…Need I say more? I have to admit, this title holds little relevance to the actual experience I will soon tell, but I will keep this title simply because I think it’s funny and awesome. Saying “thug lyfe” no longer reminds me of 2Pac or gangster rap, but of cold beer, bitches and barbecues. Wait, that didn’t come out right… On with it.
The part of the title of this post that DOES hold relevance, is the Bosnian part. And the sheep balls and liquor. Good thing, because if this title was completely irrelevant, well, that would just be ridiculous.
Since my lover happens to be from Bosnia, I get lots of chances to delve into his culture and experience fascinating things. This day of May 1st, which also happens to be an international European holiday (May Day), was one of the most interesting Bosnian experiences thus far. We had a great start – Lots of friends and family in the Spanish countryside, with a whole roasting lamb and lots of beer. Good start, indeed.
As the first of us gathered there early that morning, around 10 am, we enjoyed some Italian grappa in the surprisingly hot sun, lounging in the grass while the fire started to smolder. One of my favorite things to do while fairy-like frolicking amongst the green, is make daisy crowns. I feel really old-school, like a hippy badass from the Dazed and Confused movie, or something. My hope for fulfilling that cliche was totally ruined by the fact that my daisy crown was a total fail. Honestly, the daisies were too small. And my hands were sweaty. I was drunk. Blah.
After getting over my hippy poser-ness, by moving to the next cliche and smoking cigarettes, quietly, in a somewhat-of-a-corner with my hands in my pockets, I was ready for some Bosnian action. In this case, by action, I mean food action. When these guys cook, they don’t mess around. We had the hardcore, old school men, manning the fire and slicing up every part possible of the little bah-bah blacksheep. Waste none! When I say every part, I mean two very specific parts: The liver, and the balls. Yep. Balls.
Now, I don’t know if it was the early morning grappa and beer, or the aroma of culture in the air, but something strange came over me at this moment. As the first parts of the lamb were being served onto the rustic picnic table, I nodded to my fellow senorita, and decided: This is the day, I will try lamb liver and lamb balls. And that’s exactly what I did. I started first with the liver, which I have never tried before, and I found it rather off. Ok, it was nasty. Just not my thing. Feeling brave and oh-so culturally sound, I picked up a slice of the fire-roasted ball, and ate it. I wish I could say I enjoyed it…but…it was intensely odd and not so appetizing. The texture was really soft and chewy and…Ok, I’ll stop there. I started describing this to people and they almost punched me.
This very unique taste-testing experience was probably the highlight of my day, the most outrageous, anyway. When the lamb was eventually roasted, I did give it a try, although I wasn’t a huge fan of that either. I am generally not one for meat, or weird meat at that. I thought ahead and brought myself a faggy little salad I made at home. As I say that, one meat dish that is very native to Bosnia comes to mind – Chevap. It’s basically pork, beef and spices in the form a little sausages. They are amazing and definitely one of my favorites.
Other than eating and drinking lots of beer (conveniently stored in the water fountain, for optimal freshness), the day was spent hanging out in the grass in the hot sun. I had more than a sunburn on my shoulders, I guess that will teach me for refusing sunblock in an attempt to “burn, then tan”, as the Swedish do. Not such a wise choice. I have yet to mention, we were picnicking at a beautiful monastery, and since we were deep in the country, it genuinely looked like a scene out of The Godfather I. The mountains and never-ending green, with the semi-exotic tress, just like when Al Pacino was rippin’ it up in Sicily. That’s what I thought, anyway.
At some point, the fun had to end and the sun had to set. We eventually piled into the car before our last cigarettes, strapped ourselves in and prepared to return back to reality. This wonderful May Day created new friends, new experiences and some tender sunburns. But it was well worth it!