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Bosnia and Herzegovina cuisine facts for kids

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Bosnian cuisine is balanced between Western and Eastern influences. Bosnian cuisine is closely related to Turkish, Mediterranean and other Balkan cuisines, along with some Central European influence. Many of the traditional dishes have been made from the same recipes for hundreds of years.


Bosnian cuisine uses many spices, but usually in moderate quantities. Most dishes are light, as they are boiled; the sauces are natural, consisting of little more than the natural juices of the vegetables in the dish. Typical ingredients include tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, spinach, eggplant, dried and fresh beans, plums, milk, paprika and cream called pavlaka and kajmak. Typical meat dishes include primarily beef, lamb, and poultry due to Islamic dietary laws, although the Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Serbs can consume pork. Some local specialties are ćevapi, burek, grah, sarma, pilav, gulaš (goulash), ajvar and a whole range of Eastern sweets. The best local wines come from Herzegovina where the climate is suitable for growing grapes. Plum or apple rakija, is produced in Bosnia.

Meat dishes

Cevapcici in somun
Bosnian Ćevapi with onions in a somun
  • Ćevapi – Bosnian kebabs: small grilled minced meat links made of lamb and beef mix; served with onions, kajmak, ajvar (optional) and Bosnian pita bread (somun)
  • Pljeskavica – a patty dish
  • Begova Čorba (Bey's Stew) – a popular Bosnian soup (chorba) made of meat and vegetables
  • Punjena paprika – fried bell peppers stuffed with minced meat and rice
  • Sogan-dolma – onions stuffed with minced meat
  • Ćufte – meatballs
  • Meat under sač (meso ispod sača) – a traditional way of cooking lamb, veal, or goat under a metal, ceramic, or earthenware lid on which hot coals and ashes are heaped
  • Pilav (pilaf) - grain, such as rice or cracked wheat, browned in oil, and then cooked in a seasoned broth
  • Burek – a meat-filled flaky pastry, traditionally rolled in a spiral and cut into sections for serving. The same dish filled with cottage cheese is called sirnica, one with spinach and cheese zeljanica, one with zucchini called tikvenjača, and one with potatoes krompiruša. All these varieties are generically referred to as pita (Bosnian for "pie").
  • Klepe – Bosnian meat-filled dumplings with a ravioli-like texture made of flour, water and salt. Klepe are typically drenched in garlic infused pavlaka or yoghurt
  • Sarma – meat and rice rolled in pickled cabbage leaves
  • Raštika - meat and rice rolled in kale leaves
  • Grah – a traditional bean stew with meat and carrot
  • Japrak – grape leaves stuffed with minced meat and rice
  • Musaka – a baked dish made of layers of potatoes and minced meat
  • Bosanski Lonac – a traditional Bosnian vegetable stew cooked over an open fire
  • Tarhana - typical Bosnian soup with homemade pasta
  • Sudžuk - (Sujuk) – spicy beef sausage
  • Suho meso – air-dried meat similar to Pastirma

Vegetable dishes

  • Đuveč – vegetable stew, similar to the Romanian ghiveci and Bulgarian gjuvec
  • Popara – old bread soaked in boiling milk and covered with sugar or honey
  • Grašak – pea stew
  • Kačamak – a traditional Bosnian dish made of cornmeal and potatoes
  • Kljukuša – grated potatoes mixed with flour and water and baked in an oven; a traditional dish in the region of Bosanska Krajina
  • Proha – a traditional flatbread, consisting of cornmeal and wheat flour, as well as eggs and sunflower oil
  • Kalja – a traditional Bosnian dish made of whole sour cabbage and veal or lamb with a combination of vegetables
  • Sataraš – a dish made with bell peppers, eggplants, onions and tomatoes
  • Turšija – pickled vegetables
  • Buranija - a Bosnian stew consisting of Romano beans (a variety of green beans) and chunks of veal combined with carrots and garlic
  • Bamijaokra stew with veal


  • Meze – an assortment of meats, vegetables, cheeses or other small appetizers served as snacks

Cheeses (sirevi)

Livanjski Cheese with label
Cheese from Livno
  • Livno cheese - a dry yellow cheese from the west Bosnian town of Livno and surrounding villages
  • Tešanjski – made from the nettle and milk, originates in the Tešanj district in northern central Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Trappista cheese – a traditional Bosnian semi-hard cow's-milk cheese
  • Vlašić cheese – a highland cheese similar in its salty taste to Travnički, originates in the villages on Vlašić Mountain in central Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bosnian Smoked Cheese – a smoked cheese derived from posni sir
  • Kajmak - a creamy dairy product, similar to clotted cream
  • Pavlaka - a soured cream product like crème fraîche

Desserts (kolači)

Tufahiija in Morića Han 2
  • Bosnian lokum
  • Baklava
  • Halva
  • Bombica
  • Hurmašica – date-shaped pastry drenched in a sweet syrup (Agda)
  • Gurabija – a type of round, flat shortbread cookie that is usually made with flour, sugar, and oil
  • Jabukovača – pastry made of filo dough stuffed with apples
  • Kadaif
  • Krofna – filled doughnut
  • Krempita
  • Oblatna – Bosnian chilled dessert consisting of a cooked filling pressed between crispy wafer sheets
  • Orašnica
  • Palačinka (crêpe)
  • Patišpanja – sponge cake
  • Pekmez
  • Rahatlokum (Turkish Delight)
  • Ružica – similar to baklava, but baked in a small roll with raisins
  • Ruske Kape (trans. Russian Caps, plural)
  • Šampita - a whipped meringue-type dessert with fillo dough crust
  • Sutlijaš (rice pudding)
  • Smokvara – a traditional dessert hailing from Herzegovina made of a dark-brown dough consisting of fig pekmez
  • Šljivopita – Bosnian plum pie made with dried plums, walnuts and filo
  • Tufahija – traditional Bosnian whole stewed apple stuffed with a walnut filling
  • Tulumba – deep-fried dough sweetened with syrup

Relishes, seasoning and bread

  • Ajvar
  • Vegeta
  • Somun and Ramadan somun (with Ćurokot seeds).
  • Pogača
  • Đevrek
  • Lepinja
  • Uštipci
  • Kiflice


Sarajevo Bosnie Herzegovine O (137557569)
Bosnian coffee served in Sarajevo.


  • Sač
  • Ibrik
  • Džezva


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