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Our Stories from Bol - Bol Tourist Board

New initiative from Bol Tourist Board – Our Stories from Bol

We’re sure that many of you have holidayed on the stunning island of Brac, and plenty of you have also enjoyed visiting or staying in the scenic town of Bol, set on the south side of the island.

Our Stories from Bol - Bol Tourist Board

Perhaps you’d like to ‘revisit’ this dream destination, or find out more if you’ve never been? How about finding out more about organically grown products that you can eat there, or where’s best to buy locally produced goat milk products and extra-virgin olive oil? Maybe you are interested in finding a fishmonger selling freshly caught fish? What about learning which are the best restaurants for enjoying local specialties prepared with wild herbs? Or merely getting lost in holiday daydreaming while listening to beautiful guitar sounds?

Our stories from Bol is a new project by Bol Tourist Board (TZ Bol) that will reveal all of this and more! With an emphasis on unity and support from the local community and the population that has tourism written in their DNA, Bol Tourist Board has brought its locals together to send you a simple message – “See you in Bol!”

These Bol locals send this message to all those who have already visited this beautiful town, as well as to future visitors who will hopefully visit one day soon.

Bol Tourist Board – Our stories from Bol


The Our stories from Bol project focuses on local restaurants, farmers and producers as well as small hotels who are understandably experiencing mixed emotions at the moment – from fear and uncertainty to optimism and trust that the future will be brighter.

Unity is the key to the sharing of an genuine experience of Brac by the citizens of Bol, known as Bolke and Boljani. They wish to share first-hand stories with their guests, stories that cannot otherwise be found in magazines; stories about about irresistible tastes and scents of local food and products, about wild plants and herbs, about an authentic experience of their town and all of its beauty. That means not just referring to the famous Dominican monastery from which you can enjoy a scenic walk to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Zlatni rat (Golden Horn) or attractive biking trails, but also to the generations of dedicated and hard-working people that make this small town so charming. 

So what are some of the Our Stories from Bol? In the perfectly imperfect video clips and photographs, Franci Marinković from the Pusa restaurant shares his story. As well as his wild herb specialties that are adored by many, he always enchants his guests with singing and guitar playing.

Franci Marinković Risotto
Risotto at Pusa Restaurant

For almost ten years now, Meri Bodlović and her husband have dedicated themselves to organic farming, olive and wine growing on their family farm.

Mirjan and his mother Irena successfully combine farming, production, and catering. Their specialty, Cheese in sugar, can be tasted at their tavern Dišpet.

Dišpet

Nikica Bodlović from the Bodlović family farm proudly talks about olives and the family olive grove, which has 250 olive trees that produce golden drops of their extra-virgin olive oil.

Pravdan Katić, a professional fisherman with 15 years of experience, enthusiastically talks about his job.

And while playing the guitar, Pjerin Jugović sings and plays in the same way that has entertained many tourists over the years.

You can see all the videos in the series on the Bol Tourist Board YouTube channel.

The director of the Bol Tourist Board, Markito Marinković remarks:

“This project aims to engage the local population in active promotion of their town. We would like to introduce our guests to people that will be there for them during their stay in Bol. I believe that this is a winning formula because who can tell the stories of Bol better than its people? This is also an opportunity for Bolke and Boljani to actively participate with their suggestions and engagement in the joint promotion of our Bol.”

This is just the beginning of Bol Tourist Board’s narrative that, over the next few months, will show accounts of their citizens and positive local experiences. Be sure to follow them on social media – on Instagram and Facebook – to see more!

Bol Tourist Board – Our Stories from Bol
www.bol.hr

Making Krostule

Croatian Baking – Making Krostule

Whatever week you’re in in lockdown (perhaps you’re in a country where lockdown is being lifted – lucky you!), I’m sure you’ve done a fair amount of baking. After all, it’s relatively simple (assuming you’re not trying to make a five tier rainbow cake), it lifts the spirits (it really does!) AND you can treat yourself to the yummy end result! With a nice cup of tea, preferably.

