Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Cultural Identity of Vukovar: New Book Presented in Vukovar

June 9, 2021 - The fascinating question of the Cultural Identity of Vukovar is researched in a new book edited by Dr. Mateo Žanić and Petar Elez. However, as the editors stressed in the introduction, further research is needed to encompass all social groups in Vukovar and their contribution to the heritage of Vukovar.

After being published back in April this year, the book „Cultural Identity of Vukovar – Contribution to Investigating Heritage and Successors“, was presented this Wednesday in Vukovar. As Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute writes on its website the book was published in cooperation with the Vukovar State Archive, so it was only suitable that the first book presentation was held in Vukovar at the videoconference hall of College Of Applied Sciences „Lavoslav Ružička“ (named after a famous Croatian chemist whose work is awarded a Nobel Prize). In addition, the event marked International Archive Day.

The book was edited by Dr. Mateo Žanić and Petar Elez, and the presentation, alongside editors, saw scientific experts Dr. Dražen Živić, Mirela Hutinec, and Dr. Domagoj Tomas talks about the book.

„Fast events triggered by globalization process and information revolution which paradoxically lead to today's societies being fiercely occupied with the meaning of past, and preserving its valuable traces. In that context, there is a spreading interest for heritage that holds an important component to understand the relationship between the past and present“, says the editorial introduction of the book.

The editors went on to explain how „the city proved to be futile to interpret the meaning of heritage and its contribution to cultural identity,“ and the editors wanted to present various aspects of Vukovar's cultural heritage.

Apart from editors Žanić (who wrote a chapter „Layers of memories and material heritage in modern-day Vukovar) and Elez (author of the chapter „State archive in Vukovar and development of archive service in Vukovar-Srijem County“), the book features eight more authors. Ivan Rogić (Whose Heritage? Who is the successor?), Dražen Živić (on Vukovar's feudalists), Vlasta Novinc („Danube, food, Corso“), Dragana Drašković (on the cultural life of Borovo Selo), and more by Dragan Damjanović, Toni Roca, Ivana Bendra and Ivan Hubalek.

With these broad presentations of culture and heritage in Vukovar, editors hope this book will encourage further research as they are aware this is certainly not the final word on these interesting questions and issues.

„As editors, we are aware that the book does not deal with topics that concern different social groups that left their trace in Vukovar end enrich the history of the city. We hope that future editions that will deal with this topic expand the reach of issues and help us to realize better what do we inherit from the past and why is that important“, concludes the introduction of the book.

So far, the book is available only in Croatian, and research that will, as editors say, deal with other social groups in Vukovar is yet to come. Keeping in mind the terrible aftermaths of the war in Vukovar in the 90s and inter-ethnic tensions, further findings on joint cultural contribution to Vukovar may indeed be the enlightenment needed for peaceful cohabitation and development of Vukovar as a perspective city in Croatia.

Speaking of heritage, learn more about UNESCO recognized heritage in Croatia on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 4 June 2021

Brod-Posavina Tourist Board Introduces New Visual Identity

June 4, 2021 - At a special event, the Brod-Posavina tourist board officially unveiled its new logo, which seeks not only to renew its visual identity but also to adequately represent the county's values.

Traditional architecture, excellent gastronomy, the Sava River, and the border history of the Brod-Posavina region are the foundation of a new, modern visual identity of the Brod-Posavina Tourist Board, reports hrturizam.hr.

The basic element of the logo is dark blue and reminiscent of the Sava River, it is made in the rotated form of the initial letter of the county, and stylized elements in warm colors represent the windows of the barn, which still adorns almost every yard in this part of Croatia.

TZ-BPZ_ver_RGB-brodsko-posavska-tourist-board.jpeg

"The new logo is decent and modern at the same time, it is applicable in its original form and in a modular way and reflects a new experience of the traditional values of our region. It is based on the Strategic Marketing Plan of Slavonia Tourism from 2019 to 2020 with a branding plan, funded by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and in which our area is described as a meeting of worlds and cultures'', said Ružica Vidaković, director of Brod-Posavina County. 

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The basic logo is joined by three more variants with the slogans Guardians of Nature, Guardians of Heritage, and Guardians of Taste.

Thus, the strongest tourist trump cards are united, which are based on the historical fact that the inhabitants of this part of Croatia were border guards. In this context, the word guards are in itself warm and evoke positive emotions.

