Read, Write, Run, Roam

A krempita by any other name…

“When you go to Bled, you must eat krempita. There is another word for it, but it’s simply very good krempita.” This was our homework when we told our language teacher we were going to Bled. Being good students (aside from skipping class last Wednesday-sorry!), we decided to try the famed pastry while we were in Slovenia.

No fork? No problem. Image source here.

Krempita is actually a Serbian pastry that features an eggy custard sometimes layered under soft meringue and sandwiched between pieces of buttery pastry. To say it’s good is a serious understatement. It’s also seriously dangerous. It’s not too sweet, so you can convince yourself that it’s not that bad for you. Downright healthy, even. Until you eat your second piece, fall into a diabetic coma and sense people stepping over your listless body to finish off your plate.

Why am I talking about Serbian desserts in a Slovenian post? Because the famous “Bled” pastry is the genius of Serbian chef Ištvan Kovačevič, who worked at Bled’s Hotel Park in the 1950s. Former ex-Yugoslav countries are constantly saying that another country is using their song/idea/recipe, but in this case it appears to be true. (Cue the comments from Macedonians or Bosnians who claim it as their national pastry.) Kovačevič may have called it krempita, but in Bled it’s known as kremna rezina or kremšnita.

There are several places that serve kremšnita, but we stopped at Slaščičarna Šmon for a taste. Or three.

We had three forks. Otherwise this would be a post about arm-wrestling.

The verdict? Amazing. I normally do not like meringue in my kremšnita/krempita. But the meringue topping here is very soft and light and not sugary at all. Muz was a fan, though he preferred the chocolate rum concoction. (Shocking, I know.) I was also a fan of the fruit pie we got, but Kuma and Muz thought it seemed “too healthy.” Muz is getting more Serbian by the minute, isn’t he?

We waddled out of Šmon with confectioner’s sugar sticking to our suddenly tight t-shirts. It was a bit sad to leave Bled and its kremšnita, but we knew that we could find a worthy substitute in Belgrade. After all, a kremšnita by any other name tastes just as sweet.


12 responses

  1. Every year on my husband’s birthday, I have to travel to a tiny Serbian bakery an hour’s drive from our house to find him some krempita for his birthday. I usually get a piece for me to eat on the drive back 🙂

    Keep up the great writing – I love reading it!

    ps we saw a great documentary at a film festival here called Cinema Komunisto. A Serbian director examines the role of film making in Tito’s reign. Very interesting if you get a chance – I’m sure it will play there.

    June 6, 2011 at 11:18 am

  2. Zvonko

    Yum! Thanks for the story.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:05 pm

  3. I think driving an hour each way entitles you to TWO pieces of krempita. I’ll keep my eyes open for the documentary. If I don’t see it here I’ll get it on Netflix when we return. Ah, Netflix…

    June 7, 2011 at 4:51 am

  4. Devin

    WOW!! I love this, the best pastry in Serbia hands down!!!

    June 7, 2011 at 8:47 am

  5. Marjan

    Totally true about Krempita.
    Also, do not believe whatever Bosnian say about the food. They do not have anything. They just “borrowed” everything from nearby counties and call it their own.

    Not to forget, you’re in Serbia now so, USE IT !
    I meant, laws about copyrights and stuff are not so strict like in States so… forget about Netflix and download ALL movies which ever you want from here:

    Put it this way, I already saw X-Men few days ago…

    June 7, 2011 at 2:32 pm

  6. Erasfa

    As far as I know, Croats think of krempita as their national pastry and it’s believed the best ones are made in Samobor, town not far away from Zagreb. 😀 Bosnians have other sweets like baklava, tufahije, kadaif, hurmašice etc

    IMO the best krempita in Belgrade can be found in pastry shop Jadran in Bulevar kralja Aleksandra 146. I tink of it as a hidden gem.

    BTW did you make strawberry pita? 😉

    June 7, 2011 at 8:48 pm

  7. Bogi

    Of course don’t forget torrents 😉

    June 7, 2011 at 10:07 pm

  8. I didn’t! We have been out of town off and on, so I haven’t made it to Novi Beograd for serious food shopping. Mini maxi is nice, but the ones I’ve tried don’t have the cornstarch you mentioned. I’ll have to try Jadran. I’m a fan of the Bosnian-style shop on Makedonska by Trg Republica. It’s not fancy, but their tufahije is great. (Though they don’t serve coffee, which I find kind of odd.) And I’ll definitely look for krempita on my next Croatia trip.

    June 8, 2011 at 10:25 am

  9. tina

    I know this as Splitska Torta. But it would make perfect sense if it was created in Bled by a Serbian Chef since Tito had a grand residence there, too.

    I will also put in a strong recommendation for Cinema Komunisto, which I saw in NYC as part of the Tribeca Film Festival. Fascinating, funny and poignant. There’s a Facebook page for it that lists local Belgrade screenings, too.

    June 15, 2011 at 1:40 am

  10. Thanks for the film recommendation! I’ll be sure to check it out.

    June 15, 2011 at 6:00 am

  11. Lissa

    We were thinking about getting to Bled on our trip. I think you just sold me.

    June 15, 2011 at 6:26 pm

  12. Good! I guarantee you will like it.

    June 16, 2011 at 6:06 am

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