Making Krostule

Here’s a Croatian recipe for making krostule that’s incredibly simple AND incredibly delicious. You’ll barely be able to stop yourself from eating 2, 5…8 krostule in one go. And if you’ve got any little ones at home, they can easily get involved in helping you make this, although obviously the deep-frying stage should be done by adults only.

Krostule are little pastries, traditionally from Istria and Dalmatia. They have a doughnut-like texture and are usually shaped as knots. They are best eaten when warm, right after cooking!

I got this original recipe for making krostule from a book called Croatian Cooking by Sandra Lougher, published in 2005. It contains some easy to follow recipes for Croatian starters, mains and desserts. This particular one is described as being “popular with kids”. Which is interesting, as the recipe contains rum… Unfortunately, the book appears out of print, but you may be able to pick up a second hand copy online.

Speaking of which (kids, not rum), I made a batch of these to take into my child’s nursery about a month and a half ago (one of the last “normal” things I did, pre-lockdown) when I went in to talk about Croatia to all the three and four year olds. I think they liked my talk and looking at the pretty pictures of Croatia. They certainly liked the soft toy Dalmatian dog I brought in! And the definitely liked the krostule!

Making Krostule

This recipe says it makes about 100. I ended up with about 35, so perhaps I didn’t roll out the dough thin enough…no matter.

Ingredients

  • 500g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp rum (which I omitted to make it more child-friendly! But you may like to include it…)
  • grated rind of 1/2 lemon
  • grated rind of 1/2 orange
  • 100ml milk
  • sunflower or vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • icing sugar for dusting

Instructions

1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.
2. Mix together the eggs and sugar in another bowl until the mixture becomes foamy.
3. Add the butter, rum (if using!), lemon and orange rind to the eggs and sugar, and mix together well.

Making Krostule - Flour and eggs
A bowl of flour and a bowl of egg, sugar, butter, lemon and orange rind

4. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix together with a wooden spoon to get a dough to form. Little by little, add some of the milk so your dough is not too dry. (You may well find that you do not need to use all of the 100ml of milk).

Mixing the dough together
Mixing the dough together


5. Turn the dough out onto a surface dusted with a little flour, and knead well for about five minutes.
6. Return the dough to your bowl and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
7. Turn the dough out again and break into large pieces, manageable enough for you to roll out quite thin.
8. Once one piece is rolled out quite thinly, slice into thin but long strips measuring about 1.5cm in width. Tie each strip into a knot (you may need to ‘practice’ a few times to get it right) and set aside for deep-frying! Repeat for all the other pieces of dough.

Cutting strips to make krostule
Cutting the rolled out dough into strips
Uncooked krostule
A plateful of knots, ready to be deep fried!

9. Once you’ve cut and shaped all your knots, heat your oil in a saucepan until it is very hot – it will be shimmering slightly. I used quite a small saucepan to make the frying more manageable, and filled it about a third full with oil. You can always drop in one knot to test to see if the oil is hot enough to cook.
10. Once ready, drop a few knots into the oil at a time. (I did four at a time.) Fry for about 1-2 minutes each side – use a slotted spoon to turn halfway – until they’re golden brown. Remove with the spoon and place on kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil.

Deep frying
Deep frying the krostule

Transfer to a plate and dust with icing sugar.

Believe me, these are amazingly more-ish – you’ll no doubt ‘test’ quite a few whilst you’re frying them to make sure they’re not over- or under-done!

Krostule
The end result – a plateful of delicious krostule!

As mentioned, these are best eaten soon after cooking, whilst they are still warm. They don’t quite keep so well, becoming a bit harder, but you can nevertheless store them in an airtight container. (And why not dust with a bit more icing sugar before serving again?)

Why not try out some more Croatian recipes?

What's on in Croatia in October

What’s on in Croatia in October

October may not exactly be prime beach weather, but there’s still plenty to see and do in Croatia in October! Read on below for some of the most interesting events taking place in Croatia this month.

