New Beginnings: The Triestine Burger

Season three. (Better late than never)

“It’s about time” is absolutely right. I’ve been dilly-dallying. The original plan was to kick off the season with the still-in-the-works documentary about the creator of MSB, myself. The final version is still being touched up, and I’m hoping it will be ready before February is here.

But that is neither here nor there.

Let the beasting begin.

A new basketball season brings us a new appetite and a new MSB season. What’s more is that the new basketball season has brought me all the way to Trieste, Italy. Trieste is essentially the last city in Italy of the Northeast; it sits at the end of a very thin strip of land completely surrounded by northernmost part of the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia.  At some points, only a few miles separates the Slovenian boarder and the Adriatic sea.

Trieste is also home to one of the most strange weather occurrences that I can recall (coming from New England this is very impressive to me). The Bora is a hurricane like gust of wind that comes down the mountainside and barrels through the city with enough force to knock over people, flip tractor trailers, and throw boats from the water onto land. Experiencing the Bora is not a rare instance in Trieste. There is no sand on Trieste’s beaches because of the Bora. It also doesn’t snow in Trieste, it ices.

Trieste is that old wise grandpa you wish you had. It has seen it all, and is full of history.

An ever famous port city that has seen days as a Byzantine military post for Constantinople in the mid-fourth century, to being the number one port of the Habsburg Empire during the early 1700’s, to enduring hard times while being occupied by the fascist regime in the 1930’s, to having the only concentration camp with a creamatorium in Italy during the German occupation of the 40’s, to becoming the quiet, once bustling port city of Italy that it is today. Trieste has undoubtedly weathered some fairly burdensome times.

A past, of which, only adds to the vast array of local and history-influenced flavors that Trieste has to offer.

One of the main culinary staples of the city is something called ćevapčići (pronounced CHE-VAAP-CHEE-CHEE). A dish of Balkan origin which consists usually of mixed lamb, beef, and pork and other various spices. When I first got to Trieste, coming off of playing in Sardinia and Ostuni, I had no idea the amount of influence that the surrounding countries had on Trieste’s cuisine. You can imagine that kebab-like breakfast sausage looking things were right up my alley. I bought a grill specifically for cooking these scrumptious meat logs. The thing about ćevapčići is that they are served with this sauce called Avjar, which is a relishy-type sauce made from red bell peppers and garlic, it can be spicy or not-so-spicy, depending on what you want. It is absolutely inconceivable to me that I was not made aware of avjar before arriving here in Trieste. Unreal. It can be put on anything from toast, to eggs, you name it. Typically, avjar is mixed with raw onions and served on the ćevapčići. It sounds strange, and maybe raw onions aren’t up your alley, but believe me when I tell you that these three ingredients make a most excellent unified flavor of sweet, spicy, savory and awesome that your taste buds can only fathom before experiencing it for themselves.

Naturally, in true Snack Beast fashion, I must make a burger out of all of this.

THE SNACK

Pretty straightforward here (and on the smaller side in my opinion):

Double burger, Worchestershired, Louis style. I prefer Louis style with most of my burgers because that’s how the first hamburgers were made, I really like the idea of serving burgers on flat toasted bread; and the hamburger buns in Italy lie somewhere between the quality of two week-old challah and sponge cake.

All three important ćevapčići ingredients, including Avjar and raw minced onions.

As an added bonus I fried some mozzarella,  mozz is one of my favorite cheeses to put on a burger other than the amazing flavor,  it doesn’t melt, it gets really stretchy and pully, which adds to the experience.

In hindsight I probably should have used three burger patties rather than two, I felt like that toast wanted more burger to hold.

In the end I really enjoyed the Triestine, especially using my toast to wipe up all the burger drippings and avjar mix that was left on the plate after I was done. Pure heaven.

Until next time.

Beast on, fellow snackers.

 

@DDNumeroUno

 

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