"Modern visual identity confirms how important strategic documents are and gives the best answer as to why they are made. This is an excellent example of the implementation of the Strategic Marketing Plan of Slavonia Tourism in practice", concluded Sandra Herman, State Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

The Lollipop communication team of Elizabeta Penić and Alma Radoš, who are signing the conceptual design and creative communication and branding of the new visual identity, was joined by graphic designer Vedrana Knez as the author of the visual identity.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Thursday, 13 May 2021

OPG Čudesna šuma: Paradise Reimagined in Beautiful, Traditional Baranja

May 13, 2021 – OPG Čudesna šuma: How an unexpected turn of events helped world-renowned photographer Mario Romulić realise his lifelong dream.

War and genocide and the aftermath. Famine. Disease. Death. In a former life, harrowing images filled the lens of internationally renowned photographer Mario Romulić. But thankfully, we're now far from such scenes.

In fact, at OPG Čudesna šuma - Mario Romulić's home and family farm - we're pretty much far from everything. One other eco-farm is his only neighbour. Well, unless you count the llamas the Romulić family keep out back. Occasionally, through the rich green of surrounding trees, you see birds flying above the branches. Probably they're toing and froing from Kopački rit. The nearby Nature Park is less than a kilometre from OPG Čudesna šuma. Famously, the wetlands are home to over 250 species of birds. They are also the reason why Mario Romulić is here.

ReeeeeMG_2366_DxO-GŠ-e1559901697596.jpgKopački rit Nature Park © Kopački rit Nature Park.

“Back then, I was very occupied with Kopački rit,” remembers Mario of the time, 21 years ago, when he moved to what is now OPG Čudesna šuma. “I was working as a cameraman for people like Reuters, all over the world. The assignments would last 7-10 days and I'd be in places like Afghanistan, Rwanda, Congo, Liberia, Bosnia. It was often quite dangerous. For the next 20 days, I would spend a lot of time in Kopački rit, trying to calm my nerves. It was something like a cure after seeing all these horrible scenes. Eventually, instead of travelling every day from my home in Osijek to Kopački rit, I decided to try and find something close by. And this is what I found.”

Just as this beautiful, natural landscape in Bilje, Baranja once served as a peaceful getaway for Mario Romulić, his OPG Čudesna šuma today does the same for others. Because, after dreaming for two decades of turning this blissful plot and homestead into a forest farm and eco-village, Mario Romulić is finally turning that vision into a reality.

REEEEE123849689_631301844230484_3242943399468051911_n.jpgThe impossibly pretty OPG Čudesna near Kopački rit Nature Park, Bilje Municipality, Baranja © OPG Čudesna šuma.

“Because of my job - first, travelling all around the world, then travelling Croatia - I did not even have much time to think about it, let alone do it,” says Mario. “But, then Corona came. Finally, I found myself at home. At last, I had time to work on my dream.”

OPG Čudesna šuma in the Month of Baranja Cooking (Mjesec baranjske kuhinje)

A group of 30 or so are Mario's guests today at OPG Čudesna šuma. They're here for a presentation of speciality cooking. It's the grand finale of the Month of Baranja Cooking (Mjesec baranjske kuhinje).

Over previous weeks, OPGs from all across the region have welcomed guests to try goulash, soups, stews, perklet and other traditional foods of the area. While visiting, they've been embraced by the beautiful landscape of Baranja. Not only have they discovered how this delightful, distinct cuisine tastes, but also they've learned exactly how it's prepared. However, they've evidently saved the best for last. On the menu today, river fish inventively cooked, accompanied by a riotous rainbow of seasonal vegetables.

reOPG_Čudesna_šuma181580000_726510768042924_6910637969151864081_n.jpgSeasonal vegetables of Baranja in springtime at the Month of Baranja Cooking (Mjesec baranjske kuhinje) © OPG Čudesna šuma.

It's a beautifully sunny day, right at the start of May. It depends on your preference, but looking across this happy vista in the glorious sunshine, it's difficult to imagine this not being the perfect time to be in Baranja. Young children are raised to chest height by their parents so they can meet Mario's free-roaming llamas face-to-face. The children's faces flit between surprise, curiosity and delight. The llamas return their stare. They're used to welcoming new guests.

re182218841_3395418300561357_8222892496436052806_n.jpgMeeting the Romulić family llamas at OPG Čudesna šuma © Turistička zajednica Općine Bilje - Kopački rit.

Partially shaded by trees, the smiling adult guests sit casually on wooden benches around a central, outdoor cooking area. Several open fires display a range of traditional cooking methods. Steam rises from a cast-iron stove suspended over one. Beneath the vapours, you can make out the dish is fish paprikash. It's unmistakable because of the deeply red coloured bubbles, a result of generous amounts of paprika.

