La Gourmandine will take over the former Penn Avenue Fish spot on Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh's Bosnian community is offering the public a first taste of its culture and customs.
Specifically, the tastes will include roast lamb, meat (burek) and cheese (sirnica) pies, rice with traditional beef sauce (gulash), and some traditional sweets.
Bosnian Food Night starts at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Turkish Cultural Center at 1459 Crane Ave. in the city's Banksville neighborhood.
The Turkish community regularly holds food events there. Edvin Music was at a recent one and thought, Maybe we Bosnians should do something like that.
Like many of the roughly 2,000 Bosnians here, Mr. Music came here as a war refugee in the mid-1990s. Many of them settled in the Green Tree and Crafton areas, and many still are concentrated in and around Baldwin Borough, "but you can find us all over the place," says Mr. Music, who lives in Carnegie and works at the University of Pittsburgh doing IT for medical research projects.
It wasn't until relatively recently that some local Bosnians formed the nonprofit Islamic Community of Bosniaks in Pittsburgh, and that's the group that will cook this food and benefit from the $15-per-plate suggested donation.
The event fits right in with the group's mission to promote Bosnian culture, traditions and cultures, says Mr. Music, who is the group's newly elected president.
"Foods will bring everyone together," he says with a laugh.
Bosnian food shares a lot with Turkish and other cuisines, such as baklava, which is one of the desserts that will be served. "Anyone can claim that, but Bosnians claim it's our food," says Mr. Music. "Baklava is always good, so it doesn't matter."
Another famous dish is cevapi, ground meat rolls, which they won't be serving this time. But he points out that you can taste those and some other Bosnian delicacies at Fredo's Deli on Potomac Avenue in Dormont and at the Euro Market and Grill on Route 51 in Brentwood.
Bosnians also do lots of stews and their own take on cabbage rolls, which are rolled in fermented cabbage leaves. Mr. Music himself is not a cook and defers on the details to the women who are doing the cooking. "If you come, the women may tell you more information about those foods."
For more about the venue, visit the TCCP's website at tccpittsburgh.org, or call 412-567-8833.
Bob Batz Jr.: firstname.lastname@example.org and 412-263-1930 and on Twitter @bobbatzjr.