Learn more about Istria & Kvaerner for food and wine lovers!
Most of us tend to envisage the cheeses, olives and wines of France, the spiced stir-fries of Thailand, Indian curries, Italian pasta and antipasti and Spanish paella and tapas as international foods that have most frequently traversed the globe. Croatia in eastern Europe is less known as a gastronomic destination, yet this fascinating country is rich not only in history and heritage, but in culinary surprises that will delight.
The country’s capital, Zagreb, is a bustling international city. To the east, the coastal regions of Istria and Kvarner are ideal destinations in which to start your Croatian culinary adventure. Croatia is a Mediterranean destination yet among its menus you’ll also discover specialities influenced by robust Austrian and Hungarian dishes, by the rich flavours and aromas of Italy and the spices, smoked meats and marinades of the Middle East.
The wines of Croatia vary distinctly by region. The most renowned winegrowing district in Istria is Buje, an area of lush rolling hills dotted with vineyards, olive groves and pine and oak forests. Popular Croatian wineries include Clai vineyard in Buje, Kozlovic winery in Momjan, Matoševi? in Kruncici and Roxanich, one of the best known in Istria. The country is also home to the Slavonian oak forest, the source of oak casks favoured by winemakers all over the continent.
Croatia’s towns and villages are bursting with fabulous eateries and also rich in history. With its meandering medieval streets, Rovinj is one of the most picturesque of Mediterranean towns. Its church of St. Euphemia holds relics of the saints and is one of the most striking examples of Baroque architecture in Croatia.
The coastal town of Porec boasts lovely beaches and wonderful galleries and museums. Other popular destinations include the seaside town of Novigrad, Umag with its historic Venetian homes, and Hum, the smallest city in the world. Motovun is the most stunning Istrian town – a medieval hilltop enclave dominated by a striking cathedral and Romanesque-Gothic bell tower. Nearby is the pretty town of Livade, enticingly known as the “world’s truffle centre”. No visit would be complete without a sampling of the local delicacy.
Croatia is a wonderfully rich and diverse country brimming with history, culture and the most incredible flavours just waiting to be discovered. For some delicious ideas on food and wine themed holidays in Croatia, see www.foodandwinetravel.com.au
Written by Karen Ridge
About the author:
Karen Ridge is a self-confessed “wine nut”, and has travelled the world extensively for food and wine experiences throughout her 20 years in the travel industry.
In 2008 Karen launched Food and Wine Travel in response to a need she saw for unique, memorable, individually tailored holidays, based around food and wine experiences.
Her customers typically appreciate the finer things in life, and of course have a passion for food and wine combined with unique destinations.
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