RErommy.jpgGuests enjoy a warm springtime day at OPG Čudesna šuma during the Month of Baranja Cooking (Mjesec baranjske kuhinje), as fish paprikas cooks over an open fire © OPG Čudesna šuma.

A huge bag of this paprika sits propped up, close by. It's from another organic OPG, just a kilometre or so from here. The colour is vivid, impossibly red, unrecognisable from anything store-bought. At the next fire, pike impaled on wooden sticks are placed far enough from the flickering flames so they cook slowly and do not burn.

RRRRRRMG_9076.jpgPike impaled on sticks, cooking by an open fire at OPG Čudesna šuma @ Marc Rowlands.

In the outdoor kitchen, Mario Romulić's co-chefs prepare an unending supply of fish dishes and vegetables. Carp, catfish, trout, bream. There's a bounty of fresh asparagus. It's that time of year. With the restraint of experience, they've cooked it perfectly. After the crunch of the bite, the flavour explodes. They're seasoned simply – delicious olive oil and sea salt.

RRRRRMG_9083.jpgSeasonal asparagus, perfectly cooked, served with smoked river fish © Marc Rowlands.

A group of peers – accomplished chefs from Osijek-Baranja restaurants – peak over the shoulders of Romulić's co-chefs. They're admiring the inventive techniques employed. Although, being chefs, they can't help themselves. They end up briefly forgetting their families in order to help out.

Mario Romulić, the host with the most

re181662505_3395417317228122_5675229268416633172_n.jpgMario Romulić © Turistička zajednica Općine Bilje - Kopački rit.

After all the guests arrive, Mario Romulić holds court. Cheerily he welcomes us all to OPG Čudesna šuma and the event. Without question, the success of rural, village tourism depends on the personalities of the hosts. It's no good plonking a group of visitors in a pretty place and throwing some food in front of them. We've all seen trees, grass and food before. Rural tourism is not just about the place, it's about the experience, the ambience. And, especially, it's about the people.

Hands down, the OPGs of Slavonia and Baranja are the best in Croatia at this. The folks here are famous for their friendliness, warm welcome and big personalities. And, Mario Romulić has one of the biggest of them all.

In the research for this reportage, looking back at archive pictures of Mario Romulić is startling. During his years spent as an international photographer, he himself has been photographed many times – on assignment in distant countries, at the opening of exhibitions that have showcased his celebrated work. In most, there's an intensity to his stare. It's sometimes difficult to look at. He looks like a man who has tales you never want to hear, like a man who has seen too much.

re181833835_3395419193894601_1580949382978993421_n.jpg(L- R) OPG Čudesna šuma co-chef at the event Mihael Tomić, renowned Osijek chef Ivan Đukić currently of Osijek's Lipov Hlad and a happy Mario Romulić © Turistička zajednica Općine Bilje - Kopački rit.

By comparison, the Mario Romulić that welcomes us at OPG Čudesna šuma today is unrecognisable. Sure, there's a little more grey to his long hair and beard but, otherwise, he looks incredibly healthy and happy. The intense stare is gone, replaced by a warm, wide smile that shows across his entire face. Even in early May, he has a darkened skin tone, the telltale signs of a man who spends much of the day outdoors. Romulić's enthusiasm for his guests and the event is palpable. After his sincere welcome, this enthusiasm is immediately transferred to each of his guests.

Mrs Romulić ensures everyone's glass is overflowing with wine or juice. One of Mario's teenage sons helps out with the food, while the other is taking photographs of the event. Well, someone has to do the photography now that dad wants to be a chef and host! Mario himself is engulfed in smoke. Among the other duties he's assumed today, Mario is tending a smoker. Without a doubt, this is the most revelatory cooking method we meet today.

RAFGGMG_9033.jpgMario Romulić tends to smoked river fish, a revelatory gastronomic experience at OPG Čudesna šuma © Marc Rowlands.

Smoked fish of Slavonia and Baranja at OPG Čudesna šuma

reOPG_Čudesna_šuma181569372_726510701376264_2349368327366088172_n.jpgAn American-style smoker, loaded with river fish. TOP TIP: A great way to stop fish sticking to the grill of your barbecue or smoker is to place them on top of a layer of lemon slices © OPG Čudesna šuma.

“We do have smoked fish here, but not in this way,” he says. “This is more like an American grill. I never heard of anyone trying Baranja cooking like this. Actually, I never heard of anyone nearby who has a smoker like this. The first time I tried stuka (pike) in the smoker, that was unbelievable. It's incomparable, really special.”

re182065042_3395417427228111_6987374227558501361_n.jpgExquisite presentation of river fish by the enthusiastic team of OPG Čudesna šuma © Turistička zajednica Općine Bilje - Kopački rit.

