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The Slovenian Istria Wine Region

Submitted on Mon, 18-August-2014

Istrian Malvasia from the Koper region has a richer taste than Malvasia wines from other regions. Rumeni muškat (Yellow Muscatel), one of the oldest vine varieties in the world, produces an extraordinary aromatic wine in this region. Other respected white grape varieties in the Koper region include Chardonnay and Sivi pinot (Pinot Gris), while red grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

GASTRONOMIC SPECIALTIES:

Olive bread and fig bread – Examples of festively enriched bread made of white flour to which sliced or mashed olives or dried figs are added.
Istrian jota – Istrian ‚jota‘ is made with sauerkraut and beans, but is differentiated from the Karst ‚jota‘ in that it does not contain potatoes.
Fritaje or frtalje – A typical spring egg omelette containing wild asparagus, preroasted with prosciutto or bacon, spring shoots of wild hops, bryony, butcher’s broom and clematis. In Pomjan above Koper, the largest Istrian asparagus fritaja is prepared each year on 30 April, with as many eggs as there are days in the current year.
Pasta – Home-made pasta used to be prepared only for major celebrations, weddings and other occasions. It is dressed with fried pancetta or eaten with goulash and other sauces.
Minestrones – Minestrones are everyday stews in Istria. The most widespread are ‚bobići‘ (corn) and ‚paštafažoj‘ (pasta and beans), while ‚rižibiži‘ (rice), vegetable and barley minestrones, are also made.
Nákelda – Rolls made of stale bread soaked in chicken soup, eggs, grated ewe’s cheese, raisins, bacon and summer savory as the main spice.
Istrian štruklji – All kinds of ‚štruklji‘ (strudels) are made from highly elastic phyllo pastry in Istria. They have diverse fillings, e.g. cottage cheese, cheese, prosciutto, cracklings, spinach, walnuts, apples, potatoes and various herbs, and are mostly cooked, not baked.
White and red bakala (cod fish spread) – ‚Bakala‘ is probably the most popular dried and salted codfish product and was, in its white version, a typical Christmas Eve dish. The red ‚bakala‘ goes well with boiled potatoes, bread and polenta.
Fish in ‘šavor’ marinade – ‚Šavor‘ means a fish marinade in the local Primorska dialect. Marinating fish is a method that is especially suitable for smaller sea fish, e.g. anchovies, sardines, picarel and red mullets.
Calamari, sardines and anchovies – Calamari or squid are prepared in a number of ways. The most popular are grilled calamari, but they can also be stuffed or fried. Calamari risotto is another excellent dish.
Pedoči (mussels) – Pedoči (mussels) are, according to folk wisdom, at their best in July and August. They are prepared in a number of ways – very popular methods are mussels in ‘buzara’ sauce or pan-fried.
Fig loaf – An exceptional product made of dried ground figs, which are formed into a loaf with fig or grape juice and lightly rolled in flour. Such a loaf remains edible for a very long time. Cut into slices, it is enjoyed as a healthy natural dessert without added sugar or preservatives.