Dzandar baklava – Bosnia's own version of the popular cake

NEWS 15.06.2018 18:09
Source: N1

Baklava is an international cake, although every nation has it’s own favorite version. Bosnia’s is called Dzandar baklava and it is only made here.

It requires days of preparation, has a specific taste and does not look like any other version of baklava.

“The flattened dough is hand-made and it’s rolled around the rolling pin, then wrinkled and left for one day to dry,” explains Vehid Tulek, whose family is preparing this kind of baklava for generations.

The next day it is taken off the rolling pin and left for another day or two to dry before it is ready to be baked and filled.

“This is something that requires a lot of time (…) and a lot of love,” he said.

Vehid’s mother Bedrija is the pillar of the family business and she has invested a lot of time and effort to promote this kind of baklava in Bosnia and abroad. She taught Vehid the recipe.

“I came to her with a rolling pin and said – mom, I want to learn how to make this,” Vehid remembered.

“That’s how I started and learned how to make baklava. I must say that it took me 1,000 pieces of flat dough to master it,” he said.

He also developed the family business, a baklava shop where everybody can try the Dzandar baklava but also other traditional sweets.

The recipes were strictly kept in the family over generations. They are still hidden in the notebook of his great-dreat-grandmother who was a famous cook. She passed down the craft to her children and in the end it reached Vehid and his mother.

The Tulek family values tradition and each detail has its own history. Brother Edib also helps the business and sais his family is setting the standard of how a Dzandar baklava should look and taste.

“Tourists are very interested in us because we are not only a shop that sells but we also educate, we explain,” he said, pointing out that not only baklava but also other old crafts are promoted there, like weaving.

Weaving raddles are in Bosnia traditionally also used for creating decorations for cakes.

“We explain and show all this to people,” Edib said, adding that with a little bit of effort, there is a lot to show tourists in Sarajevo.