“In Slavonia and Baranja, there are just a few ways we usually cook our river fish - carp on sticks, fish paprikash, perklet and fried fish. So, we tried something new, to expand the palette. For instance, almost nobody eats Babuška (a type of carp). They feed it instead to their pigs. It costs 5 kuna a kilo! But, if you cook it in this completely natural way, it's delicious.”

re181464507_3395417533894767_3887484501591319798_n.jpgMore river fish, cooked by the team of OPG Čudesna šuma © Turistička zajednica Općine Bilje - Kopački rit.

He's not wrong. Today's mountain of different smoked fish is the talk on most of the adult lips. The rich flavours surprise. Compliments and returns for second helpings ensue. Mario stands to one side, happily watching as his smoked fish secret escapes. In the future, he plans similar events based on other regional foods - Black Slavonian pig, wild meats like deer or boar. Eventually, in the seven hectares of land he owns here, he would like to expand OPG Čudesna šuma as an eco-village, with beds for visitors, a natural swimming pool and then surround it with a food forest. Big plans. It looks as though the camera may stay more permanently in the hands of his son. Because it's difficult to imagine Mario Romulić leaving his happy place and the realisation of his long-held dream.

re60723980_10157204309393875_1954899380326629376_n.jpgMario Romulić in his happy place, with a friend © OPG Čudesna šuma.

Both the author and Total Croatia News would like to thank the following for their invaluable help in creating this article: Ivana Jurić and the Tourist Board of Osijek-Baranja County, OPG Čudesna šuma, Mario Romulić and family, Renata Forjan and Turistička zajednica Općine Bilje - Kopački rit and Domagoj Butković of expert travel guides to Slavonia and Baranja, Kulen travel.

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Feasibility Study For Hospital Project in Osijek to be Prepared

ZAGREB, 11 May, 2021 - The 35 million kuna contract on the elaboration of a feasibility study for the construction of a new complex housing the hospital centre in Osijek was signed on Tuesday in that biggest eastern Croatian city.

The document on preparing the feasibility study was signed by Health Minister Vili Beroš, the Osijek Hospital Centre head, Željko Zubčić and the representative of the consortium of bidders. As many as 30 million kuna will be provided from European funds, whereas the health ministry will cover the remaining 5.2 million.

Regional Development and EU Funds minister, Nataša Tramišak, said at the contract-signing ceremony that the co-funding from the EU funds was ensured through the "Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem" project.

She said that the construction of the future hospital centre was estimated at two billion kuna, and the exact sum would be known after the Osijek hospital centre provided full information.

Zubčić said that the new hospital centre "is a greenfield investment", and would be built at a new location. He said that the new hospital complex "is a necessity for Osijek and Croatia's east.

The elaboration of the feasibility study is expected to take a year.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more about health in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

 

Friday, 7 May 2021

River Cruises in Brod-Posavina County: A New Tourist Product in Action

May 7, 2021 - River cruises in Brod-Posavina County are slated to be the next tourist hit in Slavonia. 

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, of the five Slavonian counties, Brod-Posavina recorded the highest growth rate of tourist arrivals, averaging 14.8 percent per year. When travel starts again, this trend should continue, and river cruising, an increasingly popular holiday, could also contribute to the growth of tourist traffic, reports HRTurizam.

To create basic preconditions for the development of nautical tourism, the Brod-Posavina County Tourist Board and the Slavonski Brod Port Authority last summer presented the Study of Sustainable Development of River Cruises in the county.

In addition to all procedures and legislation related to the construction of port infrastructure as well as prerequisites for cruise development, the Study linked the tourist attraction base of Brod-Posavina County with the locations of future ports, following examples of good practice from the environment, the structure of visitors to river cruises and motives.

"Our county lies along the entire length of the Sava River and it is time to use this natural tourist potential in the best way. After that first step, the project was implemented, so now the Port Authority is about to obtain a construction and location permit for the construction of an international passenger port worth more than 17 million kuna, and the Ministry of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure is working intensively on solving the critical section of the waterway - Novi Grad, which will create a precondition for the development of river cruising on the Sava," said the prefect of Brod-Posavina County Danijel Marušić.

Due to problems with navigability, the tourist potential of the Sava has been untapped for years. For comparison, on the Danube and Drava, one-day excursion tourism and navigation by excursion boats are developing, and in 2019, more than 600 river cruisers docked in passenger ports on these rivers.

The modern passenger port in Slavonski Brod should be ready by the end of 2022. It is part of a large project co-financed by EU funds, which will include the renovation of an old ship with a restaurant, meeting room, educational hall for students, and a souvenir shop. The ship, as one of the biggest attractions of Brod-Posavina County, will be anchored in the new port.

