A temperate Mediterranean climate, fertile soil, plenty of sunshine, and a tradition of smallhold farms provide an abundance of colour and choice in the markets of the region.

      Vegetables are of high quality. Amongst the most popular vegetables is the red pepper. Every garden in the region grows red peppers. In the autumn, they are picked, roasted, skinned, pulped, and made into the best red pepper paste you can imagine. Called "Ajvar", it is stored along with various pickled vegetables to ensure a winter diet full of vitamin C. An added delight is the decorative sight of the red peppers hung out to dry on every veranda for use in winter cooking.

Red peppers

Ohrid trout

Tavče gravče

      Large juicy apples and peaches are grown in the orchards high above Lake Prespa and around Struga. Lake Ohrid boasts a unique trout found only in this lake that is a culinary delicacy. Restaurants usually specialise in fish or meat, but have both available.

Sofra (table ready for a meal)

Local wine

      Robust and very palatable red and white local wines are served from bottles or straight from the barrel in restaurants and homes. The grape spirit, "rakija", drunk in small doses ensures good digestion and a warm heart. Prices for all these fresh and tasty delights are quite low. So even on the most meager of budgets you can afford to eat well while enjoying the ambience of restaurants with beautiful views of the lakes, old urban architecture or listening to traditional music or dancing a local step.

      Check some out tasty Macedonian recipes here.