Gastronomy of Istria
The king of Istrian cuisine is surely the truffle,
an expensive mushroom of strong aroma, which grows in the woods of Motovun. It is attributed with aphrodisiac properties and, most often, it is prepared with home-made pasta, scrambled eggs or meat.
Wine and olive oil of Istria were esteemed products even in the antique world, with which Istrians successfully traded. Livija Druzila, the Roman emperor Augustus' wife, owed her longevity to the Istrian red wine. In the last 20 years or so, wine production has been modernised and the original sorts malvazija and teran have an increased success on the world stage.
Istrian soup is unique in the entire world – it is prepared with red wine, to which sugar, toasted bread, a little olive oil and pepper are added.
One of the most famous Istrian delicacies is parma ham, pork leg rubbed with salt, pepper and dried herbs, it is dried in the bura wind, without being smoked.
A world on its own is made up of fish, crabs and mussels, which you can taste all over the coast. They arrive fresh at restaurants and form a part of various stews, risottos or pastas. Simple preparation of grilled fish and calamari is also popular.
Famous Istrian sauce, šugo is prepared with onions, spices and meat, stewed for several hours, with the addition of aromatic Mediterranean herbs. It is served with home-made pasta, which can be found in many shapes in Istria: as fuži, gnocchi, pljukanci. Lasagna and others.
Istrian manestra, in fact a thick soup with haricot beans, potatoes and dried smoked meat, is equally satisfying both hot or cold. It is cooked for a long time and its delicious flavour is owed to the remains of parma ham and other meat. Young sweet-corn or home-made pasta are often added to it.
Asparagus is also typical for Istria, growing wild, with a slightly bitter taste, but extremely tasty in combination with eggs, or as a salad.
From the selection of Istrian pastries. One should certainly taste fritule, small round doughnuts, deep-fried in oil and dusted with icing sugar, as well as kroštule, crunchy bow-shaped pastry made of firm, rolled dough.