Vojvodina’s best fisherman’s soup is made in Bezdan.
Santovo (Hercegszántó) is my favorite border crossing. It will soon be approximately 20 years since I have been going this way when travelling back and forth from the Serbian – Hungarian border. I always choose this route, even though my destination isn’t always Sombor or the villages nearby. It is quite convenient for me to go this way since it seems like there is no heavy traffic, waiting is minimal, and things always run smoothly.
Driving along, there appears to be a sign that displays the name of a village, Bezdan. As I distance myself from this initial sign, there seems to be another one put up that says “Careful, an Olympian was born here!” One might assume that the villagers are so proud of this fact that they feel as real Olympians themselves. Bezdan is seemingly near the upper part of the Danube River, which was, by the way, the first landscape that I have ever seen in a short film a while back. A question arises in my mind: Is this an extravagant introduction to a South-American or African national park, or what?
If you think that the things I have mentioned are not impressing enough, you have not heard it all yet. The one thing that I think Bezdan can be truly proud of is its outstanding fish stew, also known as Bezdan’s chowder. Unfortunately, as advertising is not allowed, I will instead try to describe the place that offers the best chowder in the village.
The cauldron in which the chowder is prepared in must be inherited. It is quite important that the cauldron is passed on from father to son, and kept in the family. This fact contributes to excellent tasting chowder.
It is forbidden to stir the chowder while you are making it. Why? Well, they say that the fish will break. (Whatever breaking means in this context)
Most people say that the key to good chowder is the fish they put in. The more types of fish, the better. The main source should be minnow, but any other may do.
The pasta is a must have! This specific pasta used in the famous chowder is thin and the villagers make it at home. When the chowder is done, it must be eaten right away without any delays. Some say that you should first try the soup itself, and later move onto the fish. Now, this is all a matter of preference.
In the end, when our bellies are full and satisfied, we might finish our meal off with a nice tall glass of wine (or two, or three).
We are eagerly waiting for you,
Dankó Dénes, Serbia in Hungarian Platform