Montenegro is the land of high mountains, transparent rivers, wonderful lakes and wonderful sea beaches. In this country of pure, unspoiled and unique nature, our tourists travel with great pleasure. And not only ours – after all, 25 Montenegrin beaches on the Adriatic coast in 2016 received the prestigious Blue Flag of the International Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).
So what to bring from Montenegro so that, even in winter, souvenirs evoke memories of the sea and warm wonderful days spent in this country, and gifts to friends revived the stories of the donor in their memory and motivated them on their own trip?
In the villages lost here in the black forests, guests will be treated with tender lamb and prosciutto, kaimak, delicious local cheese. In the valleys and on the coast there is the same thing, but you can also enjoy exotic fruits and honey for dessert, try dishes and salads cooked or seasoned not with Greek, but with Montenegrin olive oil. And, of course, everywhere you will get drunk with red and white wine – you can taste and buy it in the framework of wine tours popular among tourists.
All this “yummy” – exactly what you can bring from Montenegro, returning from vacation – both as a gift and to yourself, stocking it for the future for a while.
This short but initially unpronounceable word for us is called delicacy – pork ham cooked using special technology.
In the finished form they are prshut – thinly sliced, almost transparent slices of pork meat of a deep dark red color with almost white fat. Prosciutto eat with sheep’s cheese, with onions and olives, pieces of melon.
Important! The shelf life of the delicacy in vacuum packaging is 3 years. But after the packaging is opened, it is imperative to wrap the prosciutto in paper (parchment) and store the kitchen at room temperature – this is what manufacturers recommend.
The founders of this delicacy are the peasants of the village of Negushi, but you can buy it in any village of Montenegro. For example, in the market in Budva, prices for prosciutto start from 9 € / kg, and sellers will be happy to give you a try before buying.
Kaymak is curd cream. The fat content of the product reaches 40%. It is used for cooking hot meat dishes, and as an additive to cereals, and as a dessert in combination with fresh fruits.
The flavoring properties of kaimak are very delicate, and so that the product does not deteriorate during a long flight, it is better to purchase it just before departure. If you buy homemade kaymak by weight, its cost will be around 7-10 € per kg, in stores, as a rule, it is sold in packages of 200-300 g for 1.5-2.5 €.
Cheese in Montenegro is produced in different varieties and any taste: fresh and salty, curd consistency or very hard, with various additives and spices. Most often, goat milk is used for cooking.
Connoisseurs recommend bringing pickled cheese home from Montenegro, which is sold packed in jars. This is a goat cheese of unusual taste: it is cut into small pieces and drenched in olive oil. By the way, oil may not be familiar Greek, but locally produced.
Those who rested on the beach of Zhanits probably saw a huge olive grove nearby. Many olive trees and in other places. Oil from local raw materials under the brand name “Barsko Zoloto” (“Barsko zlato”) is produced at a factory in the city of Bar, and local residents use their own original technology at home.
It is believed that Montenegrin olive oil is no worse than Greek in quality. A bottle of lord’s oil (500 ml) costs 4-5 euros. But adherents of Greek oil can always find it on the shelves of local shops and bring it as a gift from Montenegro to their friends and acquaintances at affordable prices.
Little secrets. The quality of olive oil depends on the acidity index (%).
- 1% (Extra Virgin) – high quality with useful properties (but not for frying)
- 2% (Virgin) – salad oil
The lowest quality indicators for oil with an acidity of 3.0 -3.5% (Ordinary)
Those who are not vacationing in Montenegro for the first time are no longer surprised by the abundance of fruit trees. And, in addition to the familiar and familiar to us, almost all the most famous tropical fruits grow here. In Herceg Novi, there are banana trees, in Budva and on the coast grow lime, pomegranates, figs and kiwi.
If you want to pleasantly surprise relatives or friends, but don’t know what you can bring from Montenegro as a gift, try a zinzulu (needle, unabi), which tastes like an apple and a pear, but looks like a small date. This berry is also called a Chinese date or “tree of life”: it has more vitamin C than in lemon, but it costs inexpensively – 2 euros per kilogram. Zinzula does not deteriorate and is easy to bring home in its original form: raw or dried.
Many tourists bring home delicious Montenegrin dried figs and kumquat.
Dried porcini mushrooms are found in every market, but, as elsewhere, they are not cheap – about 70-80 euros per kilogram.
