Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Eat Know Love Istria: New Edition Reveals Why Istria is Top Gourmet Destination

April 13, 2022 - The new issue of the gourmet magazine Eat Know Love Istria is out exploring stories, experiences, and the heritage of beautiful Istria, all through one of life's greatest joys - food.

Although many call it a hidden gem, Istria has long been recognized around the world for its enticing natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and excellent gourmet offer that combines modern and traditional in a unique way, providing an exceptional experience to all who find themselves there. Today, this green oasis of playful experiences is, quite deservedly, at the very top of the world's gourmet locations, and research shows that every third guest visits Istria for the smell and taste of traditional local cuisine.

The new issue of the gourmet magazine Eat Know Love Istria brings stories about this magical land of giants and unforgettable gourmet pleasures, and continues to reveal many Istrian attractions and well-hidden secrets, told through customs related to the rich tradition woven around this area. A special treasure lies in the traditions that have been shaped throughout history and still live today as part of the charm in the everyday lives of the local population. One of the best ways to discover this daily is to eat.

Istrian cuisine originates from the sea, millennial olives, and the heritage of vines, wild plants and medicinal herbs, domestic animals, and many fish, which according to the old proverb, once done with the sea should swim in olive oil and wine. The gold of Istria, its extra virgin olive oil is the base of almost every dish in this area, a symbol of quality and true pleasure at the table, and in recent years has won the world's most prestigious awards.

"Istria is simply magical - almost like the perfect film set with a sense of timelessness and at the same time mystery in all its traditional beauty. In fact, Istria is so special, different, that just watching the sunset will instantly fill you with positive emotions and make you aware that you are just enjoying a region that is the best example of the romantic Mediterranean! Istria is my eternal inspiration for everything I do, and only a part of everything that Istria represents can be found in the new gourmet magazine Eat Know Love Istria", said the editor Zorica Bocić, who does not hide her fascination with Istria and love for everything she does to promote the Istrian region.

Eat_Know_Love_Istria_magazin2.jpgThe gourmet magazine, a result of the cooperation between the tourist company Maistra and the tourist boards of Rovinj, Vrsar, Bale, Kanfanar, and Svetvinčenat, as well as the Association of Craftsmen Rovinj, presents many traditional recipes that nurture Istrian cuisine and celebrate the history and tradition of this region. Famous Istrian prosciutto and aromatic cheese, organic fruits and vegetables from the fertile Istrian crljenica, freshly caught fish from the clear Adriatic, wines from sunny vineyards on the slopes of fairytale hills. These are the original elements of Istria that the producers and caterers combine into a colourful and recognizable eno-gourmet mosaic. It is a combination of the products of the Istrian country and the hardworking hands of the hosts who have been slowly but unstoppably climbing the ladder of success for decades.

We can also discover many interesting events that attract more and more visitors to Istria every year and gather only the best of the best from the world and domestic gourmet scene. For those who are curious, the magazine contains stories and legends of the Istrian region, as well as a small dictionary of the Istrian dialect so that they can fully indulge in this unique experience. While traveling in Istria, every road and turn will surely take you on a new gourmet adventure, related to the history and culture of this region.

The magazine is available at the link:, and can also be found on the tourist boards of Rovinj, Vrsar, Bale, Kanfanar, and Svetvinčenat.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 6 March 2022

Dolac Seller Explains Why Dalmatian Olive Oil is Better Than Istrian

March 6, 2022 - In the Dolac market in Zagreb, spring is already starting to be felt in the dozens of its stands, and also in the good spirits of its vendors and consumers. A Dolac seller shared with a Croatian outlet not only a delicious and healthy soup recipe but also explained why Dalmatian olive oil is better than Istrian.

Spring has arrived at the Dolac market. The sellers' stands are green with early spring crops and nothing is missing. Asparagus, bear onion, watercress, young spinach have arrived ... Sardines have also returned to the fish market but at the new price of 30 kuna per kilo, which caused dissatisfaction among many because they are now ten kuna more expensive than last year.

