Kifli, or kifle as we say in Serbia, are crescent-shaped bread rolls eaten mostly as a breakfast delicacy. Previously savored with butter and jam, they have now evolved into various sweet or salty varieties. One place that makes its living almost exclusively from their kifle is a miniature bakery “Čarli” (Charlie in Serbian transliteration).
“Čarli” has been in my neighborhood for decades now. The sweet smell of their kifle is one of those scents that can bring me back to my childhood days, in the same way as the small, early 1980s interior transports me to the long gone days of socialist Yugoslavia. The lovely ladies serving have not changed either as far as I can remember. I cannot stop admiring their talent to stay efficient and extremely (almost unpleasantly) fast while still managing to ask the regulars about their health and to send greetings to our folks at home. One of the reasons that explains how this is possible is that there is not much to choose from: the bakery’s output is limited only to kilfe coming in “sweet” (slatke, but actually neutral) and salty (slane) variations and in užički puž (“Užice Snail”) a spirally rolled burek where you can choose between one with meat, cheese or spinach cum cream cheese.
You might think this is not much of a choice but let me assure you that once you taste how good these are you will be in a serious dilemma what to order next time you return!