Catriona Robertson

journeys at home and abroad

Menus and history

Veal seems to be a regular on the menus here.  I”ve been trying to get the simplest possible Bosnian or Balkan time-line together which goes something like Illyrian and other tribes, Greeks, Romans (especially on west side), Byzantium and then the split of the Roman Empire which meant the west of this area looked to Rome and the east to Constantinople.  Then Slavs from the northeast (which eventually formed two groups, Croats and Serbs), Ottomans from the south, and much later the Austro-Hungarians from the north.  Then WWI (not unrelated), then WWII, then Tito, then the war and then the Dayton agreement. I”m still not sure how the Russians come into the picture – someone please put me right.  There are no samovars on street corners as there are in Iran.  But I wonder whether veal came south with the Austro-Hungarians?

4 comments on “Menus and history

  1. Catherine Winchester
    8 October 2009

    A couple of thoughts from a vegetarian/vegan perspective…veal is usually a by-product of the dairy industry (female calves stay on the farm, male ones get eaten) so is there lots of cream and yoghurt and so on? Also, I wonder if veal is more widely acceptable, whereas in northern/central Europe they eat a lot of pork, don’t they? Veal seems to be an object of ambivalence and fascination to us Brits. I hope you are enjoying the food, the coffee and spiced tea look wonderful!
    Love, Catherine

  2. Alan Gadd
    7 October 2009

    Veal was absent from the menu at the networking meeting at All Saints’ Battersea on Sunday (where Sarah led), at the Diocesan Group chaired by Siriol on Monday, and at the Faiths Together in Lambeth discusssion, on fostering respect for other faiths, on Tuesday. Also indeed at the Breakfast Group which Rebecca led so ably.
    This is just an excuse to assure you that inter faith activities here are continuing while you are away. I’ve no doubt that they will be enriched by your experiences this week after your return.
    Every good wish,

  3. sarah thorley
    6 October 2009

    Never done anything like this before. Great to get your messages hot off the press (except there’s no ‘press’ these days!)
    When I was little, I was looked after by Liliana from Zagreb. She’s about 90 now but we’ve kept in touch all these years and visited her in Zagreb. That’s the nearest I get to all that you’re up to. Last time we saw her, Tom and I spent a week with her on an island off Split about 6 years ago. On the way there, by train from Budapest (where we’d been staying with long-time Hungarian friends) we saw lots of burnt out tanks and houses destroyed, through the train windows.
    My sister and I are planning a ‘city break’ to Zagreb to see Liliana, sometime in the next few months.
    Look forward to your next bulletin.

    • Catriona Robertson
      18 October 2009

      Dear Sarah – we changed flights in Zagreb, but nothing more, I’m afraid. One of our talented interpreters had been an au pair in Thamesmead – in the 80s, I think. I remember people from Germany, France and Denmark looking after me as a young child – I’m sure it helped me understand a bit more about the world.
      The houses in Bosnia were very often “undressed” – just breeze blocks from the outside. I’ve been told since returning that a lot of it is to do with tax – you don’t pay tax on a building until it is finished. We didn’t see any tanks, but we did see destroyed houses, even in Sarajevo. Hope to catch up soon and thank you for contributing to the blog – Catriona

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This entry was posted on 5 October 2009 by in Bosnia and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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