Dalmatian Ivo Marić welcomed Večernji List at his stand. A few weeks ago he shared with the same Croatian media outlet his recipe for raštika in Dalmatia, which turned the Dolac seller into a real internet sensation. This time, he shared with them a simple recipe for vegetable soup, but also explained why Dalmatian olive oil is better than Istrian.

- ''This is a quick recipe for vegetable soup intended for ladies who are in a hurry and do not have time to cook, and want to eat healthily. You need one broccoli, two potatoes, kohlrabi, and carrots. Cut them into cubes, put to boil with a little salt pepper, and olive oil. When the vegetables soften, add the pasta and that's it.'', he said. ''The secret of this soup is in quality olive oil. Without a good oil, there is nothing'', Marić pointed out.

- ''And which oil is better, Istrian or Dalmatian?'', a reporter from Večernji List asked the Dolac seller.

- ''They say it's better in Istria, but they buy olives from Brač. Half a liter is a hundred kuna for them, but they buy olives from Brač. They say that the stronger the oil, the better, but the stronger it destroys the fish later. When it's strong, it burns, coughs, and destroys the fish, even tourists don't want it when it's too fierce. They say oil with more acid is better. Old people in Dalmatia throw olives into the sea to kill the bitterness, now they say it's not good. It seems that everything that is old is no longer valid, now everything is modern and mostly worse than before.'', Marić concluded.

When it comes to olive oil, Croatia is one of the leading countries in the industry. From Istria to Dalmatia, you can find all the information you need to know about the origins, processes, and where to buy Croatian olive oil on the Total Croatia page, now in your language!

For more on Croatian products, producers, companies, and exports, make sure to check out Made in Croatia.

Thursday, 3 March 2022

Istrian Olive Grower Loses Land Bid as Ministry of Agriculture Backtracks on Tender Specifications

March 3rd, 2022 - Sandi Chiavalon, one of Croatia’s leading olive oil producers, was looking to invest around seven million kuna into a new olive grove in Istria.

Renowned olive grower Sandi Chiavalon was planning to lease 30 hectares of land in the Vodnjan area, close to another large olive grove owned by Oio Vivo, where he would plant nearly 10,000 olive trees and hire four new workers to manage the operation.

As reported by Glas Istre/Bojan Žižović, his plans fell through. In a strange turn of events, the Ministry of Agriculture didn’t approve the decision of the City of Vodnjan to lease state-owned land to Chiavalon, whose oil is produced in Vodnjan and exported to 23 countries worldwide.

This is a major agricultural project which, according to Chiavalon, would be beneficial for the wider community, including the national and city budgets. The state, however, says that Chiavalon and other local farmers cannot lease more than ten hectares of state land at once, as stipulated by the City of Vodnjan.

The decision of the state comes off as petty, as consent could have clearly been given in this case. As Chiavalon explained, the City’s land management plan indeed states that up to ten hectares of land can be leased to one party, but exceptions are allowed as long as it’s a single plot - as is the case here. The land in question is a single plot of about 70 hectares, divided by the City into six agricultural units of which Chiavalon was looking to lease three.

In the tender, whose content was approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, it was stated that whoever applies for one plot can lease up to 40 hectares of land on the said plot. Now that the tender is closed, the Ministry changed the tune and said that a maximum of ten hectares can be leased on the plot in question. As things stand, Chiavalon’s choices are to either lease only ten hectares or abandon the project entirely.

‘They called us from the City to have us choose which of those three plots of ten hectares we would lease. That doesn’t come close to what I wanted to do here - introduce an automated system, a completely new technology for grove maintenance… The question is whether we will take those ten hectares at all, we have to make an economic analysis of whether it’d be profitable to do it all on a land of that size. There are various systems in olive growing nowadays; intensive groves are robotically managed and processed. But for something like that we’d need a single large plot of land. We currently own 68 plots at 12 different locations. In those conditions, you can engage in organic olive growing only conventionally. When you have a single block of land, so to speak, such as Oio Vivo, only then can you introduce modern automated systems’, said Chiavalon.


