Top 5 Ingredients for a Perfect Gastronomical Springtime in Istria
Istria, the beautiful Mediterranean peninsula, hides a real richness of taste. Istrian cuisine in spring offers delicious homemade ingredients in combination with wild plants and domestic products. Let this ingredient become your inspiration for a perfect gastronomical spring table.
Asparagus, the queen of health
With the arrival of spring, the wild asparagus begin to grow in the coastal area. Asparagus have a specific smell and bitter flavour. They are a symbol of vitality and health with a special place on the Istrian table. With the arrival of asparagus’ season, there are Asparagus festivities all over Istra where the most popular dish with asparagus is „fritaja“ - omelette with fresh eggs is being prepared.
In Istria, spalletta or pork shoulder is dried in a similar way like ham. It is prepared in a “giravolta“ way in Eastertime. The way of preparation is to fry the thick-sliced parts in olive oil on both sides until it changes colour. Before it is fully cooked, you put a bit of Istrian Malvasia in it and you serve it warm. Many people put spaletta in the asparagus “fritaja“.
The elderflower tree blossoms in June and July and its white flowers can be fried in dough while its berries are used to make jam. In Istria, you can make elderflower syrup to mix with water and become a refreshing drink. Dried flowers are used to prepare tea and also in case of the flu or sore throat. Elderflower is also great for detox and it will help you lose weight!
Radicchio 'primo tajo'
“Primo tajo“ - the first sliced radicchio tastes mild and it doesn't have that sour taste later cuttings evoke. In Istria, it is prepared with olive oil and vinegar, often with potato. It is an excellent low - calorie meal which is popular among many people.
Curd, a real treat!
Curd is a healthy and light seasonal food made of milk whey. It has a mild taste and you can prepare it in many different ways. It is a great ingredient of both sweet and salty meals. You can taste it with a slice of homemade bread and olive oil or use it as an ingredient in risotto and food with pasta or as a dessert.
We wish you bon appetit with asparagus omelette, spalletta «giravolta», pasta with curd or elderflower jam!