Honey is especially good here – natural, mountain, viscous. It is dark, almost black and smells of grass. In the apiary next to the Moraca Monastery you can buy a variety of honey, starting from 7 euros for a small jar (300 g).
Lavender is the most popular herb in the country. For all friends or relatives as a gift from Montenegro, you can bring beautiful bright pillows with lavender (2-5 euros). Such a souvenir retains its aroma for a long time.
Some wines of Montenegro have long and firmly entered the hundred of the most popular European wines, which indicates their quality. And this despite the fact that they are produced by one national company Plantaze (Plantage) from only two varieties of red and white vines, which have long been cultivated in the country. Red grape plantations are located at Skadar Lake, white – in the vicinity of Podgorica. Pink dessert wines are made from red grapes using white technology. The technologies themselves are strictly adhered to, and only natural wine is produced: drinks have never been made from powder here.
The most popular Montenegrin wines
- “Vranac” – dry red, the most famous Montenegrin wine with an impressive list of awards. It is made from the same grape variety. The wine is full-bodied, characterized by a rich taste with berry and plum notes. It goes well with meat dishes, but in the Balkans it is also served with desserts.
- “Krstac” (Krstac) – dry white wine, produced from a variety of grapes of the same name (krstac – in translation means cross). The wine is combined with fish dishes and served in fish restaurants.
- Sasso Negro, Perla Nera – dry wines from the stony vineyard of the Chemov field.
The cost of Montenegro’s wines ranges from 3 to 30 €. The cheapest young wine can be bought for 3-6 €, the average price category is 6-13 €, and the highest quality and aging wine is the most expensive, 0.75 L costs 13-30 €.
As a gift for a friend you can bring brandy from Montenegro. Not a single feast in these parts can do without this aromatic vodka, which is made from grapes or fruits. Strong drink, drink it from miniature glasses in small sips.
Shop brandy is expensive, more often tourists buy home-brew (home-brew) in the markets or from local residents. The most delicious is the drink that is obtained from pear, quince and apricot – this brandy is called dunevacha or simply “dunya”.
Alcohol in large volumes and food are always difficult to transport from country to country. Prosciutto, cheese, butter and kaymak at the airport can be specially packaged and checked into luggage. Everything bought in duty free is allowed to take to the salon. But the prices at the airport are one and a half to two times higher. But if you need Montenegrin wine as a gift not to one, but to several friends, you can buy it in small bottles here.
Not by bread alone
What, besides food and drinks, should be considered the best gift and souvenir brought from Montenegro? It can be clothes (ordinary and with elements of national style), textiles, cosmetics, paintings and various souvenirs made by local craftsmen.
This is the name of the low black-red cylindrical headdress, made in ethnic style. Its top is decorated with gold embroidery. Each color and pattern is a symbol of a different period from the difficult history of Montenegro.
A good picture is a gift that never goes out of fashion. Watercolors and small oil paintings with sea or architectural landscapes of the old Montenegrin cities will decorate your home or apartment of friends. Prices start at 10 euros.
A trifle, but nice – souvenirs and gifts
Unlike restrictions on the export of products, souvenirs from Montenegro (magnets, shells and other trifles) are allowed to be exported without strict restrictions.
Tourists are in demand of decorating the work of local craftsmen. These are silver-plated bracelets made in the old style, rings, earrings interspersed with colored resin, bright corals and other jewelry.
You can bring ceramic cups with “Montenegrin commandments” in different languages to your friends as a gift, they are also in Russian. And souvenir magnets, which are painted manually by local artists, come across very cute, they are easy to pick up as a gift to each relative.
Plates and spoons, cups and wineglasses, jars for bulk products, beautiful jugs are far from a complete list of what can be found in souvenir shops on embankments and simply on the elemental beach markets of Montenegro.
Seashells are another of the popular souvenirs that can be brought from Montenegro. All kinds of colors and sizes, separate large and in sets – they will remind you of the Adriatic Sea. For a price of 2 euros or more, shells can be bought in Kotor, Budva and all other coastal resorts.
Statistics say that half of the revenues in the economic structure of this small Balkan country are tourism revenues. Now they have almost reached a record high of $ 1 billion. And, having personally decided for themselves the question of what to bring from Montenegro, hundreds of thousands of tourists from different countries annually replenish its budget. This helps to further develop the tourism industry in the wonderful ecological reserve of Mother Europe.