Whether homegrown in gardens or cultivated in greenhouses, tomatoes grow everywhere in Serbia. It is the quality of Serbian soil and more than suitable climate that allow an annual production of 200.000 tons of this fleshy plant.
Natives of Serbia, have long ago recognized tomatoes as their favorite culinary ingredient. Thanks to developed food industry and the healing attributes of this plant, in one form or another, tomatoes are present in Serbian kitchens all year round. Home-made tomato juice holds a special place in hearts of Serbian chefs and housewifes. When it comes to industrial use, fresh tomatoes are processed in many ways, and as final products we find ketchup, pasta, mashed tomatoes, and the industrial version of tomato juice.
In Serbian cuisine tomatoes are used in multiple ways. For instance, tomato salad with onions and cucumbers is so common that it is often referred to as plain “salad”. It is definitely one of the most favorite salads, prepared almost everyday, whenever fresh tomatoes are available.
Aside from river valleys of central Serbia, tomatoes are quite successfully grown in Vojvodina, where they are unavoidable parts of many food festivals. We will name “The Days of tomatoes and other veggies”, an agricultural manifestation that takes place every July, in the village of Luka, near Zrenjanin, and “The Tomato fest” in Neradin, near the town of Irig.