People have always approached food somewhat piously in Istria, with respect and gratefulness to the earth that gave the grapes. Istrian dishes prepared for centuries have common characteristic: few ingredients, a lot of imagination.
Speaking of modest goods in classic Istrian cuisine, than wheat and corn flour must be mentioned among most important.
Njoki and palenta have been major dishes for centuries. Then there are sour kraut and beans, beans maneštra. Flour as a substantial food made Istrian women engage more imagination to create a large variety of food that comprises of so little: flour, a little bit of salt, some water and nothing else. Njoki, lazanje, posutice, makaruni, pljukanci, ravijoli... it's all pasta. And on top of it, as a royal treat: fuži. But, pasta has to be seasoned with something.
Just with fried bacon, or milk. But it is best with žgvacet, a stew made of chicken, rabbit or doe.
How do fish and sea food fit in? Fish can be stewed, broiled, fried or grilled. There is a saying in Istria that you can have fish three times a day, but never prepared the same way. So there are: brodet, crab salad, oysters, shells in red sauce, shrimp cocktail, seafood risotto, baked or grilled fish.
Tasty bite of sea food can be found in any of the numberless restaurants in Funtana-Fontane. And if you go further from the sea, inland Istria, ask for a traditional Istrian dish. It can be meat and potatoes prepared in traditional manner, pod čripnjom, and you'll need some supa served in bukaleta. The best way to find out what it is all about is to order some.