Posts Tagged ‘ food ’

Let’s go hunting … for Istrian asparagus!

April 8, 2015
Maria-pokes-the-hedges

Istrians love food and in Spring that means asparagus, picked wild from fields and hedgerows. With pickers popping up everywhere around me, this seems a good time to revisit the very first article I wrote for Live Istria in 2010. Moving abroad, living in a new country, is all about discovery: discovering new things...
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What’s in a bottle of wine? Go grape picking to find out

September 29, 2014
Nicky empties bucket of gapes into trailer

My expat life in Istria takes me grape picking. In mid-September picking teams start to pop up in the Istrian vineyards, roads clog with tractors trailing mounds of grapes – and I get a phone call late one afternoon. It’s Marija: “Mico says, would you like to go grape picking tomorrow?” I’ve never been...
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Wrestling with risottos

May 12, 2014
Mushroom & red pepper risotto

Thanks to the Italian influence, risottos are a real Istrian speciality. But my attempts at risotto had always been disastrous (because I was always too lazy to stand over them, constantly stirring in more liquid, as you are supposed to do). So I had more or less given up on them … but since...
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Istrian Maneštra

December 20, 2013

A sort of pork and beans, this quintessential Istrian soup, is a meal in itself. Made in every Istrian restaurant and home, everyone has their own family recipe which varies according to what’s in season. Any restaurant’s recipes are a well-guarded secret. This isn’t quite Katica’s maneštra recipe but it’s very close. She says you...
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Sveti Nikola – slow-dining at its best?

November 6, 2013
Sv Nikola, Porec, Istria

Situated on the seafront in Porec, facing its island namesake, Sv. Nikola is a wonderful restaurant, my favourite place for a treat. It’s where we go to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries (and when we need a touch of luxury), so it was one of the restaurants I was most looking forward to reviewing for...
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Mushrooming knowledge

October 14, 2013
Basket with Istrian wild mushroom selection

Istria is famous for its truffles, but this is only a tiny fraction of its fungi offering. In autumn, when conditions are right, Istria’s woods are full of wild mushrooms: the weird and the wonderful, the tiny and the tremendous, the delicious and the deadly. And as the fungi appear, so do the mushroom...
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Fig scrumping

August 29, 2013
Marija picking figs

Istria’s dotted with fig trees and  all summer long they’ve been steadily growing, soaking up the Istrian sun. Come early September, they’re fat and juicy and ready for harvest.  With none yet of my own, I went fig scrumping with Marija and we picked loads! (OK, I admit that in fact we had permission to...
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Montraker: three nights of rock & food delight!

August 8, 2013
Wishbone Ash at Montraker, Vrsar, Istria

Music festivals are a big thing at the moment, but oh dear, aren’t they expensive – and as for the weather …! Sad to say, but the UK (and Holland, Germany, Denmark… well, most of northern Europe) really doesn’t have a reliably warm enough climate to enjoy an extended season of outdoor, music festivals....
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Monte Carlo – a dining gem in the making

August 7, 2013
Monte Carlo's lovely terrace, Vrsar, Istria

For our third night at the Montraker rock festival, Natalija suggested we visit Monte Carlo. There’s been a Monte Carlo restaurant, on and off, for a long time – often of dubious quality – and the restaurant had been closed for several years. It re-opened this spring with a new dynamic team and Natalija’s...
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Srdela – the place for a fish feast

August 6, 2013
lunch is ordered at Srdela, Vrsar, Istria

Vrsar is a seaside town with an active fishing port, so no visit would be complete without tasting the fruits of Istria’s sea – but where to go? “Srdela,” said local expert, Natalija. It was the second night of our visit to the Montraker rock festival (Director of Vrsar Tourism, Natalija, is one of...
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Fancita – Vrsar’s best kept culinary secret

August 5, 2013
Lunch at Fancita, Vrsar, Istria

“Where should I eat in Vrsar?” I’d asked local, Natalija. “Fancita,” was the prompt reply. “They have a dynamic young chef, Paolo, and produce some of the best food in town. I’ll arrange you a table.” We were in town for the Montraker rock festival (Director of Vrsar Tourism, Natalija, is one of the...
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Getting a taste for Istria’s November festivals

November 26, 2011
Chefs hard at work

November’s not a month you would automatically associate with festivals, but here in Istria, the feštas don’t stop just because the tourist season has ended. So long as the sun shines, most weekends you’ll find something happening somewhere in Istria. Pip went along to two festivals near Pula – one in Fažana, the other...
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Konoba Kaštel – a taste of real Istria

October 7, 2011
Konoba Kastel

On holiday it’s always great to try something really local. For a slice of real Istrian cooking, try Konoba Kaštel in Žbandaj, just outside Porec. Open all year, it’s one of Istria’s leading konobas and offers a great variety of traditional konoba fare  Produced from fresh, locally-sourced produce, everything on the menu is ‘odlicno’...
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Wild mushroom delights

October 7, 2011
Fireplace where the mushrooms get grilled

These are just two off-the-menu dishes available in Konoba Kaštel. I tried to get the exact quantities from owner, Alen, but that just confused him. “There are no exact quantities,” he said. “The quantity we use varies from time to time, depending on the available mushrooms, and your individual taste.” So, I’ve just given...
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Mare e Monti: fine dining by the sea

October 3, 2011
Eating our dinner at Mare e Monti in Umag

If you love good food, Istria is a great place to come on holiday. It’s long had a strong reputation for the quality of it’s konoba food, but how about fine dining?  Most of our dining experiences here in Istria are of the local konoba variety – and excellent they’ve been too. But, as part of...
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