First taste of Bosnian pizza – Sarajevo Food Dictionary

First taste of Bosnian pizza

Growing up in Germany, I grew up with a lot of pizza and pasta. And good one to say that. Not only because there are quite a few Italian people living in Germany but also because us Germans just love the Italian cuisine – and I am no exception. Add pizza to my go-to meals, right after coffee! So naturally, I was intrigued when I heard about something called “a Bosnian pizza”. Could it be good? Would it be a tasty surprise?

So, one September night we took off to find out – and with “we” I mean my Bosnian husband, our Italian neighbor (who surely is the best reference when it comes to rating pizza!) and I. I learned, that this one particular pizza is not only a normal pizza eaten at a restaurant, while Eros Ramazotti is playing in the background. Oh no, there is a whole ritual surrounding this Bosnian pizza, it’s something for couples, for groups of friends or for newfound lovers. The whole thing reminded me of the German “getting a doner and sitting in the park”– minus the onions on the doner that can actually just ruin your whole date.

When we picked up the huge cardboard box that smelled like hot cheese and tomato sauce, big and heavy in our arm, I suddenly understood what it’s all about: It’s the anticipation, the wait for the meal that smells so nice all the way up to the yellow fortress. Even if it wasn’t a great pizza – it would surely taste great just because we carried it all the way up there, mouth watering and eyes mesmerized by the view.

For all you people living in Sarajevo, this is neither something new nor a secret tip – but if you are a visitor reading my column, let me give you some advice now: Pick one night where the sky is clear, climb up to  Kovači and buy a pizza at the Pekara kod Mahira. Take the cardboard box full of cheesy, hot goodness with you and climb a little bit further to the Žuta tabija. And there: enjoy the pizza at sunset! I would go as far as to say that this evening activity is a Sarajevo classic. And it’s one of my favorites, that’s for sure!

But let’s come back to more pressing matters: Was the pizza good? No, the pizza wasn’t good. The pizza was great! It has nothing much to do with a classic Italian pizza – but… it’s delicious. It’s full of the flavors of Bosnia: Suho meso (smoked ham), my ever-beloved Kajmak (the Bosnian version of sour cream, just better) and a big splash of tomato sauce on top!

 

And that made me think: Isn’t pizza a dish for every nation? Sure, maybe the Italians invented it. But it’s a round piece of dough with tomato sauce and aren’t you allowed to put whateber you want on it? Except for pineapple! Isn’t it a beautiful idea to have a dish that you can recreate and make your own?

I can surely recommend the Bosnian pizza. Not only the one at Mahir, also the one at Zmajevac-Vidikovac. Another dish that you will eat with a breathtaking view over the city. And maybe it’s the view that makes the Bosnian pizza taste so good, maybe it’s not even the flavors itself. Or maybe it’s just a mix of the two, they are complimenting each other. It doesn’t even matter. Fact is: To me, Bosnian pizza is just as much a part of Sarajevo as coffee – and that really means something!

As much as you love your city, sometimes you need to get away for a bit – you know what I mean? Sometimes you just need to wake up in a new environment and leave the house not knowing what waits around the corner of the street, what the day will bring. I had my share of getaways here in Bosnia already – I crossed the old bridge in Mostar, climbed the fortress in Počitelj, swam in the ice-cold lake in Kravica and sat on a boat on Una river, my breath being taken away by its beauty.

I feel that especially in those uncertain, covid-ridden times we need a little time out every now and then. And the good thing is: Beautiful nature and good food are so plentiful in Bosnia and Herzegovina that nothing is easier than just to get away for a bit. So, I was thinking: I know the hard winter months are coming up, maybe there is even a second lockdown waiting for us – who knows – why not show you a few of the places around Bosnia that impressed me as a foreigner most. Why not give you some places to put on your bucket list so that you can look forward to visiting them in spring?

Without further ado, let me start – I will present you the most beautiful places, the most delicious restaurants, the beauty that you sometimes might not see, because it doesn’t seem so special when you’re around it every single day. And I hope it can ease your anxiety a bit!

One of the first trips I did when I visited Bosnia was of course the one to Mostar. To walk the Stari Most, to see the Tekija in Blagaj and to marvel about how beautiful Počitelj really is, like a fairytale city. But it was only this year that we discovered a place that is just as magical, just as peaceful and perfect for an afternoon chill: Zoga Beach Bar! Not to brag but if you heard about it this year than it’s probably because we went there first.


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Piše: SFD
Autorica teksta

Kathi Numić


I love words and I love food. Luckily, as a journalist I can combine the two – by writing about food! Be it a fancy dinner, a street food stand or just some fast food shop around the corner, you can discover amazing flavors everywhere and I put them into words and pictures.

I’m also a firm believer that you are what you eat. Meaning food is part of your national, ethical and personal identity. Nobody will ever take grandma’s Sunday stew out of you, no matter how old you are and where you are now. So, I love exploring countries through their cuisine, try their foods, learn about their soul. And this is what I will do in SFD Getaways – to show you a part of the Bosnian soul through its food.

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