In this week's "Counter Intelligence" column, L.A. Weekly's Jonathan Gold highlights pljeskavica:
Pljeskavica is a thin, Balkan hamburger, as big and round as a phonograph record, flavored with salt and onions and peppers and briefly cooked over a hot charcoal fire, a chewy meat patty that still has all its juice. Pljeskavica and its cousins can be found throughout the former Yugoslavia, feeding swarms of Serbian teenagers on a Saturday night or adding ballast to the table at a Dubrovnik café, but the outstanding examples of the breed are generally acknowledged to come from Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the Turkish Muslim influence has insinuated itself as firmly into the kitchens as it has into the culture. Bosnia is where you find the tastiest cevapi, grilled ground-meat capsules that are tucked into bread, the juiciest grilled lamb, the most succulent kebabs. It has been hard to think of Bosnia as much of a food destination in the last decade or so, but reliable people tell me that the charcoal-grilled pljeskavica in Sarajevo is still worth the trip....
Tucked into its sturdy, focaccia-style bun, a steroidal construction that bears the same relationship to a supermarket roll that Barry Bonds' left arm does to the musculature of a ballerina, Aroma's pljeskavica is an awe-inspiring unit of consumption, almost as daunting in its appearance as it is difficult to pronounce. Outside of an El Tepeyac burrito, Oaxacan tlayudas and the kind of tenderloin sandwiches found in some precincts of central Iowa, pljeskavica may command more acreage than any other foodstuff on the planet. Imagine a sausage pizza built from sausage, a minced-beef Frisbee, a sizzling 50 Cent platter fabricated completely, entirely of meat. Eat enough of a pljeskavica, and youíll know what an anaconda feels like when it passes an entire capybara through its system.
Sounds delicious, but this reporter is based in New York City. I know we have Bosnians here, so we've gotta have this dish. Never fear: Doing some quick research on Chowhound, A Hamburger Today came across this post about a place called Samra's in the Kensington neighborhood of Brooklyn. That's not too far from AHT's BK HQ. We'll be sure to hit it up soon and make the full report.
Counter Intelligence: Bosnia's Big Mac [L.A. Weekly]
Location: Church Ave. near Dahill Road, "a couple blocks west" of the Church Avenue Station on the F train; Brooklyn, NY
photograph from L.A. Weekly
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