The smell of somun, especially during the Ramadan, can be felt everywhere, and a mile-long line can be seen just before iftar in front of the well-known Mehina bakery in Patke, the bakery at Mahir’s in Kovaci, as well as on the cult Alifakovac and the bakery at Aisa’s in Bistrik.
Although everyone praises their own, there are those who are going from one mahala (street) to the other for this warm, delicious flatbread. Although someone who is not from Sarajevo could not maybe even tell the difference between the flat bread from Kovaci, Alifakovac, Bistrik and Vratnik, for many Sarajevans difference is more than obvious, and buying somuns right before the iftar dinner has become a tradition, while waiting in long lines and talking with others who are waiting to buy this delicious warm pastry has a special charm in the capital city of BiH.
“For our somuns are coming citizens from Vratnik, Bistrik, Sedrenik, as well as other parts of the city, even from Ilidza,” says the owner of the bakery Alifakovac Becir Aljovic, explaining that the line of people in front of the bakery who are waiting for somuns is getting longer every Ramadan, thanks to the quality of their somuns.
“We are making only somuns, we specialized on them. We are trying to make every somun in the same way, and the way of preparing is same as a few years ago. All of this famous bakeries are using the same raw material, including the flour, salt, yeast and water, but the quality of somun depends on the quality of flour, dough, chef who is making somun, as well as the heat and the type of oven,” said Becir, adding that somuns are made at the temperature of about 500 °C.
The oven on beech wood, in which the dough is put with the help of long wooden tools that look like large shovels, gives a special taste to somun.
“When the dough is prepared, it sits for a two or two and a half hours, and then it is manually scaled, decorated, sprinkled with seeds and it is baked for a very short period of time, less than a minute. Thus, it takes around 3 hours to make a somun from start to finish,” explains this famous baker.
During the Ramadan, six people are working in their bakery all day, and they have become real masters in making of this Sarajevo specialty and they give their best in order to satisfy all those who are waiting in line to get those delicious somuns.
According to them, they make between 2000 and 3000 somuns every day during the month of Ramadan.