Asked whether there was a chance of him leasing more than ten hectares in this area in the future, Chiavalon said he might if a new tender was announced. ‘As we had to drop out, some other people would probably apply to get the land. However, the question is who can make it operational because it’s a considerable investment’, said Chiavalon.

The olive grower from Vodnjan would have doubled the count of his olive trees if he got the lease he was going after. He currently owns 30 hectares of land, but as mentioned above, split between 12 different locations, which results in production costs 20 to 30 percent higher than if he were to cultivate a single parcel of that size.

He says there’s always the option to increase their output by purchasing produce from other farmers, but they want to grow as much of their own produce as possible.

Asked who was to blame for what happened, Chiavalon said the problem might lie in the lack of communication between the Ministry and the City of Vodnjan. ‘But the City did not come up with the tender out of thin air, it had to do so with the consent of the Ministry, whose clerk then said it wasn’t implemented well. If it had come to another clerk, it would have probably passed.’

He also pointed out that the laws concerning agricultural land keep changing and aren’t implemented efficiently. ‘This tender was announced a year and a half ago and was not completed in that time. In the meantime, the plot could have been cleared and a new grove planted. In 20 years, there were only three tenders for the lease of state-owned agricultural land, which is a disaster’, he said, adding that at least one tender should be announced every year given how much uncultivated land there is in the area. ‘There are more than 3,000 hectares of uncultivated land in Vodnjan. There’s plenty of land for everyone who wants to work in agriculture. You just need to have the resolve’, said Chiavalon.

Thursday, 1 July 2021

House of Istrian Olive Oil Has Been Reopened in Pula With New Address

July 1, 2021 - The House of Istrian Olive Oil now has a new address in Pula and its doors are once again open to all lovers of not only olive oil but, in particular, Istrian oil, which is considered one of the best in the world.

After a challenging year, the House of Istrian Olive Oil moved and continued to work in a new space in Istarska 30, only fifty meters from the Pula amphitheater, reports All fans of the history of olive growing and top Istrian olive oils, both domestic and foreign guests, will be able to continue to enjoy a unique cultural and tourist product.


As the initiator of the project and the owner of the House of Istrian Olive Oil Lorena Boljunčić explained, the concept of the House of Oil remains the same, but the new space gives it greater opportunities and new dynamics.

“The museum part has been expanded to include a number of interesting facts from the history of Istrian olive growing from the Roman period to the present day: how the Romans produced olive oil, where it was exported, how oil refining has changed over the centuries and a number of important facts about modern olive oil production. Through educational guided tastings, visitors can learn how to recognize quality extra virgin olive oils, to which aromas and flavors you should pay attention and taste different varietal oils from various Istrian producers. The entire space covers 560 square meters," said Boljuncic.

Let us remind you, the House of Istrian Olive Oil was opened in 2017 in Pula. Through many years of work, an innovative cultural and tourist product has been created to promote a part of the Istrian culture: top Istrian oils with international awards as well as other valuable and Istrian products. Wanting to be a responsible member of the local community, the Oil House has participated in many events in the Istrian County, and more than 25,000 foreign guests from all continents and over 50 countries have passed through the museum and education/tasting.

The House of Istrian Olive Oil has entered the renowned tourist guides and has won awards and recognitions. Thus, in 2017, it received the Golden Goat Award of the Istria County Tourist Board, and a year later the Council of Europe received the House of Oil in the European organization of Cultural Routes with an emphasis on the route "Olive Routes".

Also in 2019, the House received the international BIG SEE award for interior design for public use and was nominated for the best Slavic museum Živa award.

For more information about the museum and guiding packages prices, be sure to check their website.

When it comes to olive oil, Croatia is one of the leading countries in the industry. From Istria to Dalmatia, you can find all the information you need to know about the origins, processes, and where to buy Croatian olive oil on the Total Croatia page, now in your language!

Friday, 9 October 2020

Flos Olei 2021: Istria is the World's Best Olive Oil Region for 6th Consecutive Year!

October 9, 2020 - For the sixth year in a row, Istria is the world's best olive oil region, according to the results of Flos Olei 2021.

