Istrian gastronomy

The richness of simple cuisine

Differently from the coastal villages, the inner land of Istria was not so developed, neither gastronomically speaking various. Mostly populated by agricultural population, that part of Istria was distinguished by famine rather than by wellbeing. On his own land, the peasant produced just the indispensable, and prepared the food out of the available, considering that he hasn’t got enough resources to buy it. The bread was baked with the maize flour mixed with the barley flour or with another cereal. It was baked once or at the most twice a week in a baker’s oven or in the open fire-place – under the baking lid (čripnja). The white bread was eaten very rarely, mostly for Easter or in case of disease. 

The same was with the meat. The one quarter soup (one quarter of kilo of chicken meat) or the soup made by browning flour on lard with added water with sheep or cow’s cheese grated over, were prepared to the non serious convalescents. After the parturition, to women were given njoki (dumplings made of potatoes) with lettuce sauce (goulash made of poultry). The most common dishes were: porridge (maize or barley grits) with milk, sugar or wine; maneštra (thick soup with stewed potatoes, barley and bean) and potatoes baked in their jackets. Better food was consumed during church holidays and in times of hard field-works. 

Ravioli (dumplings made of pastry filled with cheese) and njoki poured over by the šugo (sauce) made of poultry, were regularly prepared for Christmas and Easter. Fuži (thin pastry cut in cubes and folded over) were also poured over by the šugo made of poultry and brought to the mowers in the field. Almost equal to a holiday was the day of slaughtering the pig. Butt-ends remained after cutting off the meat were broiled; the soup was made out of the bones of the pork and the unfailing food that day was the polenta s trobom (with the interiors of the pork). Interesting is the fact that, in many villages such polenta is still today called polenta alla Veneziana, that says a lot about its origin.