Croatia in October

The CroRace

Formerly known as the Tour of Croatia (and having previously taken place in April in the last four years), CroRace will tour Croatia from 1st to the 6th October. Starting from Osijek and ending up in Zagreb, this year’s race will feature a number of Croatia’s beautiful national and nature parks (fourteen in total!) – including Plitvice, Krka Paklenica national parks, and Papuk, Ucka and Medvednica nature parks. A number of top teams, including last year’s winner Bahrain Merida, will be taking part as will cyclist Maciej Paterski who won the first event in 2015. If you’re in Croatia during this time and near the route, pop along to cheer on the cyclists! If you’re not, you can still view beautiful Croatia on TV – the race will be televised all over the world; in Europe, Eurosport will have coverage.

Croatia in October – Chestnuts Galore

October is a top month for a number of food-related festivals in Istria. One of the most popular is Marunada in Lovran (close to Opatija), which is dedicated to sweet chestnuts. First held in 1973, this festival is dedicated to a special type of chestnut – ‘Maruni’ – which grows in the Opatija Riviera; these chestnuts are larger, sweeter and can be peeled more easily than other types of chestnuts. Marunada offers the chance to sample all sorts of products made from chestnuts – cakes, pancakes, puree, pies, even chestnut goulash! And if you haven’t even ever tasted roasted chestnuts, you’re really missing out! There’s also plenty of other food to sample at this festival, and other things to enjoy – including live music and sports. Marunada will be helf in Lovran from 11th – 13th October 2019, and then in nearby Dobrec on 19th & 20th October and in Linganj on 26th & 27th October. Ask locally for more details, or see some more info at the Lovran Tourist Board website or the official Marunada website.

Croatia in October – Truffle Season

Istria is rich in truffles and October is the best month of the year for white truffles, which are the most valuable kind. Although events celebrating truffles are held in various locations throughout autumn, it’s in October when you have plenty of choice for different festivals – these include the Zigante Truffle Days held in Livade in inland Istria, close to Motovun. Actually held over ten weekends from the 14th September to the 17th November (which means every weekend in October!), you can sample all sorts of delicacies made from truffles as well as other gastronomic delights from Istria. You can even enjoy a guided truffle hunting tour in the Motovun forest, and on one weekend (19th & 20th October) there’s the International White Truffle Hunt Competition at which you can watch the master (human and dog!) at work, searching for truffles.

Motovun itself hosts the one-day Festival of Teran Wine and Truffles (19th October 2019) which showcases the local Teran wine as well as truffles.

Gastro Delights in Dubrovnik

So, your mouth may be salivating at the thought of all the above mentioned culinary masterpieces…but what if you’re visiting the opposite end of the country to Istria i.e. Dubrovnik? You’re still in luck! The Good Food Festival (14th – 20th October 2019) is now in its sixth edition and will feature a number of tours, lectures, presentations and workshops (for example, on making special Croatian dishes). Numerous Dubrovnik cafes, bars and restaurants will also take part, either hosting special tasting events or offering special menus for the week-long event. One of the main components of the Festival is the ‘Dubrovnik Table’ (usually on the Sunday) in which a table the length of Stradun (!) is used by local restaurants and businesses to show off their gastronomic delights – you can buy a reasonably priced ticket and then sample many of these delicious items!

More details can be found on the Dubrovnik Tourist Office website.

The Dubrovnik Film Festival (15th – 20th October) also takes place in the city at roughly the same time as the above!

Istra & Craft Beer Festival

If you don’t care so much about food and a cold beer is more your kind of thing, the second Istra & Craft Beer Festival will take place in Porec in the first week of October (actually, 28th September to 6th October). The best Croatian independent and craft brewers will showcase their beers; live music and food will also be there for you to enjoy! See the official website for more details.

Boating and Sailing Enthusiasts

Croatia’s largest boat fair (and, in fact, the largest in Central and Eastern Europe) is the Biograd Boat Show, taking place in this sweet little town, famous for its expansive marina, that’s close to Zadar. The 21st Show will be held from the 17th to 20th October 2019 and will likely have over 300 exhibitors and over 300 boats on display.