HRTurizam reports that in the popular publication Flos Olei, the so-called 'extra virgin olive oil bible,' as many as 71 olive growers from Istria produced such high-quality extra virgin olive oil that it deserved a prestigious award - inclusion in the new, twelfth edition of Flos Olei!

Namely, in the new edition, 73 oils from Croatia are included, of which 71 are from Istria and two from Dalmatia. Simultaneously, several Istrian olive growers achieved better results compared to last year, which is proof of significant work in raising the quality and application of the latest scientific and technological achievements in olive growing.

In 2021, Istria will once again be adorned with the title of the world's best olive oil region, in a winning streak that has lasted six years. This is especially important considering that the publication contains oils from all over the world, or from 54 olive-growing countries, and Istrian olive growers are in the company of the 500 best with a total share of 14 percent.

"It sounds unreal, and I would say pretentious, but for the sixth year in a row, Istria has been declared the best olive region in the world. Since its first edition in 2010, Istria has immediately taken an important role and positioned itself as the second-best olive growing region, just behind Tuscany. However, every year the advantage of Tuscany was smaller. At the end of 2016, it took the leading position that it has maintained to this day, but with a far greater difference than Tuscany previously had in relation to Istria. The fact that Istria has 71 olive growers and Tuscany 43 speaks volumes about what it looks like this year. An even more important fact is that over 1,000 samples from all over the world arrive for evaluation. After that, a selection of the 500 best in the world is made, and that within the 500 best Istria has 71, which is really impressive," proudly points out Denis Ivosevic, director of the Istria County Tourist Board.

It is essential to be aware of the fact that in no discipline, in any industry, sport, or any other important competition in places where reputation is gained and confirmed, does Croatia have as much success as Istrian extra virgin olive oil for six years in a row, Ivosevic emphasizes and adds:

"We are very proud of that fact, but it seems that a lot of work is still needed in our country, and also abroad, so that this primacy gets its full and true value; that we become aware of it first in Croatia and that then all those who promote Croatian gastronomy proudly point it out. In the expectation that next year we will reach at least one grade of 99, I believe that the time has come and that six years of confirmation is enough proof to realize that we are the best in the world in something."

This worldwide success certainly contributes to the branding of Istria and Croatia as a gastronomic destination, given that extra virgin olive oil is the main addition to dishes and the basic food product of Mediterranean cuisine, and due to its organoleptic and medicinal properties, it is appreciated almost everywhere in the world.

Significant investments in olive oil production took place in Istria in this extraordinary year.

The Chiavalon family (Vodnjan) opened a new olive center/modern building that includes a new Mori olive press, with a new cellar, tasting room, sales point, and warehouse, while the Ipša family (Ipši, Oprtalj) also opened a new olive center/refurbished and revalued a traditional building, with a new Mori, cellar, tasting room, point of sale, Istrian tavern and warehouse.

The Vanđelić (Bale) family also opened a new olive center/renovated and revalued a traditional building with a new Mori, cellar, tasting room, and sales outlet, combined with fruit vegetable production.

The Galić family (Kostanjica, Grožnjan) opened a new cellar, tasting room, and sales point, while the Oleum Maris company did the same, and the Beletić family (Novigrad) introduced the PIERALISI.

The guide will soon see the light of day. On 884 pages, it will be published in two language variants (Italian-English and Italian-Chinese) and will present selected countries from five continents and 86 world maps of olive groves. The list of all Croatian award-winning olive growers can be found HERE.

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Saturday, 28 April 2018

Istrian Olive Oils Win Big at International Competition in New York

Croatian olive oils took away 27 gold medals and 11 silver medals at NYIOOC 2018

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Different Kind of Millennials: National Park Brijuni to Brand Their Olive Oil

It's time to find out the exact age and origin of the olive trees on the Brijuni that are supposedly 1000 years old

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Istrian Olive Oil Producer Placed Among 20 World's Best

The renowned international guide to olive oil Flos Olei published a new edition for 2018. One Istrian olive oil producer placed among the 20 best olive oils in the world!

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