Tufahija- the Bosnian way to say ” Welcome”
Different people, different taste. A good chef always has that true on his mind. A few days ago, my friend Mila from Croatia, asked other fellows how they say what sound a rooster makes?
Some of them said “Kikiki”, others said “ Kurikuri”, a lot of options were on the table. This is a simple way to describe the differences we see on a regular bases regarding the. Different perspectives give us a broader view and more importantly open mind and heart. I always have those differences on my mind, even I cook for friends.
Those difference I have always on my mind, even when I cook for friends.
Historically Balkans, a region where Bosnia existing, have hosted Greeks, Romans, Illyrians, Ottomans, Austro-Hungarians, and many more civilizations. These historic circumstances allowed Balkan food to develop into a colorful, hearty, cuisine that has adopted all the best flavors, and developed them into something unique yet familiar.
If Bosnians are serious in anything, it would be about making fabulous desserts. Why, you may ask, I have to be honest and tell you there are as many answers as Bosnian people, which is more than 3 million. The Balkans region is often called the door of Europe, it is possible the ancient wanted to expect new invaders and welcome them with good spirits, strong black coffee and delicious dessert.
Maybe because of the Ottoman imperial rule over 5 centuries they built a strong heritage of tasty sweets, but because they had to use affordable ingredients, sweets were based around apple and nuts. In our blood history, something sweet should stay after all the bad. My favorite one is tufahija.
As I mentioned we love to drink coffee, especially Turkey one, and you can never drink coffee without something sweet on the side. Balance is key word and we know that rule in enjoying food. Some other aspects of our life could have a different style, as a health care, sustainable development and economic progress. Those issues are not balanced at all.
Let’s turn back to the topic- a sweet one! Once upon a time in ancient Persia, the homeland of this dessert, apple with grounded walnuts was king’s food. Tufahija is a Bosnian dessert, poached apples stuffed with walnuts and served with the poaching syrup and whipped cream. If you are not good in cooking don’t worry, tufahija could be prepared in less than 20 minutes. And that is my secret.
Wash apples well, then peel them. Cut out the core as if you’re making small cups out of each apple. Make sure to take out all seeds, and try not to drill through to the other side. Set peel from one apple aside. In a larger pot, I pour water, sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice and apple peel. Bring to boil on high. Stir often, and lower to medium and add apples. Boil apples 5 to 7 minutes on both sides. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, start to prepare the filling. Cover walnuts with hot milk, and leave them aside for 15 minutes until they incorporate together. Do not give your friends to eat the filling before it is done. Melt butter over medium, add sugar, and stir well. Add the walnuts and stir until completely incorporated. Fill each apple with about 2-3 teaspoons of the filling. Pour syrup over them and leave in the fridge until ready to serve. Decorate with walnuts and whipped cream before serving. Sometimes, when you are preparing at night, like I did, good idea is to skip a cup of coffee. It is real bomb for your stomach and nobody wants to be awake all night. Instead of coffee great partner with the cake on your plate could be a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
You’ll often hear in Bosnia people said that every day they need to be “eating something with a spoon,” so why not spread that routine on dessert as well.