Bosnia: My Food Paradise

Today, pictures of some of my favorite Bosnian food. Some of these photographs are more, um, flattering than others. First, c(h)evapi, the classic beef sausage with onion, fresh cream (kajmak), and fabulous fresh bread (real Bosnians don’t put their cream on the side):

Second, the (also classic) Bosnian pie: flaky dough typically filled with beef, or potato, or spinach & cheese, hand-crafted and baked here in the traditional ovens of one of my favorite little shops in Sarajevo’s historic city market. I didn’t wait this time to snap a picture before eating. πŸ™‚

OK, that’s embarrassing, but it gives you an idea of how good the food is. It makes you care more about feeling good than looking good!

Now that you can see how I came back from Bosnia a few pounds heavier, I have to give much praise to Bosnians for their love of cheese and fresh garden vegetables. Here, a caprese I had in Tuzla:

Yes, I did eat all of that caprese myself. And a cheeseburger and fries. I couldn’t help myself. It was all fresh, all for about 6 bucks. Bosnian food is amazingly inexpensive — we pay much more in the States for food of much lower quality. (A little social commentary there — sorry, back to the pictures.)

One final shot. Bosnian breakfast: Turkish coffee or espresso, plenty of sugar. I take mine without the cigarettes, but that’s what makes me a tourist and not a real Bosnian.

What’s missing, of course, are the wonderful people I shared these meals with. The company, the tastes, the smells — those are what make Bosnia feel, to me, like paradise. (Or paradajz — the Bosnian word for tomato. Yum.)

About Tom Simpson

Tom Simpson teaches religion, ethics, philosophy, and human rights at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH. He is the author of *American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonism, 1867-1940* (University of North Carolina Press, 2016) and nonfiction essays about Bosnia for the Canadian literary magazine *Numero Cinq*. Born in 1975 in Olean, NY, he earned the Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of Virginia, where he specialized in American religious history. He writes, teaches, and lectures about religion in America, popular culture, Mormonism, and Bosnia. He lives in Exeter with his partner, Alexis Simpson, and their two children.
This entry was posted in Autobiography / Memoir, Bosnia, Food, Health, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Bosnia: My Food Paradise

  1. puravida says:

    It all looks great! Especially the caprese salad. What’s in the pie?

    • Tom Simpson says:

      Oh, thanks! I meant to specify — update coming. πŸ™‚

    • Tom Simpson says:

      So here’s the update: the fillings are usually beef, or potato, or spinach & cheese. So incredibly good — filling, hearty, but not too heavy or dense. In Sarajevo, you can get it by the slice, much like a pizza. It’s almost in the calzone family, but I always find calzones to be just too, too much. I haven’t had one since I was about 15, when I had the metabolism for it. πŸ™‚

  2. Jordan says:

    Bosnian food seems quite heavy! I take it they start their days without solid food, traditionally?

    • Tom Simpson says:

      It can be–but the freshness and local sourcing really offset that heaviness. Bosnia’s a place where I can eat anything and feel fine, unlike–sadly–the US, where processing is king. In Bosnia there are wonderful light breads and pastries everywhere in the morning hours for anyone who wants something more than coffee too.

    • TalkingLanguages says:

      Jordan, there is a reason why most of our traditional food is heavier (I wouldn’t want to explain this in a comment), but there are lighter dishes served in restaurants too. Hope you visit someday and taste all of this yourself πŸ™‚

      Tom, that first picture made me hungry… πŸ™‚

      • Tom Simpson says:

        So true!! These pictures are definitely those of a hungry man traveling without his wife and kids, stuffing his face. There are no pictures of the shopska salata — fresh garden veggies with feta — that’s one of my all-time favorite Bosnian dishes. That was often a lunch by itself for me!

  3. aidaweb101 says:

    Yum!Thanks for this delicious post.I can’t wait
    to go back and enjoy in Bosnian paradise.
    Cheers Tom!

  4. trkingmomoe says:

    I loved your pictures. The food looks good.

    • Tom Simpson says:

      Thanks!! I wish I had more (of the pictures–I had plenty of food, ha ha). Some of them just didn’t turn out well, like the shots of the traditional pie ovens. And other times I just didn’t want to be whipping out my camera all the time. Anyway, the relative lack of high-quality food themed pictures could explain why the one of me stuffing my face made the cut!

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