Sarajevo kebab, apart from the fact that every kebab shop has its own secret hidden in the recipe, is basically beef and salt. There are no breadcrumbs or any other spicy spices.
If you have been to Sarajevo and have not eaten kebabs, it is as if you have not even been there, this is how people describe the importance of this dish both in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the region, and even in these countries. distant countries, wherever there is a Balkan person who knows this “tradition” well.
Controversies are common over which one is better – Sarajevo, Travnik, Banja Luka and Tuzla are among them, but this one in the capital, or better yet Baščaršija, will probably soon receive a designation of geographical origin. The registration activities were initiated by the Association of Sarajevo Kebabdžijas (people who prepare kebab) and are carried out with the support of the City of Sarajevo.
The Director of the Food Safety Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Džemil Hajrić, had a meeting with Benjamina Karić, Mayor of Sarajevo, during which they discussed the process of registering the geographical designation of origin.
The procedure is initiated by an application submitted to the Agency, and after registration of the trademark at the level of Bosnia and Herzegovina, there is also a possibility of registration in the European Union. Food products with any of the trademarks on the market belong to the highest price category. The label helps the product become more recognizable and helps prevent unauthorized use of the name.
“Sarajevo kebab” is one of the most important and well-known specialties. It represents an essential element of the local cuisine and the tourist offer. In 2021, “Taste Atlas” ranked “Sarajevo Kebabs” in tenth place among the 100 best dishes in the world.
Sarajevo kebab, apart from the fact that every kebab shop has its own secret hidden in the recipe, is basically beef (in the past 25% lamb meat was also used) and salt. There are no breadcrumbs or any other spicy spices.
The meat from the front part of the animal carcass is used: chest, neck, shoulders and shoulder blades, which is cut into large pieces and left to rest in the refrigerator, after which it is stuffed and left to rest again, and Then only it is shaped pieces of meat of 5 cm lengthwise. The three most important stages of the production process are: selection of meat and method of preparation of the meat mass, heat treatment on the grill and manner of serving.
In Sarajevo, portions of 5 and 10 skewers are usually served in a flatbread dipped in water and a glass of cold milk or yogurt.
How did they get to Bosnia and Herzegovina?
Ćevapi in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as throughout the Balkan region, originates from the period of the Ottoman Empire which, during the Middle Ages, became a specialty throughout Southeast Europe. There is evidence that this dish was present in the Balkans since ancient times. In ancient Greece, a similar dish was eaten in the 8th century BC. The obelisk-shaped dish is mentioned in the Iliad and the Odyssey, as well as in the works of ancient Greek philosophers.
The word kebab comes from the word kebab, which has several synonyms depending on the region to which it belongs (kebap, kebob, kebhav, qabab…). It is no coincidence that it is said that “skewers came first, then the animals from which they are made,” writes Agri-food club.