Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Dinner With Tito

Tito i Jovanka

Josip Broz Tito was the president of SFRJ from 1943-1980. The guerrilla leader of the Yugoslavian partisan units during the Second World War was a communist with style, a gentleman. During his presidency, he traveled all over the world. While he traveled he never ate the food that his host would prepare. Instead, he would bring his personal chef, a chemist (to test the food for poison) and would bring the ingredients form Yugoslavia. Some time ago, Tito’s cookbook written by Anja Drulović was published and it included authentic recipes from those journeys, as well as from official visits from the foreign diplomats and people from jet set. Meals include dinners with: John F. Kennedy, Fidel Kastro, Queen of England, Saddam Hussein, Elizabeth Tailor… and many more. Sofia Loren even cooked for him on his yacht.


Left: with Sofia Loren, who cooked for him on his yacht; right: with John F. Kennedy

Left: with Winston Churchill; right: with Fidel Castro

Left: with Saddam Husein; right: with Queen of England

Among recipes of the famous chefs of that time, cookbook gives and a few of Tito’s personal recipes. Based on the meals, I’d say he was a foodie with an exquisite taste.


With wife Jovanka, having shashlik.

Choosing a recipe to share with you was a very difficult choice. I wanted to make something unusual and yet simple. Sorry, but this dinner will not have a dessert as Tito wasn’t very fond of them.

The Recipes

Tito and Josip Visarjonovich Stalin knew each other even before the Second World War. It is said that Stalin drunk Tito so much with vodka and wine that Tito got sick.
Russian Style Chicken

Russian Style Chicken

2 chickens (800 – 1000 g)
a branch of rosemary
5 Tbsp of Courvoisier cognac

Cut chicken into 2 equal pieces over the longer side. Remove the bones. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cognac on the insides and add rosemary. Place the meat between two wooden boards and press with something heavy. Leave like that for 2-3 hours in a cold place. Grill. Serve warm with marinated mushrooms.
Tito became close to Josephine Baker while she was assisting the French Resistance. Later, she visited him and his wife on Brionian Islands.

Štrukli (Shtrukli)

Mix 400 g sifted flour with one small egg. Add a little salt, oil, butter and warm water. Knead the dough that doesn’t stick to the working surface. Spread some oil over it and let rest for 30 minutes. Flatten very thin. Sprinkle 200 g melted butter over, and evenly arrange 1 kg cottage cheese mixed with 2 eggs and salt. Roll, and cut into 6 cm wide pieces. cut using a plate. Cook in 3 l boiling salted water. Arrange cooked shtrukle into casserole pan and pour 150 ml heavy cream over. Bake about 20 minutes.

I will be giving away one copy of Tito’s cookbook (in English, or Serbian). Send me your mails to palachinkablog [at] gmail [dot] com with your name and Tito’s cookbook as a subject by November 1st and then I’ll draw a random winner. Good luck!

Edit: The winner of the cookbook is Marta Bigus.

Thank you FoodBuzz!

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  • Marigold October 26, 2009 5:49 am

    sve ti je divno! sve mi se sviđa, post zanimljiv..kuharicu sam uočila baš u knjižari pred jedno godinu dana i baš me zaintrigirala..:)

  • Darina October 26, 2009 9:21 am

    What an interesting post! I didn't know this about Tito. Great photos.

  • Josipa October 26, 2009 9:22 am

    hrana mi izgleda predivno, ali tanjur me oduševio… hvala za nagradnu igru, naravno da sam se prijavila :)

  • Rochelle October 26, 2009 10:24 am

    Love the bit of history you shared! The Štrukli (Shtrukli) looks especially tasty. I don't usually like cottage cheese but cooked like this I think it would be very good :)

  • Ljilja October 26, 2009 10:33 am

    Koji je ovo vremeplov…Bas sam uzivala gledajuci stare, poznate fotke. Strukle bi bas volela da probam, divno izgledaju.