Outdoor events

If you’re an outdoorsy-activity kind of traveller, you may well be interested in the Baska Outdoor Festival held in and around Baska on the island of Krk, 11th to 13th October 2019. There’s mountain biking, zipling, trekking and more! A full programme of all the events of the Festival can be downloaded from the Baska Tourist Office website.

Other Events in Croatia in October

Here’s a few more events taking place in Croatia in October!

  • International Prosciutto Fair, Tinjan, Istria (18th – 20th October)
  • The 28th Zagreb Marathon takes place in the city on 13th October – pop along to see elite athletes pounding the streets.
  • Close to Zagreb is the town of Ivanic-Grad where the 15th ‘Bucijada’ Pumpkin Festival will take place on the weekend of 4th to 6th October. As well as a fair showing pumpkins and pumpkin products, there’s workshops, music and fun for kids.

Do also check out our Events in Croatia page for more events taking place in the final months of the year!

Sirana Gligora cheese - Paski sir

Sirana Gligora cheese wins medals at the Global Cheese Awards 2014

Visit Croatia recently wrote about Sirana Gligora on the island of Pag, a world-renowned, family-run dairy that’s the producer of some of Croatia’s best cheese. Now some exciting news reaches us about the dairy’s award-winning products – they’ve scooped up some more medals, this time at the Global Cheese Awards 2014.

The dairy’s raw milk Paski sir (Paski sir iz sirovog mlijeka) achieved second place and a silver medal in the category of hard sheep cheeses; this raw milk cheese achieves its strong and powerful taste and aroma by foregoing the heat treatment of milk whilst still retaining all the qualities of Sirana Gligora’s standard Pag cheese. The dairy’s extra mature Dinarski sir (goat and cow milk cheese from the Dinaric mountains) also won a prize, achieving second place in the hard pressed continental cheese category.

Sirana Gligora cheese - Paski sir
Paski sir
Sirana Gligora cheese - Dinarski sir
Dinarski sir

The Global Cheese Awards was first established in 1861, making it the oldest competition of its kind in the UK. Since 2012, Sirana Gligora cheese has won gold twice and silver five times at the Awards.

If you’re planning on the north Dalmatian region of Croatia in the near future, do remember that you can visit the dairy, located in Kolan on Pag. Tours at the dairy involve visiting the production rooms and learning more about cheese making and the dairy itself, as well as the (very exciting!) opportunity to taste Sirana Gligora’s delicacies.

If you’re intending on visiting Croatia but won’t be able to make it to the island of Pag (what a shame!), Sirana Gligora have a number of shops across the country, selling their cheese alongside wines and other delicacies. Shops are located in Zagreb, Rijeka, Opatija, Pula, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik, and also in Ljubljana in Slovenia – find out more details about these shop locations here.

Even if you’re not visiting Croatian any time soon, you can still try some of the wonderful Sirana Gligora cheese! Their online shop features an amazing variety of their products – from their famous Paski sir (hard sheep milk cheese) to goat’s cheese and cow milk cheese; why not try something a little different such as the Sir s tartufima, a hard cow milk cheese infused with Istrian truffles! A great selection of Croatian wines are also available from Sirana Gligora’s online shop (with all wines helpfully given pairing notes for specific cheese) as well as Croatian oils, jams, chocolates, honey and truffles.

Sirana Gligora
www.gligora.com

Sirana Gligora Cheese - Paški sir - World Champion Cheese

Tour the world-renowned Sirana Gligora cheese dairy on Pag

Many of you may well have heard of the famous dairy Sirana Gligora – regardless of whether you’ve travelled to Croatia or not! Based in Kolan on the island of Pag, this family-run company have been making Paski sir (Pag cheese) since 1918 and currently produce no less than four world championship winning cheeses and as well many other highly decorated products as well.

