Experiences of an American woman who was married to a Serb.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

American Guy Married to a Serb Complains About Serbian Pizza (& Rightfully So)

Just discovered a new blog entitled, They called it Promaja, written by the US husband of a Serb woman. My favorite part is Serbuki Theater wherein dolls, Japanese theater and Serb characters all meet.

He's also outed Serbia's vilest food secret -- their horrific pizza sauce aka "ketchup".

It's completely inexplicable. It's not like tasty pizza sauce is a global mystery. In fact, America's largest Serb immigrant community is in Chicago, deep dish pizza heartland. So you think some of that info might have seeped back to the home country. And, it's not a question of cost or exotic ingredients -- all you need is tomatoes, basil, garlic, and salt. (No, not sugar.)

So, where did Serbs in Serbia get the idea that good pizza sauce is manufactured-by-the-ton, sticky-sweet ketchup? They even call it ketchup. Go to any grocery store in Serbia and there are piles of plastic packets on the shelf in the refrigerator section labeled "Pizza Ketchup."

10 comments:

Mirjana said...

Rosemary,

You almost sound like you know what you are talking about! "Pizza Ketchup" that you can find in Serbia is in fact the Pizza Topping (that's why is called ketchup) not a base! Its cultural preference to add ketchup to the top of the pizza. A standard pizza base is simple tomato pure!

Quince said...

I agree the sauce is horrendous, BUT I love how the pizza is always different depending on whats in the fridge. From what I understand this is how pizza actually began: a way to serve leftovers.

The spaghetti sauce on the other hand is better. although usually quite sparse. Next time I go, I will attempt to make some pizza americano

hdragoo said...

Oh man, this has me laughing. I will never forget my husband and I decided to make our own individual pizza's at home....I go and buy all the fixings (including) tomato sauce.....and what does he do? He whips out the ketchup. Claiming that it is sweeter, he spreads it all over his crust. I am still trying to pick my jaw up off the floor when he cracks an egg on it! I know that the egg is more a European thing than just a Serb thing, but between the ketchup and the egg....I was flabbergasted! I was even brave enough to try it....didn't really do it for me...not terrible...but not for me. But most recently, we made pizza's again and he went to pick up the goody's and did actually buy tomato sauce, but he did dip in ketchup......sigh....

Kajzer Soze said...

It is true that some people like sweet ketchup and you can buy it in store, but in Serbia we also have ,,Normal" tomato sauce for pizza which you can find in many homes - homemade or in stores, it depends on person`s taste, so i don`t think this post is funny at all, it is egsaggeration to say we are not informed about pizza ingredients.

Rosemary Bailey Brown said...

The ketchup is *supposed* to go on top of the cheese?!! You're right, I did not know what I was talking about. That's so inconceivable that I never dreamed it might be so. Oh well, live and learn.

Anonymous said...

Yes, "ketchup" is a topping. It also surprised me when I was living in Serbia. It does taste great though. Combine it with "jaja" (egg), "pavlaka" (sour cream) and "sunka" (ham), and you get a decent pizza ;)

V.

Anonymous said...

It's not like all American pizza is great. Domino's tastes like cardboard with ketchup on top. You don't believe me? Here: http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/offbeat/2010/01/25/moos.our.pizza.stunk.cnn

Marie Camilla said...

I agree, the pizza ketchup is horrible! My mother in law always makes pizza with pizza ketchup. Where we live, the pizza ketchup bags were on sale for only 10 dinars, and when we gone to the shop, she was really piling up on ketchup. EW.

Anonymous said...

Can't change the Serbs and their weird and odd and strange ways... this is just another one of those things...

gbcinques said...

I've actually had excellent pizza in a small take-out store outside of Banjica where my sister-in-law lives.
coords: South/West corner of intersection. 44°45'27.16"N, 20°27'18.92"E

You may also want to mention what pizza means in slang-terms to avoid confusion/embarrassment when saying to the woman in the store - "I'd like to taste your pizza." ;-)