  • Anonymous October 26, 2009 10:34 am

    the story about tito is so interesting! great post!

  • majloV October 26, 2009 12:11 pm

    Neverovatno da danas obe pisemo o TitI.. doduse moja retrospektiva je iz 2006. godine ali ne menja stvar! Nasmejah se slucajnosti :)

  • Vera October 26, 2009 12:23 pm

    Predivan post,imam knjigu,Tito je zaista bio fenomen.

  • Shelly October 26, 2009 1:06 pm

    Oh wow, this is such interesting history! Because of you, I learned something new today – Thanks!:)

  • Andrea October 26, 2009 1:35 pm

    Kod nas su osjećaji u vezi lika i djela Josipa Broza vrlo podijeljeni. Rekla bih čak da je više onih koji u njemu vide negativca i povijesnog zlikovca. Naravno njegovo povijesno nasljeđe nije tema ovog posta pa se u tu temu neću ni upuštati. Što god rekli ili mislili o njemu mora mu su se priznati da je bio istinski hedonist (što je i normalno za jednog horoskopskog Bika). Samo jedan pogled na njegove vile u Splitu, Tikvešu, na Brijunima ili njegovu jahtu bio je dovoljan da shvatim koliko je on volio glamur, lagodan život, lijepe žene i naravno dobru hranu. Ovi recepti zvuče jako ukusno, a u tvojoj izvedbi izgledaju predivno.Za knjigu ti se neću javljati jer mislim da je veća fora da je dobije neko ko nije s ovih prostora pa da se malo pobliže upozna s našim kuhinjama.:)

  • MASATERA October 26, 2009 2:42 pm

    Baš lijepo sječanje :)

  • Tali October 26, 2009 2:47 pm

    Štrukli is my FAVOURITE thing.. only I sprinkle sugar on mine! What I hate about England is you dont get good cheese to make it. When im back home I make it.. but with the rubbish food they have here I dont bother. I dont even make palacinka here because english jam is HORRIBLE!!So interesting (and a little weird lol) post!!

  • Just me October 26, 2009 6:16 pm

    very interesting!it is nice to try new thing! we have back home(romania)some tasty recipe with cottage cheese, same problem i can't find here(canada) the same cheese like home

  • noobcook October 26, 2009 7:33 pm

    It's a unique and fun thing to do for foodbuzz 24. The food looks yummy :)

  • Vali October 27, 2009 12:17 am

    Odličan i zanimljiv post! Zanimljiva kuharica i super izvedba!

  • Sweet Corner October 27, 2009 1:14 am

    za recepte se nema sto reci, kao niti za tvoju izvedbu:)) odlicno, i post i slikice i sve!

  • Camille Acey October 27, 2009 2:01 am

    thanks for the štruklji recipe. my mother in law here in slovenia makes it all the time but i hadn't taken the time to ask her for the recipe. i will try it this week!

  • cosmo2503 October 27, 2009 3:15 am

    Tito je bio velika ličnost i ja ga pamtim samo po dobrom. Očito je bio i veliki gurman i ja sam sa uživanjem proučila tu kuharicu. Impresivna zbirka recepata i sjećanja…

  • Jessie October 27, 2009 6:12 am

    great 24 entry! I loved reading the history of Tito and those dishes look delish!

  • Anonymous October 27, 2009 9:09 am

    SamiraVolim Vas post..volim Vase recepte..Volim Tita(posljednja sam generacija pionira)a vidjet cemo hocu li voljeti i njegovu knjiguu recepata:))

  • HoneyB October 27, 2009 10:21 am

    A VERY interesting read!!

  • glamah16 October 27, 2009 10:56 am

    I love food history and trivia and would love a copy of that book.

