When we talk about traditional food establishments in Bosnia and Herzeovina it is important to mention of all facilities where food is consumed. That is related to the whole traditional of hospitality of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In case you have missed it, read our previous post – 5 traditional meals in Herzegovina.
The real traditional culinary is related to the house and its rooms and less related to čaršija. Aščinice were public kitchens while there were still mehane (taverns) and imareti (public soup kitchens held by charity organizations).
Aščinice were separate objects, and Sarajevo had them already at the end of the 15th century, while in Foca they appeared in the 16th century, in Banja Luka around 1630 and so on.
Each Aščinica had space is divided into two parts. The production part is the kitchen (mutvak) and selling part consisted a chimney and a Aščinski store.
There was often a small eatery also tied to a bakery.
The Aščija cook, as a profession, was first mentioned in 1492 in Sarajevo.
Those cooks were not specialized for only one type of food and they learned also other trades related to food preparation.
The first Aščinice mentioned in historical documents had a bakery that was related to a small eatery. In addition to cooking food, the cooks learned the bakery trade so that they would prepare the bread that was served with other foods.
The consumption space in a Aščinica was usually called chimney or chimney ašćinski ( fireplace), and the name comes from the chimney (warm hearth counter) which was usually highlighted in the room for serving dishes.
In case you have missed it, read our previous post – The history and tradition of dining tables in Bosnia and Herzegovina.