“Think Tuscany,but with a Habsburg past.The shady, rolling hills of Istria, are becoming widely known for their truffles, Malvazija white wines, olive oil stancijas (estates), and crumbling hill towns.” National Geographic , best of the world in 2012
This heart shaped province of Croatia will titillate yours senses with the magnificent food on offer. Istrian food is heavily influence by Italian one, but at the same time has some distinctive flavours we are sure you’ll like. On the seaside you’ll enjoy some magnificent fish, while inland one can try the tasty truffels & meaty dishes. Here are out top ten dishes to try while you there!
Truffle hunters go and search for this expensive delicacy at night, with their dogs. It grows in inland Istria. One can find them in most restaurants but we like to go to central Istria and eat them with freshly made pasta.Why not trying Fuzi with truffles, pasta that is typical for this region. Alternatively, truffles can be served shaved on a nice steak too! Or truffle cheese, truffle oil…hmm plenty of choices. Watch this video by Anthony Bourdain, hunting and eating Truffles in Istria!
ISTRIAN HAM or PROSCIUTTO
Simular to Seranno ham (but much better) this Istrian delicacy is a must for meat lovers. This ham has all the distinctive flavour of the region, as its dried on the wind called ‘Bura’ flavored with the salt from the adriatic. The local treats it withrespect. Served with cheese and bread, Istrian ham is perfect as starter or as the main dish itself.
Istrawiz team likes to seat by the sea and eat freshly caught fish. In Lim Fiord, south from Vrsar, one can taste the freshest shellfish and fish.Why not try the fresh oysters, mussels or scalops, followed by some seabream or even risotto with ‘frutti di mare’. We also love the langoustines in a “buzara” sauce.
Picking wild asparagus is something many locals do in the springtime. They usually go for long walks and pick the thin and long asparagus. Mind you one has to have a trained eye for those things!Wild asparagus are in season in spring, where you’ll find them on many menus of small family owned restaurants. We like nice simple, scrambled eggs with wild asparagus, or a lovely scampi and asparagus dish.
PANCAKES WITH NUTS
Back in the day pancakes where a popular desert in many Croatian restaurants, nowadays is deemed to simple and heavy but we love a good old pancake with nuts and cream still served in many places.
This delicacy is eaten in many parts of the world, but Istrian like to think they do it better. When you order tartar (minimum 2 for order) the waiter will bring the raw meat and all the spices he needs at your table and mix the dish in front of you. He’ll ask you how spicy you like it. Served with warm bread and butter this is unmissable.
Manestra is a simple dish which was eaten in the days of scarcity. Its effectively a bean stew cooked with pork meat on the bone. It doesn’t sound it, but Its very tasty. Some cook it with fermented cabbage too..It’s delicious try it before you dropped it!
Tender loin of pork lightly spiced and dried on Istrian wind; great eaten lightly grilled. Better eaten freshly BBQ-ed on an Istrian stone fireplace, washed down with some tasty Merlot wine made by Moreno Coronica.
OLIVES AND OLIVE OIL
Istria produced olive oil since the Roman times. Most of Istria is covered with old and magnificent olive treas. Here you’ll sample some of the best olive oil you’ll ever taste.
Any of these delicious dishes can be washed down with beautiful Istrian wine. There are many small producers in the region and one can go and taste it in various small canteens dotted around the region. Even though the wine canteens are small they are becoming increasingly popular with UK importers. Now M&S sells some wine and few specialist shops. In the meantime enjoy it while you there!