Homemade food is increasingly being perceived as a healthier choice among consumers, and many restaurants in BiH seek to differentiate themselves in the market by serving innovative dishes made from local ingredients.
More and more, BiH consumers are starting to see local and homemade food as a fresher, tastier, and most importantly, healthier option. Restaurants were quick to catch up with this trend, and they now increasingly use locally produced ingredients.
Hrana Gurmana campaign, implemented by the Sweden/USAID FARMA II project, recognizes their endeavors and brings you stories of three restaurants that have built their business models around the regular offering of local, organic, and healthy food on their menus.
The Singing Nettle is a curiously named restaurant in Sarajevo, but its name is highly symbolic. It speaks of the restaurant's intention to provide their customers with meals made from ingredients that literally grow behind their homes and nettle is a perfect representative of such a product. Here, organically produced nettle serves as the basis for various savory and sweet meals and drinks. But it is hardly a sole local ingredient on their menu. To support their orientation towards all things homemade and edible, the restaurant also offers the Travnik and goat cheeses made by local farmers in central BiH, indigenous chickpeas, and beans grown in Popovo Polje at the very south, and okra from Gračanica in the north of the country.
Local nature on a plate
At the restaurant Mlin (a mill) in Vareš, the hosts recognize that offering dishes made from homegrown ingredients means that their customers get to savor a piece of local nature on their plates. That is why their homemade bread is kneaded from locally grown organic wheat, fish come from a nearby pool, and cheeses are sent to tables from the nearby farms. The customers' feedback has so far been positive, with the majority of them welcoming the opportunity to consume products of known origin.
Old and new traditions
The name of the restaurant New Tradition from Banja Luka signifies its commitment to reviving the old tradition of serving local tasty food alongside the modern-day hospitality standards. Here, the word “local” does not mean that the restaurant will rely only on food coming from its immediate surroundings in the city of Banja Luka. Their offer of locally made Trappist cheese will be accompanied by a serving of equally homemade Herzegovinian prosciutto or organic plum jam. This fusion of local and regional homegrown specialties has worked well for the restaurant that is getting its guests from all over BiH.
Those three restaurants are only some of the examples of the synergy achieved by their cooperation with local food producers and the meeting of their customers’ demand for healthy and organic food. Other like-minded restaurants can be found on the recently launched Hrana Gurmana website www.hranagurmana.ba which serves as the joint platform that connects food producers and consumers in the local farm-to-fork food chains.