Friday, 16 November 2018

Swiss Silk as Korcula Business Expands to Verbier

November 15, 2018 - There cannot be many businesses which start on Dalmatian islands like Korcula, then expand to exclusive locations like Verbier in Switzerland. 

Marco Polo may have been born on Korcula and gone travelling to exotic places, but he is not the only one to have moved from that gorgeous Dalmatian island with a tale of spice. 

Another Silk Road is slowly being constructed, this time starting in Korcula Town, as the popular Asian street food restaurant, Silk, is set to open its third location, this time in exotic Verbier in Switzerland. 

Silk, which takes its name from the famous Marco Polo route, first opened close to the house of the famous explorer's birth, in Korcula Town, before expanding to Split this summer, where it has been a popular addition to the Dalmatian capital's gourmet scene with locals, tourists and the growing expat community. Take a short video tour os Silk in Split below.

Silk is owned by the couple who have created one of Dalmatia's true hospitality gems, Tara's Lodge, which is located in Zrnovska Banja, just north of Korcula Town. They also have a base in Switzerland, which explains the choice of their third location. 

To learn more about the original Silk, click here. For the latest on the Verbier opening, follow Silk on Facebook

It is always nice to see a business thrive and grow and expand beyond Croatia's borders. Good luck to the Silk team, and feel free to open the next outlet in Varazdin... 

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Pre-Christmas Croatian Island Product Fair in Zagreb

Products awarded the Croatian Island Product label are again being presented to the public in Zagreb, on the main square. It's become some sort of a tradition, with fairs where those products are sold and tasted taking place before Easter and Christmas in Zagreb for several years now. 

The fair has opened today, November 15th at the main square (Ban Jelačić square) in Zagreb, although the official opening ceremony will be held tomorrow morning (at 9:30 am), with participation of singers from Jezera on the island of Murter and Korčula's own Sv. Cecilija "klapa" (an 'a capella' vocal band). There are over 30 participants at the fair, coming from various islands: Korčula, Vis, Lastovo, Brač, Krk, Hvar, Pag, Prvić, Rab, Dugi otok, Ugljan, Iž, Rava, Cres and Pelješac peninsula. 

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Of those from Korčula who have in the past years been awarded the Croatian Island Product label, several are participating at the fair. Cukarin is, od course, present in Zagreb, offering their "usual suspects", such as well-known klašuni, amarete etc., but also their korčulanska lojenica, for which they were just recently awarded the label. 

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Škatula, also a well-known sweets shop from Korčula, presented their Karat, a spread made from carob, a perfect product for those who do not really appreciate chocolate, in addition to the wealth of their other products. 

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Smokvun was also presented to the people of Zagreb, all of its creative varieties made an appearance. 

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Sanja Protić and her products from her family farm in Blato were, of course, also present in Zagreb. In addition to her sweets (the most well-known one being traditional local blatska lumblija) and olive oils and other products, she also helped promote wines from Blato on her stand - and, as you can see in the photo below, she was in a good mood in while in Zagreb! 

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Monday, 12 November 2018

The Construction Works at Dominče Proceeding as Planned

As we've previously reported, the construction of the new docks at the Dominče ferry port have started earlier this autumn, and the main investor County Port Authority for Korčula took to their Facebook page to inform the interested public that the work is going along nicely, sharing with us some very interesting photos. 

The photos show the current situation on the construction site at Dominče, and we see that the excavations of the sea floor are currently taking place, which will allow for the docking of larger boats. What you can also see is how important the no-parking rule at the location of the works was, as on the photos you can see that some of the parking places have been almost completely destroyed by the excavations. 

It's interesting to see how such works are actually performed, with what appears to be a regular excavator sitting on the barge, which allows it to reach all the way to the bottom and get the excess soil out - which is then deposited on the other side of the ferry docks, where it will appearently be used for some other purpose. 

The project is divided into two phases, with the completion of the first phase planned for the end of this year. The second phase is supposed to be finished by the beginning of the next tourist season, when first boats are expected to be docked at the newly built docks at Dominče. Let's hope all works continue to proceed as planned! 

 

Korčula Online web site has posted a video, shot from a drone on Youtube: 

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Feast of Saint Martin Celebrated in Korčula Again this November

The feast of Saint Martin of Tours, patron saint of beggars, wool-weavers and tailors, geese, vintners and innkeepers, and France. It is celebrated throughout Central Europe on November 11th, which is said to have been the day of the saint's funeral. 

The celebrations of the feast of Saint Martin are especially rooted in the tradition of the Northern part of Croatia, where in Međimurje and Slavonija on this day the conversion of the must into wine is celebrated - by drinking, of course, a lot of wine. In Croatian language, the festivities are called Martinje. Nowhere else in Dalmatia is it given any similar significance as it is in Northern parts of Croatia - except on Korčula. 

