The attractiveness of the Slovene seaside, this
northernmost end of the Mediterranean, was sung of by many poets, inspired by
the Istrian hills, the sea, the salt-pans, the karst and its stone-house
The coast, with its abundant vegetation, offers a wealth
of culinary experiences, with fresh herbs and fish specialties.
In the Istrian culinary tradition the meals are most
often cooked and less often fried. Key ingredients include indigenous, locally
grown vegetables, herbs and spices. These are mostly mild in taste, but chefs
often use the varieties that grow in the wild. Istrian cuisine is characterized
by fish and poultry dishes. The most important ingredients are without a doubt
the local olive oil and wine. Oil, wine and sea salt produced on the Slovenian
coast are world renown products today.
The olive tree is a Mediterranean plant and thanks to the rich heritage
associated with it, evident in mythology and also in the life of modern man, it
is an inexhaustible source of stories. Due to the specific climatic conditions
in this area, Istrian olive oil is known the world over for its specific taste.
An autochthonous sort of grape grows on Istrian land, from which springs
forth the much praised Refosco wine. The typical white wine in these parts is Malvasia.
Both wines are served with typical Istrian foods: prosciutto crudo, cheese, homemade
bread and locally produced olive oil; bobiči (broth with corn), sweet Štruklji
with meat (baked rolls, a traditional Slovenian dish), »bloody polenta«, wild
asparagus omelette, traditional Istrian pasta – bleki, blečiči, fusi – risotto,
sea life (in čežama sauce or in brodet, sweet bread, rolls or fried pastry
Piran's saltpan workers produce their salt according to a seven centuries
old process and still harvest it manually, with traditional tools.
The greatest secret of the quality and natural white colour of the Sečovlje
salt-pans salt is the clay base of the salt-pans, covered with a thin layer of
petola, a few millimeters of biological stratum, comprising minerals and
Salt production is entirely dependent on climatic conditions – the sun,
wind and the sea – and the hard work of the
salt men. This salt is light, rich in sea minerals and of exceptional
taste, which grants dishes a noble aroma.
Fish and meat dishes
Istrian Cooked meat and fish dishes (fish, mutton, poultry, beef) are renown
for the way they are prepared. »Žgvaca« is a meat dish garnished with indigenous
Istrian spices. Many dishes are prepared in a padela (pan) or baked under a
clay pot (with charcoal over it). We also prepare excellent fish soups,
marinades and similar dishes. Despite some attempts of preserving and reviving
the indigenous culinary offering there is a tendency towards modern culinary
trends on the coast, which offers a wide variety of dishes: fish, meat, pasta
... also called the divine fruit, can be enjoyed only in a few autumnal and
winter months. It was brought to Europe around 1870 and is grown mainly in Mediterranean
countries. Cultivation on the Slovene coast and in Istria only began in the
first decades of the 20th century.
The 'Solinar' touristic association from Strunjan is very successful in
promoting the natural wealth of the countryside in the tourist offering. A
traditional kaki feast held every year and contributes another point of
interest in the municipality, which derives its potential from its natural
Wild asparagus is a typical Mediterranean plant. It grows on the edges if Istrian
forests. As a dioecious herbaceous perennial it grows up to a meter in height.
It is a spring plant, growing from mid-March to mid-May.
As the old Istrian saying goes: »April spareser, maio sareser« (April of
asparagus, May of cherries).
A typical Istrian egg based meal. It comes in many varieties. It's a matter
of imagination, taste and the ingredients available. Omelettes can be made with
prosciutto crudo, bacon, asparagus, eggplant, mushrooms, truffle, young onion
and other vegetables, snails and cheese.
The artichoke was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans. At the peak of
their civilizations they cultivated it for food and decoration. It was eaten
cooked or raw. Later, it was largely forgotten and not until the previous
century were its curative effects in cases of liver or bile disease discovered.
The artichoke resembles the thistle and grows up to a height of 120 cm. The
flower buds are usually eaten cooked. Mediterranean and Istrian cuisine has
many exquisite dishes featuring the artichoke.
For the most authentic culinary enjoyment one should visit an osmica, a cellar or farmhouse selling
local produce (the term in Slovenian comes from the number of days producers
were allowed to sell their produce on their premises without paying taxes to
the Austrian emperor – eight days; osemmeaning eight in Slovenian) There are many open between November and June. A
wine grower can have only one osmicaper year, and it can last up to, you guessed it, eight days. Here the
proprietor offers his wine, homemade conserved vegetables, prosciutto and
salami, olives, cheese, steamed sausages, home baked bread and other