Sirana Gligora Cheese - Paški sir - World Champion Cheese

Paški sir – World Champion Cheese

Paski sir is one of the most famous products of the island of Pag, and possibly of the whole of Croatia too – a cheese that is hand made from the richest local milk from sheep that are free to roam on rocky pastures, foraging amongst hardy grasses and wild herbs. We would highly recommend that you try this wonderful and unique cheese if you come across it when visiting Croatia – you won’t be disappointed.

Pastures above local beach Sveti Duh

Pag sheep on the rocky pastures

But if you’re visiting Croatia and the north Dalmatian region – including the island of Pag – in particular this summer, you may well like to participate in one of the Cheese Tasting Tours that the Sirana Gligora dairy runs. These tours will teach you more about the history of the cheese and the production processes involved in making it, and well as giving you a prime opportunity to taste the different varieties right where it’s made!

These daily tours start off with an introduction to the heritage of cheese making on the island of Pag, as well as a history of the dairy and the cheese. You’ll then be led by an expert guide through the production rooms of the dairy, before going underground in the maturing caves. These caves house up to 200 tonnes of wall-to-wall cheese that’s at various stages of maturing, with the famous local sheep’s milk cheese sitting side by side with assorted cow, goat and mixed milk cheeses. Part of the caves are set aside as an experimental corner where you can examine mouth-watering prototypes that are awaiting official grading and tasting by affineurs. Whilst here, your guide will fully explain the laborious process and care involved into making each wheel.

A guided tour at Sirana Gligora

Aged Paski sir

After the first part of the tour (which takes around thirty minutes, although this depends upon the size of the group), you’ll then be taken to what must be the most exciting area of Sirana Gligora for many people – the tasting room! Resting on top of the dairy – with fabulous views of the island – you’ll be able to sample the award-winning Gligora cheese, washing it down with some wonderful wine.

Squid stuffed with Prušut and Paški Sir – how amazing does that sound?!

Tickets for the tours are available from Sirana Gligora’s two Cheese and Wine shops in Novalja and Kolan on the island of Pag – both of which are well worth a visit in their own right, even if you can’t make a tour. Alternatively, email Sirana Gligora direct on info@gligora.com or contact them on Facebook or Twitter for advance bookings for the tours – as they can get full up rather quickly! Tours are available in English, Croatian and German.

Paška skuta and Paški sir

Ivan Gligora and current MD Šime Gligora

Do also visit Sirana Gligora’s website to find out more about the dairy, and check out all the latest news on their blog – which also has a more in depth look at the tours they offer. Or, to check out the full list of what they produce, click here: Sirana Gligora Product Brochure.

If you’re not quite able to make it down to the island of Pag for these tours, Sirana Gligora also have Cheese & Wine shops in a number of locations across Croatia – including in Zagreb, Rijeka, Opatija, Pula, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik. See this list for full addresses.

But I know I’d love to head to Pag for a tour at Sirana Gligora!

Croatian Fair & Gala Dinner in London this week!

As part of the celebrations in the run up to Croatia’s accession to the EU on 1st July 2013, the British Croatia Business Club (BCBC) is hosting a couple of exciting events this week!

On the 23rd & 24th May – this coming Thursday and Friday – they will be hosting a Croatian Products and Services Fair, which will be the perfect opportunity to sample and purchase Croatian food and drinks – whether that’s something you’re trying for the first time, or something you know and love well! This fair, the first of its kind in the UK, will see a number of well-known Croatian companies gather together to showcase their wares, with over thirty companies taking part. Well known names such as Croatia Airlines, Croata, Jamnica, Maraska, Paprenjak and Podravka will all be appearing, amongst many others. The Croatian Products and Services Fair will take place in the Battersea Arts Centre in south London, a wonderfully historic venue – built in 1893 – that’s been host to many important events over the years.

Croatian Fair - Croatian Gala Dinner

The Fair will be open to the public from 11am to 7pm on both Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th, and entrance is free. Do register your attendance for the fair via info@bcbc.org.uk as every fifth entry will win a prize!

