Sunday, November 11, 2007

Adventures in Food

Since the only real post I put on the last blog was about food in Croatia, I thought I’d better write a sequel for Sarajevo. My food experience in Sarajevo has been dramatically different than in Zagreb, both because I have a kitchen and I have Melinda along. If you remember, my diet in Zagreb was very limited to meat, taters, and cabbage. There are no such limits here in Sarajevo. We are limited only by our imaginations and what is available at the grocery store (and our ability to identify what is at the grocery store).

We haven’t done a lot of eating out, because we’re really trying to keep the reins on the budget so that we can travel. Sarajevo has a lot of nice restaurants, ranging from the best Mexican place I’ve found in Europe to a very serviceable Indian Restaurant right down the road from us. We’ve only tried Italian/pizza once, but that went pretty well. There is also the normal Bosnian fare of grilled meats, etc. Sometimes that is a challenge for Melinda, since she won’t eat lamb or veal, both of which are staples here.

Fast food here is dominated by Čevapi and Burek. Čevapi is grilled pieces of beef and lamb in a kind of soft pita bread with raw onions. Čevapi is the meal that everyone says you have to have in Sarajevo, and it is available EVERYWHERE. Problem is, Melinda and I don’t really like it. I like the flavor of the meat, but neither of us are big fans of raw onions or bread slathered in grease. So, don’t tell anyone, but we’re not huge fans of Bosnia’s national food. However, I love Burek. Burek is the meat version of Bosnian pies called Pita. You can have them filled with spinach, potato, cheese or meat. If you fill it with meat, then it is called Burek. It is basically philo dough filled with meat formed in rolls that can form a snake like a cinnamon roll or be set out in rows or even like a pie. Melinda isn’t as enthusiastic about them, but I can convince her to eat them from time to time, especially when they are fresh.

Cooking at home has been a string of adventures and near-disasters. We bought barley instead of oatmeal, which actually turned out pretty well. We made lasagna that turned into soup… we also made lasagna using tomato soup (which, ironically, did not turn into soup). We’ve had success making pizza, although the “pizza cheese” is expensive and molds quickly when you buy the value bag. We’ve made a variety of pastas (gorgonzola, tomato with olive, alfredo) and even experimented with pumpkin seed-breaded pork loin. Lately, we’ve been eating a lot of chicken noodle soup with popcorn popped in a pot.

Even with all this eating, I’ve lost some weight. I don’t know if it is living on the 6th floor, not having a car, or what we are eating, but my clothes are quite a bit looser.


Spyder said...

Probably all that walking!

Anonymous said...

Weight loss in our family is almost always a good thing. The bad thing would be not being able to keep your pants up or buy new ones. Keep up the good work. Ma

John said...

Melinda gave me a new belt for Christmas!!!! So no worries!