Ćevapčići (plural form of Ćevapčić) or Ćevapi (pronounced [ʨɛ'va:pi]) is a skinless meat sausage. They originally were made in the Balkans. It is of oriental origin, and it can be found in the countries of what was formerly Yugoslavia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the Italian provinces of Trieste and Gorizia. Ćevapčići are served on a plate or in a flatbread (lepinja or somun). Chopped onions, sour cream, kajmak, ajvar, cottage cheese, and similar sauces are often added.
Serbian ćevapčići from Leskovac are made of equal parts of beef and pork, minced together, seasoned, grilled and served on a plate with fries and fresh minced onions, accompanied with sour cream and spices. It can also be served in a thin bun called lepinja, similar to the Greek pita bread. The traditional, and preferred, way of grilling ćevapčići is to use glowing coals beneath a grill. The expressions ćevapčići and ćevapi are both common in parts of Serbia, whereas in Belgrade, the capital, from where ćevapčići spread all over the world, ćevapčići is the only traditional expression. Although ćevapčići is a formal diminutive, ćevapčići from Leskovac are longer (10–12 cm) than Bosnian ćevapi (5–8 cm). The Leskovac recipe was the one that became popular in Belgrade during the 19th century and then spread all over Yugoslavia, Europe and United States.
Bosnian ćevapi from the Baščaršija district of Sarajevo and Banja Luka is probably the most famous ćevapi. Travnik and Tuzla are known for their ćevapi made of beef stewed with spices. This dish is very popular in some parts of what was formerly Yugoslavia as well. The stew is poured on lepinja or somun flatbread with a few chunks of. Banja Luka is known for ćevapi which are multiple rolls (usually four) joined together. Bosnian ćevapi are made from two types of minced beef meat, hand mixed and formed with a funnel. Once it is formed, ćevapi is grilled. Macedonian kebapi (ќебапи) are made of both pork and beef. A serving usually consists of 5-10 pieces, served with white bread, minced red pepper, salt and onions.
In Romania, the Ćevapčići are called Mititei.
Ćevapčići with French Fries in Montenegro
The word comes from the Arabic kebab, sometimes with the South Slavic diminutive ending -čići (Serbian: Ћевапчићи/Ћевапи, ćevapčići/ćevapi; Macedonian: Ќебапи, ćebapi; Slovene: čevapčiči, Croatian, Bosnian: ćevapčići/ćevapi; Czech: čevapčiči/čevabčiči). For more on the word's history, see the etymology section of kebab.
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