St. Basil in Lake Forest serves up Taste of Serbia
Performances by choirs and dance groups are just some of the entertainment at Taste of Serbia.
Taste of Serbia Festival
at St. Basil of Ostrog Serbian Orthodox Church, 27450 N. Bradley Road (old School Road), Lake Forest-Mettawa.
Noon - 11 p.m. on Sept. 1-2
Traditional culinary specialties, beverages, children’s activities, music and dancing will be featured. For a full schedule, visit www.pioneerlocal.com
Admission and parking are free.
(847) 247-0077, www.tasteofserbia.org
Updated: August 29, 2012 1:52PM
Open-pit roasted lambs and pigs, stuffed cabbage rolls and pitas, fresh cheeses and homemade breads and filo dough delicacies from the Balkans will lure the community to a Taste of Serbia this weekend.
“The food is our draw,” said Sofia Obradovich Scalzitti, Taste of Serbia chairperson, who has organized more than 200 volunteers for the annual fundraiser for St. Basil of Ostrog Serbian Orthodox Church in Lake Forest. “It’s like your grandma used to make, all whipped cream and butter, and farm-raised lamb and pigs. The quality of the food is what brings people back.”
More than 1,800 people are expected at this year’s Taste of Serbia, and the 100 families of St. Basil’s look forward to the annual event, Scalzitti said, to share their culture with their Lake County neighbors.
“We have a rich culture, great food and friendly people,” she said. “That was one of our goals in starting Taste of Serbia. We wanted to be an inviting community to surrounding neighbors and the crowds keep growing each year.”
Taste of Serbia is designed to be a family event for all ages, with bouncy inflatables, basketball clinics and face painting for children along with live Serbian music, a classic car display, imported Serbian beer, wine, plum brandy and Serbian espresso, plus generous portions of Serbian specialties for adults.
As Scalzitti describes, Serbian cuisine is a mix of Mediterranean, Yugoslavian, Turkish, and Austrian and Hungarian cuisines.
Lamb is the biggest seller roasted over an open-pit for more than seven hours before the fest opens.
“We use only salt and a little bit of oil,” she said of the lamb preparation. “What makes it so good is the slow roasting, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.” They plan to roast 31 lambs and 13 pigs at this year’s fest.
Other food specialties include cevapacici, uncased pork and ground beef sausages mixed with spices and garlic; crepes filled with creamy chocolate, walnuts and apricots, or bananas, Nutella and whipped cream or strawberries with ricotta cheese and strawberry sauce. Other favorites are the baklava, layered filo dough stacked with honey and walnuts. Baklava and crepes run $2 while most entrée items run an average of $11 to $15. Orders can be placed to go.
“We try to capture those traditional recipes that are butter, eggs, milk and fresh fruit that typically people skimp on,” said Scalzitti, whose favorite delicacy is the krempita, a dense, whipped cream custard-filled pastry.
Entertainment during the Taste of Serbia will include a traditional Serbian band by day, along with St. Basil’s choir singing music from the Balkans and Serbian disco music in the evening for the younger crowd.
“We mix it up to find something of interest for any and all ages,” Scalzitti said.
Serbian immigrants first started coming to Illinois in the mid-1880s and, according to Scalzitti, Serbia’s King Peter Karageorgevich is today still the only foreign monarch buried in the United States. His graveside is found in St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cemetery and Monastery in Libertyville, one of two Serbian monasteries in Lake County. The other is Most Holy Mother of God in Third Lake. St. Basil of Ostrog Church is the third religious center for Serbian Orthodox Christians in Lake County.
Saturday, Sept. 1
1 - 6 p.m. Music by Prazna Flasa Tambura
1:30 p.m. St. Basil Choir & Children’s Choir
1:30 Basketball Clinic, Part 1 - skills and drills
2 p.m. Orthodox/culture presentation in church, songs from the Radovic Sisters
3 p.m. Kolo dance lessons under main tent
4 p.m. Orthodox/culture presentation in church
4 p.m. “Heart of Serbia” by Danielle Sremac book signing
4:30 p.m. Basketball Clinic, Part 2 - exhibition game
5 p.m. Kolo dance lessons under main tent
6 - 11 p.m. Music by DJ Spaz
Sunday, Sept. 2
1 – 6 p.m. Music by Prazna Flasa Tambura
1:30 p.m. St. Basil Choir & Children’s Choir
1:30 p.m. Basketball clinic, Part 1 - skills and drills
2 p.m. “Heart of Serbia” by Danielle Sremac book signing
2 p.m. Orthodox/culture presentation in church, songs from the Radovic Sister
3 p.m. Seoske Dame, Balkan Village Music
4 p.m. Kolo Dance lessons under main tent
4:30 p.m. Orthodox/culture presentation in church
4:30 p.m. Basketball clinic, Part 2 - exhibition game
5 p.m. Seoske Dame, Balkan Village Music
5:30 p.m. Kolo dance lessons under main tent
6 – 11 p.m. Music by DJ Spaz
7 p.m. Raffle drawing announcements