The sun was still shining after we finished our delectable Bosnian feast in old town Mostar, Bosnia. Our whistles wet and tummies filled we joined the lovely man we’d met on our way in and he lead us around town with a steady stream of stories and history of his beloved Bosnia.
I was charmed by this stream, bricked in serpentine fashion as it splashed and gurgled its way down to the Neretva river.
Sunbeams warmed us on our side of the Neretva but storm clouds were brewing in the distance, looming closer and closer with ominous darkness.
At last we clambered down large concrete steps to the pebbled beach of the Neretva and gazed up at Stari Most, the Old Bridge. Built in the 16th century, it stood for 427 years until it was destroyed in 1993 during the Bosnian conflict. A massive restoration project funded by Spain, Turkey, Italy, the Netherlands, Croatia, and the United States allowed for the restoration of the bridge and surrounding historic buildings and neighborhoods. They did a splendid job.
It is a beautiful part of the city now, children race over the slippery stones of Stari Most, Muslims and Christians pass each other without incident. It’s hard to believe that only a few years ago the citizens of Mostar suffered mass executions, ethnic cleansing, and rape as their city was demolished by heavy artillery.
Now it’s the sort of place where you want to linger, visiting with locals in a cafe, sipping demitasse cups of Bosnian coffee, strong and black, sweetened with lumps of sugar.
(For more information on the lovely Bosnian coffee tradition, I found this post to be fascinating)
Bosanska kafa (Bosnian coffee)
(Inspired by Bosnian Recipes)
*traditional Bosnian coffee is made in a dzezva, but I do not have one so I used a small pot.
3/4 cup water
3 Tbsp coffee, ground to fine powder
Sugar to taste
- Fill pot with water and heat until it just begins to boil then remove from heat.
- Add coffee powder and stir until well mixed.
- Return pot to heat until foam rises, but doesn’t boil, and remove from heat.
- Spoon a teaspoon of foam into two demitasse cups, add coffee and sugar to taste.
- Let coffee sit a minute or two after stirring to allow coffee grounds to settle.