Veliko Gradište, Serbia, 2023


The Nature of Man, principles of movement, vol.3

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Above River Danube at Veliko Gradište, view of Romania across the river, Serbia 2023

Life on the river bank

Veliko Gradište, eastern Serbia, August 2023

With population just over 6000, this little town seats on the bank of Danube river that acts as a natural border with neighbouring Romania. Town's river dock is a home to the border crossing and river police station, with small river walk and a fish restaurant.

Above Walking between cauldrons, Veliko Gradište, Serbia 2023

The competition

Olympic games for local and regional baked beans (and other things) lovers

Pasuljijada (you will need some good luck with pronunciation of it) is the baking beans competition, one of favorite food dish in Serbia. If you happen to be in Velika Gradiska at the day of Pasuljijada, just follow the delightfull smell and when you see the smoke you will know you are the right place. It is happening right behind the docks, in Veliko Gradište city park.

Whole place looks like a fair, home made boiling cauldrons (whole system is based on old home water heaters with welded pipes seating in fire, with cauldron on the top of everything) on every step, with tables and chairs brought from homes all around the place. If you dont have place at table simple picnic blanket does the job. Folk music, yes, everywhere and loud. Home made cheese, wine and rakija, of course. A lots of rakija.

Above Egyptian beans cooked Gypsy way, for body and soul by Dule Bumbar (Dule Bumblebee)

The competitors

Everybody, and nobody

This year the competition committee stopped counting at 117 competitors and even more cauldrons. And that's the number not including the presence of Army kitchen and many other 'non-professionals', baking beans enthusiasts and good rakija lovers.

Above Chef Dule Bumbar, this year's competitor and previous years' champion, cooking his 'Egyptian beans Gypsy way', Veliko Gradište, Serbia 2023

This year out of the competition. Couple of times champion or runner up, Dule Bumbar was disqualified 2022 with a reason of 'starting cooking before the competition started'.

The truth is, Dule had a lot of guests that year and the magic cauldron was too big so he had to start eariler in order to prepare the food on time, and got disqualified. Best baked beans he and many other say. Egyptian beans, plenty of cattle bones and some secrets.

Above Meanwhile, first tastings around the competition site, preceded and followed with lots of alcohol and loud music, Veliko Gradište, Serbia 2023
Above Beans tasting, Veliko Gradište, Serbia, 2023
Above Beef bones and leftovers, Veliko Gradište, Serbia 2023
Above Baked beans, behind the scenes, Veliko Gradište, Serbia, 2023

Everybody street, Serbian way

Behind the scene

Besides already mentioned cooking cauldrons, you can see all sorts of barbecue around, because it goes well with rakija which is both the fuel and social element during the cooking process. Goat cheese and wine are there too, not in the same numbers but still you can't say there's no something for everybody's taste.

Loud folk music, coming from various directions and sources. Promenade and Theater.

Above Pensioners' association, Veliko Gradište, Serbia, 2023
Above Competitors and Visitors, Veliko Gradište, Serbia 2023
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Veliko Gradište, Serbia, 2023


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