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ŠIRDEN

The vast majority of so-called traditional dishes on offer in restaurants throughout North Macedonia are little more than variations on recipes found in neighbouring countries. Although all of them come highly recommended, if you’re looking for a really unique culinary adventure, one dish you’re unlikely to find anywhere else is širden. Made from three different kinds of minced meat seasoned with onions, paprika, black pepper, red peppers and salt, the difference between širden and other dishes is what it’s cooked in, which in the case of this unusual treat is none other than the abomasum—or fourth stomach—of a sheep or a lamb. Sewn together to stop everything falling out in a final act of strangeness, and baked in lard inside an earthenware casserole dish, it tastes much better than its sounds and goes down an absolute treat with a large glass of local red wine.

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