If you’d like to celebrate in some additional style and glamour, the BCBC is also hosting a wonderful Gala Dinner on Saturday 25th May, also at the Battersea Arts Centre. The four course dinner – a Croatian menu, of course, created by Croatian and British chefs – will be accompanied by a fine selection of Croatian wines. There will also be a full entertainment programme featuring both Croatian and British artists, as well as a raffle and auction with some exciting prizes – the proceeds of which will be going to the Croatian charity, Anima Caelestis. Popular TV personalities will introduce the evening, and a welcome speech of distinguished British and Croatian guests will also take place.

Croatian Gala Dinner

Tickets cost £45 per person (£30 concessions), which includes the four course dinner and a limited selection of wine and soft drinks. There’s only a few tickets left, so do be quick to snap one up! They can be bought online via the BCBC website at www.bcbc.org.uk/fair.html.

British Croatian Business Club

 

Croatian Fair
10am – 7pm, Thursday 23rd & Friday 24th May 2013

Croatian Gala Dinner
6.30pm – 10.30pm, Saturday 25th May 2013

Battersea Arts Centre
Lavender Hill
SW11 5TN

Sunday Times Style Magazine

What happened to the love for Croatia, Sunday Times Style Magazine?

Avid readers of the UK’s Sunday Times Style Magazine may feel like not a week (or rather, weekend) goes by without some kind of mention of Croatia amongst the pages. Whether it’s something to do with summer (that includes a bit on festivals in Croatia), hedonistic lifestyles (festivals in Croatia) or something on what the cool young  kids are doing these days (festivals in Croatia), the country almost always gets a mention. (Festivals in Croatia. Oops. An extra one snuck in there.)

This weekend, events took a sudden turn for the…not so good. A piece about foodie clubs (it’s what the cool young kids are doing these days – yeah, I dunno either), featured an inset box that listed a food-based “You Know You’re  A Grown-Up When You…”:

Croatia Sunday Times

Heyyyy Sunday Times Style Magazine, what gives?!? What’s with the snarky tone? Let’s face it – you can barely move these days for newspaper and TV coverage proclaiming the wonders of Croatian food, from truffles to oysters to wine to stews to the super-strength fruit and herbal liquers to pastries and cakes, with there even being love for the pizzas and ice cream you find in the country. (Don’t laugh til you’ve tried either – preferably both! Though not at the same time.)

However, on a more serious note – “Croatia never quite took off”? Ow. BURN, as some might say. Someone was clearly having a bad day, seeing as they just got this so very wrong. I think they might need to liaise with their colleagues from the Travel pages where – again – not a weekend goes by without some kind of mention of holidays in Croatia. (Only a few weeks ago, Croatia had three entries in the Travel section’s “25 Top Holidays for 2013” in the Eastern Med, offering up advice for visiting the island of Lopud, a cycling holiday in Istria, and culture in Zagreb.

Nevermind, Sunday Times Style Magazine. Just make sure normal service is resumed soon.

I look forward to reading more about Festivals in Croatia in an upcoming issue.

Croatian food from London’s Borough Market

Anyone that’s been to London’s Borough Market recently might have come across a stand selling a very good variety of Croatian food products, from oils to jams to cakes (such as smokvenjak – fig cake), as well as the classic Ajvar (a kind of relish made from red peppers that can be used to accompany dishes) and Paski sir (sheep’s cheese from the island of Pag). The stand is run by D’Issa (now Taste Croatia), who import and distribute top quality Croatian food delicacies and wine in the UK.

I popped along this afternoon to take a look myself (and, judging by the crowds, I think everyone else in London decided to come to the Market too!) and brought home a little haul of Croatian goodies to enjoy over Christmas! Take a look at the photo below – as you might note, I couldn’t stop myself from opening up the sheep’s cheese to try before I snapped away. (Which I’m glad I did – the cheese is very delicious and pleasantly mild. I don’t think it will last long…)

D'Issa Croatian products

Do pop along to Borough Market to take a look yourself – alternatively, check out D’Issa’s product range and more about them on their website [now] tastecroatia.co.uk.