The “Gingerbread Coin” souvenir is a product of the confectionery Granny Kate’s from Jajce, owned by Josipa Kulenović. According to first impressions, this cake is an absolute hit among tourists and visitors. Everyone who has already tried this candy agrees that this is a new experience.
Josipa said for Visit BiH Magazine that she loves making cakes even though it is not her profession. She is a teacher of English and Croatian.
– For years, I wanted to open a pastry shop, because I love making cakes. I fulfilled that wish in June of this year when I opened a pastry shop named after my grandmother – says Josipa.
When asked how the idea for the “Gingerbread Coin” came about, she says that it was a joint idea of her husband and herself. They both love history and Jajce, so they spent months thinking about what to do to make it specific for the royal city.
– Jajce has few souvenirs, and everything boils down to some standard offer in the form of magnets, key rings… We concluded that we should make something edible, but which can last and remain as a souvenir. The first idea was something related to Jajce’s knights, and the waterfall immediately fell out of that story because it is represented enough. My husband came up with the idea of making it a coin, so we discussed whether it would be a coin of King Stephen or King Tvrtko. We opted for King Stephen because he was the last Bosnian king, his remains are in Jajce. It symbolizes not only Jajce, but the entire medieval state of Bosnia – says Josipa.
They immediately encountered problems because the gingerbread they imagined had a lot of details. Special problem for how to make molds. However, the desire to make a sweet souvenir was stronger, so in the end they succeeded and got an authentic product from the Middle Ages.
– Gingerbread contains honey, which was the main food and sweetener in medieval Bosnia. There is also flour, oil and several spices that complete the taste. We made a cake which cannot be spoiled, because it does not contain milk or other spoilable products. The cake is dehydrated, it is actually baked and dried at the same time. Gingerbread can be eaten within six months, but it doesn’t have to be – she points out.
Reactions surprised her positively and did she did not expect that in such a short time it would be a real hit among tourists, but also among the citizens of Jajce.
– I am most thankful to the Jajce Tourist Board, which did an excellent promotion of gingerbread. It all started when Darija Vujeva, director of the Jajce Tourist Board, asked me to make some cookies for World Tourism Day, which was celebrated at the end of September. I told her that I have gingerbread in preparation, but I won’t be able to finish it because of the complicated making of the mold. That’s why we made a special presentation of the “Gingerbread Coin” in the city park, in a medieval style, and it was really beautiful – Josipa points out.
Of course, she won’t stop there. By spring, she is preparing new souvenirs in a different format, but for now it will remain a secret.
On the other hand, Darija Vujeva, director of the Jajce Tourist Board, says that the royal city really has something to offer to tourists.
– I would say that it is not enough just to say that Jajce has a rich cultural and historical heritage, natural beauty, friendly and hospitable people. Tradition and cultural heritage is something that should be preserved from oblivion and promoted so that the younger generations have the opportunity to know and learn their history and all the valuable things that we all grew up with. But you should always work on new ideas and offers. In this case, it is a “Gingerbread Coin”, a souvenir that made a beautiful tourist story. We worked hard and now we can freely say that we are now enjoying the benefits – says Darija.
Gingerbread is phenomenal and the reactions are great. She says that it is specific in its durability and that is extremely important.
– We are witnesses that today there are a lot of souvenirs from the Far East that have no connection with Jajce, and gingerbread is an authentic, original, and artistic product. Gingerbread has the characteristic of Jajce and everyone can afford it. Our intention is for gingerbread to become a trademark of Jajce and a tourist product available throughout the year, an authentic souvenir, and an indispensable part of the touristic gastro-cultural story. The Coin will soon be available for purchase at the Tourist Information Center – she says.
Calendar of events
The Jajce Tourist Board has existed for a little over six months. Immediately after the establishment, they created a calendar of events in Jajce during the summer season.
– The calendar is well thought out and executed. We put it on billboards in Jajce and Banja Luka, and the results were visible at every step. Now we are preparing for Advent in Jajce, which starts on December 3 and will be held on weekends, and it will last until the New Year – says Darija.