Are you hungry and/or eager to make a new amazing trip?
So I’ll make your choice easier with this post about some delicious food I had in Bosnia.
Delicious but sometimes difficult to find… if you’re not well able to be oriented in the street that of the main towns that can even have differencies in the way people eat/drink.
In fact, on of the most interesting aspects of Bosnian sciety is the way it is diversified and varied, putting together islam, jews, ortodox and catholic cultures.
Although, as we shall see in a moment, vegetables and legumes are very present in the Bosnian Diet, in these country as in the Balkans there is a particularly strong carnivorous tradition and in some places thy serve almost exclusively meat (for example in turkish district of Sarajevo).
But let’s start with what I had the opportunity to taste:
Peksimeti and kajmak
First beautiful Bosnian memory, first inn found in a deserted, rainy Mostar, with a very strong noise of rain and river flow: a pan of sir (cheese), grilovano povrće (grilled vegetables) and riža (fried rice with onions and some spice) .
Generously served with peksimeti, fried dough that when you’re hungry, it’s raining and it’s 10 pm, can save your life. (Then everyone comes to terms with her own digestion, but in front of the hungry we are all equal).
The best cheese to match these fritters (loved by the children in the sweet variant as breakfast) is in my opinion the kajmak, tasty cheese and cream flavor similar to the greek yogurt. I hope that the purists won’t hate me too much for this perhaps inappropriate comparison, but that’s what its taste most reminded me of.
These cutting boards / oven dishes are anywhere, but the flavor changes according to the way of cooking them. On the last evening, tasting it all with addition of spicy baked potatoes in a restaurant with a wood oven, they were really the top!
Palente i sira
Delicious delicacy! For me and my past weekends in Valtellina and my past life in Lombardia, for me and my love affair with sgagliozze of Bari, home is where polenta’s contamination is.
In fact, this is polenta with local cheese, cow or buffalo milk, melted on / in the polenta. To me it was served in the form of pellets covered with ohmygodsuchadeliciouscheese!
One of the typical foods in the entire Bonsia is pita, with numerous variants but which substantially consists of a casing of very fine paste filled with vegetable, meat, cheese and herbs. There are several types of pita: burek (with meat); sirnica (with cheese), (zeljanica) with spinach.
Omnipresent in the Bosnian mothers’ and grandmothers’ ovens during the holidays, now it is also a great street food.
I have tasted a pita with potato and spices and eggs, gently purchased in a pub next to the one where I was sitting by a host of Sarajevo since his restaurant didn’t cook anything that once hadn’t eyes.
There are various types of typical soups (Čorba), with meat and vegetables. Ideal to relax your stomach (before a sweet suicide of polenta i sira, as I did).
I have tasted one with broccoli and a corba with tomato. I preferred the second, being too bitter the first.
I do not have an attitude towards sweets, but I can’t help myself in front of cakes with cinnamon and apples. The Ottoman Baklava is a popular dessert with variations in Turkey and throughout the Balkans and the basic recipe consists of layers of phyllo dough (the same as the pita) soaked in sugar syrup and honey and layers of nuts and / or dry fruit and spices. I have tasted baklava-or-jabuka variant, ie apples (and cinnamon), served with a vanilla cream ball. Very sweet the dough, better and more tolerable the filling.
Let’s come to wine
Let’s face it: if we had not found the only inn in the turkish quarter of Sarajevo serving generous doses of wine and the excellent Vranac (still, easy to drink, slightly fruity) , I wouldn’t have taken the Baklava suggested by the innkeeper to accompany this wine.
Small brackets which may assist you: as I wrote in the first post of Sarajevo, unlike here in Mostar not all people speak English; they most likely have some German reminiscences, as in the case of the innkeeper who directed us to the fastest way to the tram stop to take us to the station. Closing parenthesis, let’s go back to the wine.
The one I preferred is Blatina, always red, always firm. I found it particularly appropriate for cheese and vegetables with fiery aftertaste and coal.
Another wine to taste is the green-gold colored Zilavka.
For those who love the spirits and liqueurs, the šljivovica is a plum brandy and a the loza a grape brandy.
The beer (pivo) is widespread in clear variations (belo pivo) and dark (crno pivo). I have drank the belo pivo named Sarajevsko, particularly sparkling and refreshing.
I’ll soon write about two additional aspects related to food and beverage and Bosnian ritual: coffee, tea and the pomegranates. All this deserves a narrative aside, and you deserve to read it. (It’s so clear that I love you, isn’t it?)