Lou, Donna and Rade Mladenovic’s Taste of Europe in Crown Point, Ind., is one of the few delis in Northwest Indiana that sells Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Romanian, Macedonian, Polish, Greek and Mediterranean products. This mecca for all things European features homemade sausages, breads, pastries, roasted peppers, olives, cheeses, barbecued lamb and pig, burek and more. And now that they’ve opened a second store in Indianapolis, the central part of the state is also covered.
Lou Mladenovic was born in Bela Voda, Serbia, and immigrated to the United States in 1973, but the traditions and foods of his homeland have stayed with him.
“In this busy world of ours, Serbs want to maintain the old ways but many don’t have the time to prepare the dishes, so my wife and son and I do it for them,” Mladenovic says.
In addition to sausage-making (Polish, Hungarian, Serbian, Croatian), smoking and drying meats, spit-roasting lamb and pig on Saturdays and Sundays (call your order in ahead of time, it goes fast), bread and pastry making, he caters to Serbians who celebrate Slava or a family’s patron saint day. Many feast days he has orders for 30 Slava breads and the wheat dish known as koljivo or zhito.
“There is a lot of pride involved in kolac so presentation and taste are key factors,” Mladenovic says.
He makes his sarma (stuffed cabbage) with kiseli kupus (whole sour cabbage heads) and says no Slava feast would be complete without appetizers of smoked meats, sausages like cevaps, feta cheeses, kajmak (similar to clotted cream), pogaca (a yeast bread), nut rolls, tortes and strudels that are all available at his shop.
No matter how Westernized a Serbian family becomes, “Slava is like the Constitution is to the United States of America. It is the backbone of our families and something we abide by,” Mladenovic says.
In addition, Taste of Europe has a complete line of jarred and tinned items, package mix items, candies, magazines and papers and, most importantly of all, Vegeta, the ubiquitous seasoning mix favored by Eastern Europeans. Plejskavica hamburgers, hot burek, sandwiches and other items are available in Indianapolis.
Taste of Europe
Addresses: 518 N. Main St., Crown Point, IN 46307; 4320 W. 96th St., Indianapolis, IN 46268
Phone: 219-226-9000 (Crown Point) and 317-334-8797 (Indianapolis)
Hours: Open daily at 9 a.m. in Crown Point and 10 a.m. in Indianapolis
Website (More coming soon)
Crown Point Map