Just several years ago, we could not find a single BiH product that would flame our palates. That is changing now.
Bosnians and Herzegovinians are not all that used to extremely spicy food, and that Mexican touch of cuisine stands out from our traditional flavors. Nonetheless, several interesting BiH producers decided to play with our tolerance for spices, and they even grew the second hottest pepper in the world, Carolina Reaper.
The first BiH’s hot brand, Ljutko, was created in 2015, in pots on a boulevard balcony in Tuzla by Fatima and Dinko Ratajc. It took a lot of effort and attention to grow hot peppers out of the pots, and even more courage to replace the pots with the open field. Their effort, commitment, and love resulted in spicy Mexican, Mediterranean, Asian, and fermented organic products. Ljutko’s TuZbasco sauces, fermented with garlic for more than a hundred days, is a must. But if you still want to be brave, dare to try the Zlotvor sauce made with fiery Carolina Reaper. Merak, Mangup, Babuka, Bandit, and Ćejf are additional Ljutko sauces, but their palette of products with modern flavors is much wider and worth checking out.
Another spicy brand called Chili Pop’s was born in Banja Luka, not more than a year ago. This craft producer of hot spices grows its raw materials on the slopes of Kozara Mountain. Over there peppers sprout in February, and the first ripe fruits of early varieties come in the second half of July. In their rich assortment, you can find sauces that are a combination of fruity and spicy flavors, such as sauces with cherries or prunes. The creator of these spicy flavors is Dragan Popović supported by his entire family that quickly became a fan of spicy food. Be sure to try their Krajiška Ljutica sauce, which is a combination of Trinidad Moruga and Habanero peppers, or Borovica and Narandžero sauces, if you prefer Asian notes.
There are many benefits to using hot peppers, and the most important one is that they make us happy. It has been proven that the consumption of hot peppers leads to the secretion of hormones of happiness, serotonin, and endorphins. If you decide to check this claim let your choice be Chili Pop’s and Ljutko, because they are the real Hrana Gurmana (Gourmet Food).
The Sweden/USAID FARMA II project is implementing the Hrana Gurmana campaign to help small BiH producers of high-quality food to cope with the negative economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic by helping them increase sales and customer base.