Serbia abounds in fruit species and old, autochthonous fruit varieties with most diverse types of shape, color, taste and fragrance. They have been farmed in our region for hundrer of years, but today they are irreversibly disappearing.
Many autochthonous varieties of our region (apples, pears and plums) are of unknown origin. It is believed that they were brought in during some of the numerous migrations of human populations, so common in this region throughout history. Many varieties have adapted and acquired new characteristics, while some have remained unchanged. It is believed that many varieties have genuinely appeared in our region (for example Ranka plum and Dragačevka plum).
Old fruit trees are part of our traditional barnyard and house yard, cultural landscape and history, as well as an important aconomical factor in past centuries. Troughout the history, consuming fruit and fruit products has enriched the dull diet with vitamins, fruit sugar and other useful substances, providing protection from many ailments.
Old fruit varieties are part of our intangible heritage, tradition, customs and legacy, as well as our cultural identity. Part of this national treasure is collected, processed and stored at the Collection of Fruits at the Natural History Museum in Belgrade.
The exhibition and the publication „The Old and The Gone Fruits of Serbia“ have a goal of presenting the richness, beauty and diversity of autochthonous fruit of our region, which should be recorded, studied, used and saved for future generations.
Aleksandra Savić, senior curator
From the catalog of the exhibition