 1960s. The Botić Family grow the grape varieties of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot and Gamay which are used to produce the best wines of the Serbian Tisa River Basin. The winery’s offer includes tasting different sorts of wine.
Honey produced in Gospođinci and Đurđevo
The Bee-Farming of the Vladisavljević Family singles out amongst the honey producers of the village of Gospođinci. It has a tradition of more than 50 years and 200 beehives. They carefully choose the cleanest nature for bee pasturage. A whole panoply of products includes oil rape honey, locust honey, linden honey, clover honey, crystal honey with pollen, propolis and bee wax. Apart from bee farming, the family is also engaged in the cultivation of soil, sheep breeding, and they also have pony horses. The Bee-Farming organizes a mini-bee academy, a chariot ride and pony riding for the youngest. In the neighboring village of Đurđevo, there is also the Bee-Farming of the Radanov Family. Apart from the ordinary types of honey, they also produce honey with medicinal herbs. At the Radanov Family’s Bee-Farming, those interested may also personally experience work in the beehive yards. The Estate of the Stojanović Family is also included in the honey road map of Đurđevo.
Cheeses and a whiskey surprise
In this nice Šajkaš village famous for the sweetest watermelons ever, there are as many as three estates engaged in cheese production, and they are all willing to open their doors to visitors. These estates are the Estate of the Marić Family (with a mini-farm of goats and engaged in the production of goat cheeses and other dairy products, such as cottage cheese, feta, kashkaval and Parmesan cheese, as well as yoghurt, sour milk and kefir); the Estate of the Baranj Family (also with a mini-farm of goats and producing whey, cottage cheese, aged stacked cheese, Trappist and smoke-dried cheese, with or without spices, from the milk from their own farm); ultimately, the Estate of the Šovljanski Family (also breeding goats and, apart from ordinary products, also making quality soaps following a special recipe). There is also quite an unexpected “refreshment” on the cheese road, namely the Distillery of the Komaromi Family, who produce real homemade malt whiskey, which is traded on the market as the Two Doves. It is exclusively produced from malted barley and distilled three times, and has been ageing at least four years.