Throughout its rich history, BiH remembered diverse cultural influences that have left their mark on its gastronomy. It could be said that the traditional cuisine in our country is closely related to Turkish and Greek cuisine, and there are also many influences from Central Europe as a result of the Austro-Hungarian rule.
This diversity is especially evident in Sarajevo. Even today, in some families, recipes for traditional sweet and savory meals are passed on from generation to generation.
This kind of custom is also present in the family of Bedrija Tulek, great master for baklava, who prepares this most delicious kind of famous Eastern dessert every day.
She inherited the love for cooking, art and secrets of well-prepared baklava from her great-great-grandma Zubejda hanuma Abadzic-Harba, the famous asci kaduna (cook) at that time.
At first, Bedrija’s sweet delicacies were tried by neighbors, relatives, friends, and then 16 years ago, when she lost her job, she decided to combine business with pleasure. The word on sweet delicacies of this Sarajevan quickly spread beyond the borders of our country, and the visitors of the capital of BiH brought her baklavas as a gift to their family and friends in their countries.
“Today you have everything in the market, all kinds of products are called baklava. They make a sweet pie with dried plums and call it baklava. It can be only a sweet pie. It is well known how the real baklava is made, especially the one from Sarajevo. We put nuts, tirit (sweet crumbs), butter and dough that is homemade prepared and dried,” explained Tulek.
From the store baklava, which is located in the old part of Sarajevo, where you do not know what to try first, are coming out only the most delicious snacks. Sarajevo baklava, roses (traditional desert with sugar coating), sour cream sweet pies and famous “dzandar baklava” which Bedrija makes with walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts.
“Preparation of “dzandar baklava” takes at least two days and everything is handmade. This is a forgotten cake which I managed to return to the menu of our people, at least during the holidays. The process of its making is really unique. First, I prepare a dough, and then place it on the rolling pin, and dry for several days. Dry dough is then removed from a rolling pin, cut to a certain size, baked and filled with sweet cream, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds.
“We have much more work before the holidays than usually, but with good organization, everything is ready on time. The most important thing to me is that my customers are satisfied, and I think I’ve been on the right track, since there is a lot of those who are ordering my baklava during religious holidays, New Year, birthdays,” proudly says Bedrija.
Bedrija has a lot to be proud of since her delicacies traveled on all continents except Australia. Many foreign but also local personalities from the worlds of politics, acting, music, medicine tried her delicacies and about them wrote foreign media – Italian and Spanish.
“There is a long list of those who have tried “dzandar baklava”. I would mention the former Croatian presidents Stjepan Mesic and Ivo Josipovic. The wife of Ivo Josipovic, Tatjana, often orders baklava from Zagreb, as well as others who, when they come to our city, call me to prepare baklava. There are also our former ambassadors Hasan Muratovic and Bisera Turkovic, and Mustafa Mujezinovic who ordered baklava for iftar. I would also mention the wife of our king of folk music Halid Beslic, Sejda,” revealed Bedrija Tulek some of her regular customers.
In the shop, baklava is sold per piece:
– Dzandar baklava with walnuts – 3 BAM
– Dzandar baklava with almonds and hazelnuts – 3.50 BAM
– Sarajevo baklava – 2.80 BAM
– Roses – 2,50 BAM
– Cream sweet pies – 1,60 BAM.