If you ask the Banja Luka citizens what a tourist or passerby should not miss if he or she comes to the city on the Vrbas River, one of the first things that they will emphasize is – the Banja Luka’s ćevapi. When they says ‘Banja Luka’s ćevap’, it’s actually meant “Kod Muje” (At Mujo’s).
Although the secret of Banja Luka’s ćevap has never been fully explored, all the ways finally lead to the fact that forefather of this meat delicacy is Redžep Đuzel, who left the recipe as a part of the heritage to his eldest son, and after some time, his brother Mujo took over the job after some time, namely in 1966.
He “nurtured”, preserved and inherited his descendants with a unique taste, appearance and way of serving.
“The one who didn’t try Mujo’s ćevap, didn’t visit Banja Luka at all”, is one of the most famous proverbs associated with this city.
Mujo’s descendants have been repeatedly offered large sums of money to reveal the secret of making their ćevapi, but they emphasized that this family treasure is not given away and there is no price for it.
– We are preparing ćevapi in a specific way, which is a family secret and is transferred from generation to generation – they said.
Many famous persons ate Mujo’s ćevapi; from Tito, Lepa Brena, to Miroslav Ćiro Blažević and Novak Đoković. There is a famous story, which says that Mujo had been invited in the late 70’s to personally make a special meal for Tito, at the Banja Luka’s Hotel Palas, which was neither the first nor the only time that he was called to cook for great figures who would be staying in this beauty of Krajina.
Since the story of this famous Banja Luka’s brand has spread widely, the first “Ćevap fest” was held in January in Banja Luka and the intention is that this manifestation in the honor of the Banja Luka’s ćevap becomes a tradition.
Nebojša Kuštrinović from Banja Luka, a retired meteorologist and promoter of the Banja Luka Festival devoted to ćevap, explained that the shape of the Banja Luka’s ćevap is about two centimeters in diameter, and about five centimeters in length and they are made as tiles of four ćevaps in a row. It is made of several types of meat, where the dominant part of the mixture is a mixture of mutton and beef, and a very small number of masters knows the secret of spices.
– Banja Luka’s ćevap is the tastiest when one eats it using hands only – says Kuštrinović.