Evolution of Bosnian Food
Bosnian cuisine is a hybrid of Serbian, Turkish, Austrian, and Hungarian dishes. Bosnia was a part of the Ottoman Empire some 600 years ago, which is now present-day Turkey. Idioms and dishes intertwined between these two. In Bosnia you can eat chevapi, which is a grilled dish of a minced meat, and it made its way to Bosnia through Turkey from the Middle East. The original word was “kebab,” but once “kebab” reached Turkey it became “kebapi,” and then evolved into chevapi once it got to Bosnia. Another example includes Bosnian Brandy, called rakija and it is originally called “raki” in Turkey. Although sometimes Bosnia does keep the original name to cuisines such as wienerschnitzel, which came from when they were a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Bosnia has taken a good amount of their traditional dishes from their history and neighboring countries. (source)
Lunch is typically the largest meal of the day. Typical Bosnian dishes include bosanki Ionac, a slow-roasted pot of meat and vegetables, and japrak, which is made up of cabbage rolls stuffed with a savory filling. Because lunch is the largest meal, this makes dinner light. Generally, dinner is served after 8:00 pm. (source)
Meat is the most important ingredient of most Bosnian dishes. Other major ingredients include tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, spinach, squash, and beans. In Bosnia no matter where and what you are eating, you will always be served bread. Bread is usually consumed in large quantities. Soup and salad are common dishes that complete a meal in Bosnia. The most popular soup served with meals in Begova čorba – Bey’s soup. Salads that are served with meals are seasonal. (source)
Black coffee is a staple when spending time with friends and acquaintances. In Bosnian homes, coffee is cooked and served and black coffee is found in many cafes throughout the country. Grabbing coffee is a very popular way to socialize and connect in Bosnia and Herzegovina. During a funeral, it is considered a kind gesture to bring coffee and other beverages for the guests so that the family can mourn in peace. (source) When it comes to alcoholic beverages beer and wine are very popular. The local beers include Sarajevo beer, Pilsner Tuzla, Preminger Bihać, and Nektar Banja Luka. The country traditionally produces good wine and red and white dry wine is of surprising quality. (source)
Bosnia and Herzegovina has their cuisine traditions just like every other country. One I found interesting was that when you are a guest at a house, the hostess will typically keep serving you food if you leave your plate empty. It is considered rude to say that you don’t want seconds, so in order to avoid this people will leave a little bit of food left on their plate in order to avoid getting served more food. It is quite interesting to see the different cultural traditions set up in the homes. And it is also interesting to learn that Bosnia’s cuisine came from different dishes of their neighboring countries.