  • s. stockwell October 27, 2009 11:06 am

    What a fascinating post! My husband's Great aunt was a neighbor and did care for Tito when he was a boy. This is very interesting information to us. We did visit and we did drive by his house. The region is beautiful. We have many cousins in Kanavli…best from Montecito, CA

  • Gaga October 27, 2009 5:51 pm

    Joj draga moja kako su ti slike dobreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

  • Julia @ Mélanger October 27, 2009 6:59 pm

    What a fasinating piece of history. I never knew that. Great selection of recipe – even if it's not dessert!

  • Diana Bauman October 27, 2009 7:55 pm

    Marija,I read your post yesterday on my iphone! LOVELY post!! I just loved learning about the history of Tito and his love of cooking! You have such a beautiful blog!

  • Junglefrog October 28, 2009 7:38 am

    Thanks so much for that little bit of history! That was quite interesting and I love your dishes!

  • A Canadian Foodie October 28, 2009 4:35 pm

    Marija,Where are you living? I am in Canada, and married to a man from the former Yugoslavia… and have travelled there several times… see my blog on making burek! I love your historical articles. I want to link your blog to mine, but cannot find on your post about yourself where you are currently living. Happy cooking!XOValerie

  • Marija October 28, 2009 5:21 pm

    Hi Valerie :) I live in Belgrade, Serbia.

  • sunita October 29, 2009 2:37 am

    Thanks for this post; and love the plate of chicken, looks so pretty and inviting :-)

  • farida October 30, 2009 10:00 am

    Marija, this is such an interesting post. I surely learned a lot. Made me feel like I am was dining with Tito and his wife:) Great job!

  • Brigita November 2, 2009 1:32 am

    What an awesome post! I love štruklji, they're one of my favourite dishes and my mother-in-law is an expert in making them.

  • B.B.B. November 3, 2009 3:15 am

    I love the idea! And such a great post!Thx for sharing!And I'm happy to find this blog as I'm a very fan. of Balkan cultures (even trying to learn Serbian online but not that easy to learn it on my own :p)I'll be here often, so wait more lines from me :)Cheers from Istanbul,Banu

  • B.B.B. November 3, 2009 3:17 am

    Oh and Belgrade… I read on the comments that you are living in Belgrade the city I really want to see!Getting into this blog! :))

  • Marija November 3, 2009 3:25 am

    Banu welcome! Hope you'll find more posts you like :)

  • vernanda November 3, 2009 11:29 am

    My goodness, that was a really interesting reading. would be nice to know who of our communists was a real foodie…

  • B.B.B. November 4, 2009 12:30 pm

    The more you gonna post about Balkans the more I will get addicted here :))

  • Wizardry of Oz November 4, 2009 12:31 pm

    Thanks for bringing up Tito. He is almost forgotten today for the man and hero that he was. I met Tito in the late 50's when the company I worked for made him a solid gold rifle scope (I selected the sets of perfect lenses for the scopes) and one for actual use. He was thrilled at the gift and was quite the gentleman. Now, some 50 years later, I have another adventure to repeat to my children as well as a couple of recipes to share with them. Thanks again.

  • vesna November 14, 2009 11:02 pm

    Hvala ti na vracanju lijepe proslosti. Ne slazem se sa Andreinim komentarom On je bio covjek sa stilom .On je znao da vodi drzavu i da narodu bude dobro.

  • Arabic Bites November 17, 2009 8:23 pm

    I love this post Marija ;) it's so interesting :)& the Shtrukli looks so delicious :)

  • The Vickster January 21, 2010 6:12 pm

    Awesome blog! Everything looks so appitizing!! Love this post especially the cheese strutkli! We had this in Slovenia when we were visiting family. Keep up the good work! Check out my blog if you'd like!

  • Blair K. August 28, 2012 1:48 pm

    Fascinating and charming, post! I recently made struklji for the first time as part of my “Slovenian roots” cooking/blogging project. Very much like this, but Slovenians tend to leave it in a giant roll, boil it whole, and cut it up to serve. I also used some buckwheat flour Strange but tasty! That chicken with rosemary looks inspiring, too!

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