Bosnia & Herzegovina’s cuisine is as diverse as it is delicious. As an old saying goes “Some people eat so they could drink. Others eat so they can live and work. People in BiH work and live to eat.” People of Bosnia and Herzegovina tend to dedicate a lot of attention to the preparation of a meal, which almost resembles a ritual because it is not only a meal but also an experience.
Bosnian traditional cuisine includes mainly meat that is prepared carefully and in a large quantity. Some of the most favored dishes are the Bosnian pot (Bosanski lonac), which is a mixture of meat and vegetables until the pot is full. Other traditional dishes are ćevapi (grilled meat served in a flat brad called somun), stuffed vegetables such as dolma and sarma (onions, tomatoes, zucchini, and cabbage or grape leaves, stuffed with rice and meat, and seldom only rice) and burek (pie with minced or chopped meat mixed with potatoes) or a pie made of spinach (zeljanica) or pumpkin (tikvenica). Moreover, the Bosnian cuisine uses a lot of diverse seasoning but in a smaller amount.
Whilst Bosnia enjoys a vast traditional culinary art it offers also international, Mediterranean and central European kitchen that leaves no visitor with an empty stomach. The influence of Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian presence did leave marks on Bosnian cuisine but did not limit it; international cuisine is prepared with the same amount of care as traditional one.
In addition to Bosnian cuisine, people can also enjoy themselves in a variety of beverages that range from beer, wine and home-made liquors. Bosnia and Herzegovina an exquisite offer of domestic beers, which do not disappoint in quality compared to foreign beers. Herzegovina, the southern region of the country is famous for its red and white wines that enjoy international praise. Some of region’s finest wine cellars can be found in old monasteries. Often, these regions also produce high-quality cheese and serve perfectly paired with wines. On the other hand, the salty cheese produced at the Vlašić Mt. above Travnik is excellent with smoked beef.
The most common and most popular liquor, considered a Bosnians’ national drink is “rakija”, which is a sort of home-made brandy made of plum (šljiva) but can also be made of apples (jabukovača), pears (kruška) and other fruits. It is of excellent quality and considered a Bosnians national drink. Coffee drinking is one of the most important social rituals. It is seen as bonding time, time to exchange stories and jokes (Bosnians are known for having great humor), usually followed by strolling down the promenades. Bosnian (also known as Turkish coffee, although not as strong) mostly served with a “rahat lokum”, a Turkish delight, or a simple sugar cube.
If you have a chance to try spit roasted goat or lamb meat you should not miss it. Meat comes directly from surrounding hills and the fresh and juicy taste makes it one of a kind.
Bosnia & Herzegovina’s cuisine surprises and fulfills with its diversity of domestic and international offer. The love towards food and drinks can be seen and felt in every dish that is served to the satisfaction of any visitor. It has become more than a daily routine; it is an experience that will perfectly complete every stay in Bosnia & Herzegovina.