Gastronomy of Istria
Abundance leaves always enough room for fantasy, above all if we talk about gastronomy. If we talk about traditional
gastronomy, we are referring to gastronomy of an awful lot of people, usually simple people, who could not boast "abundance"
from times immemorial.
Thanks to our walk through the history of Istria we already mentioned that in its past Istria
was exposed to various invasions and occupations which affected the largest groups of people.
In order to satisfy the existential and gourmand needs, the fantasy of the exploited, oppressed and poor Istrian
people must have been therefore rich and creative.Housewives' fanciful cooking and meal serving covered the poverty and
shortage of ingredients.
So they prepared meals from seasonal products, cultivated or found in nature, or they added plenty of ingredients
to essential foodstuff, available in their rural household. Sunday, as every other holiday or a banquet, was always
accompanied by the Istrian dried ham (homemade prosciutto or pršut) and cheese, served as a starter. The chicken
soup was followed by sauerkrauts, which was followed by fuži, gnocchi and ravioli.
For dessert, delicious "fritule",
"kroštule" or " cukerancice" were served.
The everyday meal was more "modest". If there was some sauerkrauts
left from the banquet day, it was used for cooking jota the following day. Various Istrian minestrones with beans,
sweet corn (called "bobici"), "ustupana", fennel... were a perfect regalement, especially in winter. Our old people grew on
polenta, "pljukanci" (a kind of pasta) and gnocchi.
|If you visit Istria and if you are a real gourmand, let your host guide you through the specialties
of traditional food. If you arrived in Istria in spring, taste asparagus, exceptionally healthy, prepared in many different
ways. In summer time we prefer eating light food and rich marine deliciousness - fish, crabs, shellfish...
Autumn time is for someone a period of sunset. In Istria this is the period of the aphrodisiac landmark, the world known
truffle. And when the winter time arrives, is there anything better than eating
Istrian "ombolo" and sausages by a fireplace and drinking supa (traditional red wine soup)!? A specialty added to foodstuff,
known for its quality and used since the ancient Roman times is olive oil.
And what about wine... it is enough to say that the Istrian peninsula
has a form of a grape. ...Malmsey (Malvazija), Terran...Cheers! If you ate too much, a glass of biska, a traditional Istrian
grape brandy with leaves of mistletoe or komovica will certainly help....