While other places celebrate on the day itself, November 11th, on Korčula the celebration starts on St. Martin's Eve, in the evening of November 10th. That is when the children of Korčula will gather in groups and go singing around the town carrying the lanterns (called "feral" in Dalmatia) - not unlike the tradition of Christmas caroling around the world. There's even a special song, the so-called Martin's Song (celebrating, among other things, wine), sung by the children on the day, and for their efforts they are awarded by the townspeople with whatever they have for the little singers: fruit, cakes or even sometimes small amounts of cash.

On Saint Martin's eve for past several years, an event bringing together a capella singing groups from the island (so-called "klape") will also be held in Korčula. 

The cake that was traditionally made and eaten for the feast of Saint Martin is korčulanska lojenica, a traditional cake that has recently been saved from oblivion by Smiljana Matijaca of Cukarin fame, who brought it back to the tables of Korčula for the feast, and who has received the label of Croatian Island Product for the cake.

While it is somewhat similar to the other traditional cake made on the island (blatska lumblija), there are significant differences - lojenica contains suet (a form of mutton fat, used in recipes around the world, including the traditional Christmas pudding recipe in England), while blajska lumblija contains varenik, a sweet and thick sauce that one gets by boiling wine must. Lojenica also usually contains a more modest amount of aromas and spices, although the ones used are almost the same. 

Once the kids have gone around the town, sang their songs and gotten their presents, it's time for the adults to celebrate wine a bit more, so it goes without saying that most men of Korčula will be walking around with a headache on Saint Martin's day. And that will not make another one of the traditions for Saint Martin's day more pleasant: having lunch or dinner in larger groups on the day itself, and that meal often includes mutton (which we needed anyway to make lojenica). Most people of Korčula will have dinner in larger groups on the day, even if they don't live on the island anymore, if they have made wine that year, it will be tasted by their friends, lojenica will be had and the party will continue... 

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Sweet Korcula: Sweeties of Korcula Grannies - 16. Krokant

November 7, 2018 - Sweet Korčula, an island with a seemingly endless supply of fabulous traditional home-made cakes and desserts. We are very grateful to Franica Tasovac for allowing us to serialise her excellent books called Sweet Korcula, Sweeties of Korcula Grannies (in English). It is a collection of no less than 30 ancient recipes for Korcula cakes and desserts, lovingly put together into a book. A delightful souvenir or gift for gourmet friends. Franica has kindly allowed us to serialise the recipes on TCN, and we will be bringing you a recipe a week from the kitchens of Korcula's grandmothers throughout the year. You can read Claudia Tarle's lovely introduction here.

KROKANT

200 g sugar 
30 g of butter
2 tablespoons of brandy of roses
100 g almonds
half a lemon

Put the almonds in a little water and boil (one minute only). Raise them from the heat, strain them and peel the skin. Use your thumb and forefinger to squeeze each almond and their skin will be separated.  
Dry peeled almonds in the pan, but they should not darken. Slice cooled almonds into narrow sticks.

Put wax paper on a bigger wooden board and coat it with oil. Put sugar, butter and brandy in a wide, shallow pan and stir over low heat. When the mixture begins to darken, pour the almonds and continue to mix. When sugar takes ona dark brown and transparent colour, dump out the mixture to the prepared board. Press and dress krokant with the lemon pieces. 

Cut krokant with a knife passing the knife through the lemon piece.

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You can buy this booklet at:
Town library “ Ivan Vidali “
Flower shop “ Fiorino “
“ Manina “
“ Komo “
Tourist agency “ Kaleta “ 
Souvenir shop “ Suzy “
Bookshop “ Kutak knjiga “

 To connect with Sweet Korcula, why not follow them on Facebook?

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Ivana Pačić Unković from Lešić Dimitri to Present at Best Stay 2018

Once more, Best Stay 2018 Conference, one of the top conferences for tourism professionals from all over Europe takes place in Dubrovnik, on November 8 and 9.

The venue hosting this event aimed at exchanging experiences, sharing ideas and meeting new business partners will be held in Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik hotel, with the third-day additional networking workshop planned off-site. Over 70 speakers and panelists working in various aspects of the tourism and hospitality industry will contribute to the discussions, including general managers of major hotels in Croatia, United Kingdom and other countries, marketing managers, business consultants, HR managers etc. 

Among the superstars presenting at the Best Stay 2018 conference is Ivana Pačić Unković, Marketing Director at Lešić Dimitri Palace, whose will present a case study of Lešić Dimitri Palace & Korčula town as an example of effective destination management. She also gave an interview to the event website, where she summarized what her talk will be focusing on: 

"Reconstructing old bishops’ palace into an exclusive five-star property on an island not known as a luxury destination was quite challenging in terms of promoting Lešić Dimitri Palace. From the very beginning, we knew that on top of the high-end accommodation we had designed, we would have to create the offer that would, through a creative approach, highlight the best of Korčula to make it desirable to the luxury goods consumers. By developing successful partnerships with small local business and the local community we have influenced the quality of the local tourist offer. Through various events and projects – cultural, sport, culinary that we have either created or participated in, we have significantly contributed to the re-positioning of Korčula as a destination on the global tourist market. The creation of such a new offer of high-quality experiences thus opened doors to the desired affluent consumer segment."

