While in Bosnia, make sure to try these top 10 foods and drinks characteristic of the country. Get ready for flavorful meats and dense stews with lots of flavor and also strong Turkish coffee.
Top 10 Food & Drinks to try in Bosnia
Bosnian cuisine is balanced between Western and Eastern influences. The food is closely related to Turkish, Middle Eastern, and other Mediterranean cuisines. However, due to years of Austrian rule, there are also many culinary influences from Central Europe including spices like paprika.
Do you often find that it’s easier to eat in foreign countries if you can see a picture of the food. Me too, but the restaurants with picture menus tend to be the watered-down tourist version. So, here is my cheat sheet to identify foods in Bosnia.
Burek is the “pizza” take away food of the Bosnian region. Made of Phyllo dough filled with meat, cheese and sometimes spinach or apples. The dough is dense and elastic within tinge of olive oil.
Ćevapi is another popular dish. Made of grilled minced meat (Lamb or beef) in the shape of a sausage link. served with onions, sour cream, ajvar and Bosnian pita bread (called Somun or Lepinje). There are usually 5–10 pieces on a plate.
Ajvar is a type of relish, made principally from red bell peppers, with garlic. Originating in Serbia, it became a popular side dish throughout Yugoslavia after World War II and is very popular in the Balkans. You see it both as a side served with Ćevapi (ie ketchup) and also as a spread for bread.
Ražnjići is another popular Serbian fast food of small pieces of grilled meat on a skewer, equivalent of the Greek souvlaki.
Sahan is a mixed grill tasting plate with various meats. This dish is usually too big for one person, but a great option to try with a group to get a variety of tastes.
Đuveč (or Djuvec) is an oven-baked meat and vegetable stew similar to ratatouille. It is traditionally prepared in an earthenware pot giving the dish its name
Meats can include chicken, pork, lamb or sometimes beef or fish and vegetables may include onion, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini (courgettes), eggplant, peas, potatoes, carrots, and flavored with vinegar, paprika and various other herbs.
Bosanski lonac is an authentic Bosnian culinary specialty made in the same tradition for hundreds of years. This dish is made of meat and various vegetables but is prepared by layering meat and vegetables (alternating layers of meat and vegetables until the pot is full) into a deep pot, then adding water. The ingredients are cut into large pieces and takes about 4 hours till the meal is cooked.
Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey. It is characteristic of the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire, and each region puts its specialty on it. In Bosnia, you can find Baklava or Ružica that is baked in a small roll with raisins.
Slivovitz or Slivovitsa is a fruit brandy made from plums. These fruit brandies are popular and tasty throughout the balkans (In Croatia, they were cherry and honey flavored) and called also Rakia. These are similar to Pálinka in Hungary and Pálenka Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Turkish Coffee is found throughout the former Ottoman Empire and is a very strong coffee. In Bosnian, the coffee is prepared by boiling the water and then taking the water off the heat, adding the coffee grounds and replacing the pot over the heat to boil again. The coffee grounds are not filtered out of the water, so once you have poured it into your cup you have to let the liquid settle, otherwise you’ll end up with a mouthful of gritty grains.
Enjoy the Food! Is Bosnia & Herzegovina on you bucket list?
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