SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina — The cuisine in this capital city is a heady blend of Turkish, Hungarian, Austrian, and Italian cooking. Cevapi is Balkan fast food at its best, cheap ($4-$7 for a portion of five or 10 cevapcici, or little cevapi) and most filling. The grilled dish is a mix of two kinds of minced meat, usually beef and lamb (not pork, since approximately 80 percent of Bosnians are Muslim), formed into finger-size sausages and served with somun bread, a yeast-raised, more substantial cousin to pita. Raw, chopped onions and kaymak, a salty, creamy cheese, are served on the side and partner perfectly with the slightly spicy meat.
During the two years we lived in Sarajevo, my young children asked for their kid-speak version of cevapi, “boppy,” almost daily. We spent many weekends wandering around Bascarsija, the old Turkish section of town, with the mouthwatering aroma of grilled cevapi enveloping us, trying to determine our favorites. Here they are: