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Food & Dining in Bosnia Herzegovina


Whatever you eat in Bosnia & Herzegovina, you will notice the richness of the flavours you thought you knew. The cuisine of the country has not yet been ruined by commercially-produced produce, so most foods are organically or semi-organically grown, using fewer chemicals and are picked when ripe. The vegetable markets sell only seasonal and locally-grown vegetables, and you are bound to have some of the best tasting fruit you've ever tried in the Neretva Valley region of Herzegovina (close to the Croatian border, between Mostar and Metkovic). The region is famous for peaches, mandarin oranges, peppers & tomatoes, cherries (both the sweet and the sour variety), watermelons and most recently Kiwis. Cheese is also incredibly favourful and rich all across Bosnia & Herzegovina, and generally all foods are as fresh as it gets.

Try duvec (rice, vegetables and meat), sarma (minced meat and rice cooked in a cabbage roll), pljeskkavica (hamburger) and raznijici (grilled meats). Also tasty is cevapi or cevapcici, spiced ground meat shaped into sausage-like rolls and grilled, served with warm flat bread, chopped onion and a thick yogurt known as kajmak. Baklava, among other sweets, is available for dessert. Bakery and cake shops appear on every corner.

All along Bosnian roads and recreational places, you will notice advertisements for janjetina or "lamb on a spit". This is a very tasty treat, usually reserved for special occasions. A whole lamb is cooked on a spit, by rotating over a coal fire for a long time.


In Sarajevo's Turkish Quarter (Bascarsija), you can sample Turkish specialties such as grilled-meat kebabs. Also look for eateries there called cevabdzinica to sample local foods influenced by Middle Eastern cultures. Ferhatovic Petica and Hodzic, on Bascarsija Square, are regarded as the best cevabdzinica in town.

Sarajevo has countless shops selling burek (meat pie, sold in layers by weight or by piece), cevapi and pizza stores. Pita (burek, sirnica, krompirusa, tikvenica, zeljanica, etc) is a phyllo type pasty pie generally offered in several varieties - cheese (sirnica-Bosnian cheese called "young cheese" similar to ricotta and never aged), cheese and spinach (zeljanica), pumpkin (tikvinica), and spicy potato (krompirusa). It is usually served and consumed with a traditional yogurt sauce which resembles sour cream. Most cevapi places do not serve alcohol.

International and specialty dining options are also available in Sarajevo. These include Croatian, Italian, Indian and Mexican food, as well as seafood, pizza and vegetarian restaurants. To Be or Not to Be and Dveri, in Bascarsija, are recommended. For top-end meals, Vinoteka is a favourite with the international community, and Magarac (meaning "donkey") cooks fantastic fish in its big, open brick stove.

Local beverages include the ubiquitous Bosnian coffee, kafa; Sarajevsko Pivo, the locally brewed beer; and rakija, a brandy-like liquor to be drunk in moderation.





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