We're sure that Ivana's talk at the Best Stay 2018 will be very well attended and that the participants will be paying attention, as anyone who's been to Korčula knows how much work on the destination management Lešić Dimitri team has done, and how much they've contributed to the image Korčula as a destination has today. 

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Oliver Dragojević to be Honored with Museum in Heart of Vela Luka

It's been just over 3 months since the one and only Oliver Dragojević left us. The iconic singer was remembered especially over the last few days, as family, friends, and local citizens visited his gravesite in his hometown of Vela Luka on Korčula, leaving flowers, candles, and prayers.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Korčula Beach of the Week - Rasohatica

This week's beach of the week on Total Korčula is Rasohatica, another one of the gems located at the southern shores of the Korčula island. 

 

At first glance, one might say that all beaches on the so-called defora (facing south) side of Korčula are the same: mostly quite narrow, difficult to get to from Žrnovo, steep approach, a lot of sun and usually not inhabited, or at least not heavily inhabited. Well, Rasohatica is somewhat different. Yes, it's on the south side and yes, there is a lot of sun on it during the day, because it's facing south. 

But, there are houses in Rasohatica. There aren't many, just about a dozen, but you can rent an apartment there if you want, and people spend their summers there and it feels somehow bit less secluded than other neighboring beaches. Also, the road to Rasohatica is actually quite OK, and the parking is basically right next to the beach - there will be cars there during the summer, of course, and you might not be able to find one of the closest spots, but you will be able to leave your car somewhere quite close to the beach, in the shade of the dense woods that grow there. There are two sides of the pebble beach, the one to the east is smaller, with more people on it (usually), that's where you can rent the beach chairs and parasols.

The one to the west is a bit bigger and tends to be less populated, and in the afternoon it will be in the shade much sooner, which is important to those trying to stay out of the sun. In between those two are the rocks, where the people who are staying in some of the houses will be swimming, and you can also find a place for yourself on the rocks on the sides of the bay where the beaches are located (if you prefer rocks to the pebbles). There aren't any bars or restaurants in the Rasohatica bay, so make sure to bring some water with you if you're coming here for a day. 

 

Monday, 29 October 2018

Korčula Island Cut Off from the Mainland because of "Jugo"

A strong jugo wind like this one doesn't happen often (luckily), so when it does it's worth mentioning. 

Sometimes you really gotta trust the weather forecast, no matter how many times before you were angry with them for having missed this or that weather event. These days we see one of those occasions taking place. 

Korčula island is quite close to the mainland, and it rarely happens that none of the boat, ferry of catamaran islands connecting it to Pelješac or Split are operational. But, a strong "jugo" wind that we've been experiencing in the last couple of days has succeeded at just that: not single one of the regular lines connecting Korčula to mainland Croatia is currently operating, and the weather forecast for the night and tomorrow early morning are not giving us much hope that things are going to get much better anytime soon. 

This is a video taken today by Smiljana Matijaca of Cukarin fame, posted on her Facebook profile, showing you how it's possible for such a short ferry line, like Dominče - Orebić (or the Korčula - Orebić boat line) to be brought to a halt because of the strong wind: 

 

 

Hopefully, jugo (the south-eastern wind, bringing humid and usually warm air, which usually means rain also) will subside tomorrow, and traffic to and from Korčula will be restored. And, once in a while when a situation like this happens, one can only hope that everyone will be safe on Korčula this night, and that no emergency medical services will be needed. And, unborn babies of Korčula, could you please wait for a day and not decide to be born tonight, please? Thanks. 

Monday, 29 October 2018

Ferries in Dalmatia When the Sun Don't Shine: Vela Luka to Split (VIDEO)

Ferries in Dalmatia. Gliding through a millpond, a gentle breeze through your hair under perfect blue skies, gliding along the islands and mainland of Croatia's Adriatic coast. 

That is the romantic summer version of taking ferries in Dalmatia (and much of rest of the year too). 

But when the weather turns foul an a storm is brewing, it takes on an altogether different experience. 

There is some very severe weather in Dalmatia at the moment, and the other side of ferries in Dalmatia was captured by Index.hr reader Andrej Pavicic, who captured yesterday's ferry from Vela Luka on Korcula to Split, with the Jadrolinija ferry Bartol Kasic having a very rough time of it as it passed the island of Hvar. 

Check out the ferry and Index video by clicking on the image below.

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