Yugoslav Christmas at Bistro 100 Maneiras
Life is two days, Carnival is three and Christmas in 100 Maneiras… only ends when the chef says!
For the first time since Ljubomir Stanisic arrived in Portugal in 1997, he decided to bring the Yugoslav Christmas celebrations away from home and share them, with friends, family and customers, at the tables of Bistro 100 Maneiras.
In the menu, there were well-known dishes such as Burek, but also many discoveries, with the Yugoslav tradition making itself felt among names difficult to pronounce.
The meal was sprinkled with wines from the East and spiced with toasts with Rakija – the brandy that is almost the official Balkan drink, with hundreds of varieties to drink before, during and after a meal.
Unlike Catholic Christmas, Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on January 7th. This is because, although Serbia and other countries officially follow the Gregorian Calendar, established in 1582, some celebrations, especially religious ones, continue to be celebrated according to the Julian Calendar. The result is a 13 day difference that justifies repeating the party, this time following the traditions of the chef’s home country.
As tradition says, the celebrations begin on January 6th. On that day, around 6:00 p.m., a candle is lit and is only put out the next day at midnight.
The table, composed mostly of fish for Christmas Eve is never lifted. It simply grows, filling itself with new elements, like cesnica (an unleavened bread where a coin hides, a symbol of great luck for those who find it in its portion), meats, sweets and other delicacies, prepared with time, love and history, to share with music, laughter and lots of good conversation.
At Bistro, these and other traditions were served at the table on the 6th, starting at 7.30 pm. To travel without leaving Lisbon and discover that the pleasure of eating and celebrating doesn’t need translation.