Day 34: Bosnia

The presence of international food in Houston tells a story.  Many times these stories speak of prosperity and businesses as people seek new opportunities in America.  Other stories speak of war and danger.  The story of Bosnia is just such a story.  Bosnia is one of the Balkan states which has had somewhat flexible borders and identities for more than one hundred years.  In spite of the recent memories of civil war and ethnic cleansing (and the media's attempt to reduce it to religious differences), historically the eight provinces of the then Yugoslavia lived in relative peace under Christian and Muslim empires alike.  This peoples existed as neighbors peaceably until they were forced into joint nationhood in the early 1900's, though this was conceptualized as a "greater Serbia" and the rest of their history is a slow and dramatic reversal of this decision.  Sarajevo, the capital, was the only city in Europe, until the twentieth century, to have a Mosque, Synagogue, and Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches all in one city.  The city of Mostar, the source for Houston's own Bosnian food influence, was home to an even representative of the peoples of the Balkan states, though this changed after the Bosnian war where most of the Serbs left the city.  Mostar is home to one of the best preserved pieces of Ottoman architecture in Europe, the bridge over the Neretva River, a river that currently divides the two major ethnic groups residing in the city. 

Bosnian food is a fusion of Greek, Turkish, Russian, and European flavors.

Bosnian Cuisine

Due to its location, Bosnia has been a through route between many civilizations over time with each one leaving their mark.  The food is a fusion of Greek, Turkish, Russian, and local European flavors.  Located in the Balkans, the Greek and Turkic influence is evident in the grilled meat sandwiches such as Pljeskavica and Kevapcici.  Pljeskavica and Kevapcici feature grilled meats on homemade bread; the bread itself is justification for the existence of Cafe Adel.  If you are looking for something more northeastern European, try the Sarma, ground beef stuffed cabbage rolls.  Start your meal off with the Meza, a platter of Bosnian cured meats, cheeses, and veggies.