Enjoying Slow Food in Croatia
In the late eighties, gastronomy experts concluded that modern life affects food culture in a negative way. The ritual of enjoying one’s meal was replaced by a quick stop at a local fast food restaurant, which provided little more than a shiny box or a copyrighted sandwich name. Such an unhealthy way of life threatened not only the well-being of people, but also the entire idea of what food is all about.
To counter such a perilous habit, devoted gastronomes met in the French capital of Paris and signed the “Slow Food Manifesto,” thus founding a movement that would soon be embraced by thousands of people worldwide. Standing for ecology, gastronomy, ethics and pleasure, Slow Food supports local cuisine, clean food production and a fair business approach for both consumers and manufacturers.
The movement is also known for encouraging long-lasting meals, sometimes enjoyed over several hours. However, the food doesn’t come all at once, nor does it come in big portions. Rather, people enjoy small tasty meals, supporting them with good wine.
Today, the Slow Food Movement numbers 100,000 members and over 2000 food communities. These are organized into so called convivium chapters. The term comes from Latin, and refers to a person sharing the table of a luxurious banquet. The symbol of the movement is a red snail (the animal was picked up for obvious reasons). Conviviums regularly observe the food scene in their area and officially commend individuals and organizations that take nutrition seriously.
Croatia has always been a land of good food and culinary culture. This is why it has five conviviums on its soil, each of them located in a different region. If you are reading this, hopefully you are interested in visiting a slow food restaurant. Here are just a few you can enjoy.
Zadar’s Kastel restaurant is considered a bastion of Slow Food. The fish served was swimming in the sea just few hours before your order, and the restaurant also serves their own homemade pastas and breads. However, this is not Zadar’s only eatery carrying the red snail banner, as Pet podruma restaurant received the certificate this year. It was also named town’s best restaurant in 2010.
The capital of Zagreb offers many places for a gastronomic visit. For example, Rossini in Vlaska Street is known for monkfish in prosciutto, two words that are sufficient to make an instant reservation. Another slow food experience awaits at Korkyra restaurant, where you can enjoy breaded crabs and similar sea delicacies.
Kastav is a small town in the vicinity of Rijeka, yet its Kukuriku restaurant is well known. The place has been running for nearly 40 years, offering the best in gourmet cooking. Despite its long tradition, Kukuriku’s chef Nenad Kukurin isn’t afraid to try new things. As long as they meet Slow Food requirements.
Porec is one of many Istrian tourist Meccas, but the others don’t have Zardin. Serving magnificent truffle dishes, Istrian stews and goat cheeses, it was only a matter of time for the place to become Slow Food approved. The neighboring region of Kvarner follows Istria closely, as chef Zdravko Tomsic serves his masterpieces in Draga di Lovrana, another red snail supporter.
Bartulovic winery on Peljesac peninsula features a tavern located in a former wine cellar. It serves Dalmatian dishes supported by ecologically grown vegetables of the region. The Dubrovnik convivium also recommends a visit to Koraceva Kuca and Gabi pattiserie, as both places meet the highest standards of the Slow Food movement.
In any case, Croatia values its cuisine, and awaits every guest with a dish full of pleasant surprises. For additional information on Slow Food, contact the Croatian convivium leaders.
Want to know even more? Answers are just the tap of a finger away. Locate Slow Food banquets with Like Croatia’s Good Restaurants app, available on iTunes now.