21 July 2008

Death by Raspberries

Please don't quote me on this, as I am not an agricultural expert, but I think that there are a couple interlinked reasons for the produce to be so tasty in Bosnia-Herzegovina. First, it is a land with a wide network of rivers, and water is plentiful probably even underground. It also rains often, even in the summer, though during that season the sun can still reach the plants. I also suspect that during the war the use of fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals was probably limited, which means the soil is probably less artificially chemically enhanced than it would have been without that terrible war. Even though, as I type this, chemicals are probably increased in just about every corner of most Bosnian gardens. For this is where people grow fruits and vegetables: I haven't been able to travel everywhere in Bosnia, but quite a bit nevertheless, and, apart for farms around Mostar, I haven't seen any extensive piece of land covered in trees or plants obviously destined for human consumption. Part of it is that the land is so hilly, apart for a few valleys, you couldn't have a super-farm as there are in western Europe for example, in France especially (I leave the US Midwest in a league of its own). This means that most of the produce in B-H is grown on a small scale, and while any budding economist would despair at the missed opportunities of economies of scale, what might lack in increased effectiveness is compensated by tastiness. Deliciousness. Real flavour.

All this goodness is best purchased at the Sarajevo market rather than at the (Slovene) Merkator supermarket branches (which I cannot help myself but call Mercosur) and than at the small ubiquitous corner shops. The Sarajevo market is open everyday until 4 or 5 pm, except on Sundays.

Raspberry season was in full swing when I arrived, and through a combination of laziness and ingenuity, I came up with this simple recipe:

Death by Raspberries

  1. Come to Sarajevo in June.

  2. Go to the central market, preferably in the morning, otherwise the fruit sits there all day in the heat.

  3. Buy 1 kilo of raspberries (should cost between 5 and 7 Convertible Mark (KM) on weekdays, a bit more on Saturdays. Do haggle if the price is higher, it is a matter of principle, you shouldn't have to pay more just because you are a foreigner)

  4. Go home, wash your hands, wash the raspberries, let them dry for about 10 min.

  5. Sit on the balcony and eat until you feel your stomach might burst, about half a kilo.

  6. (Optional) Die happy.

1 comment:

jkd said...

pretty good recipe. I'd only add -
*1/4 bar dark chocolate as digestif