The Sava River, but also the traditional heritage as well as the valuable inhabitants of this part of Croatia known in history as border guards, inspired the new visual identity of the Brod-Posavina County Tourist Board.

Ružica Vidaković, director of the county tourist board, points out that she is extremely pleased with the largest project in the county, which will finally valorize the Sava River for tourism.

"Today, our county is known as a destination for cultural, active, and rural tourism, but also as a paradise for gourmets with indigenous flavors based on healthy local foods. Modern tourists ask for it the most. The trend is green, unspent, and honest for tourism, and these are our strongest assets. Brod-Posavina County is mostly a rural area, less than two hours away from Zagreb, and yet it is far from the crowds and asphalt, a corner of green paradise where you can experience silence. Rarely do they have that," says Vidaković.

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Danijel Soldo / Ružica Vidaković, TZBPZ director

Although the rapid growth of tourist arrivals came to a halt ahead of the lockdown in March last year, she deeply believes the positive trend will continue once all this passes. She says that in crisis situations, flexibility and adaptability are the most important, so all campaigns, special presentations, and study trips for the past two years are focused exclusively on domestic guests, the only ones who can travel or come on day trips at this time of limited movement.

“We offer them new places, a new kind of adventure, a holiday without the crowds, a break in interaction with nature, a warm local story. I can experience all this on more than twenty family estates, ranches, and farms that are ten kilometers away from each other," concludes Vidaković.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

EPIcentar Sequoia in Slatina to be 'Green Gates' of Slavonia

April 28, 2021 - EPIcentar Sequoia in Slatina aims to revitalize the protected natural heritage in the heart of the Slavonian town.

Did you know that the redwood tree (mammoth, sequoia) in Slatina is the only protected specimen of this species in Croatia? It was protected as one of the oldest natural monuments as early as 1967.

HRTurizam reports that the construction of EPIcentar Sequoia in Slatina aims to revitalize the protected natural heritage, redwood tree, and park located in the heart of Slatina, east of the City Hall, and increase the attractiveness of the whole site, and consequently increase the number of visitors, which will directly affect tourism development and encourage socio-economic development of the city and county.

 

Two buildings were reconstructed next to the mammoth. The first, larger one, has been turned into a visitor center: it consists of a reception area, reception and souvenir shop, office, and two multipurpose rooms for education and presentations, conference halls and service areas - restaurants with a capacity of up to 50 seats. In the basement, there is a kitchen and restaurant storage. In the attic of the building, there is a space to accommodate guests: a hostel with 32 beds in 8 rooms and a large living room from which a large window offers a view of the redwoods. Namely, there are currently no hotels in the city, so during important events, such as the Milka Kelemen International Music Festival, various music, scientific, economic, or religious gatherings, the problem of accommodating performers, participants, and visitors always arises.

It is important to point out that the souvenir shop will offer local entrepreneurs and student cooperatives products, which motivates the action and involvement of the community.

The second building has been reconstructed into a technically modern interpretation center. There is a space for receiving visitors, an office, and two multipurpose rooms for education and various workshops on the ground floor of the building. The central part of this building is the attic which serves as a space for visitors with a direct lookout to the redwoods. A permanent exhibition will be arranged within that space. Through a multimedia and interactive exhibition, the appearance of the natural heritage destination through history will be presented, emphasizing the sustainability of natural heritage.

A children's playground was built opposite the redwood. Gaming devices made of wood are integrated into the environment, and the youngest visitors can connect with nature and interact with the environment. The youngest will find themselves in this space because it is green and invites you to play, and adults can relax with a coffee in the restaurant during that time.

As part of this project, a mobile application was created that provides access to information about the park and the giant sequoia: it will contain a marked educational trail and data on the trees in the park, and a solar e-desk with interactive content, photo, and solar benches will be set up.

In addition to all these facilities, visitors will walk along an educational trail with boards that will educate about the natural and cultural-historical attractions of the protected park and redwood. Special tourist arrangements will be available to primary and secondary school students, people with disabilities, young people, and tourists who want an active stay in nature.

We want to attract as many visitors to this significant continental part of Croatia, which may have been too hidden so far, said the mayor of Slatina, Denis Ostrošić and added: "Good cooperation with the Health Center provides the possibility of rehabilitation, the natural environment the possibility of preparing athletes for various competitions, and the totality of the entire city center, including our museum and cinema with two screenings, and with our winemakers and winegrowers, shows that we are becoming a small destination with very nice content that will interest tourists of different orientations."

The general goal of this project is the sustainable management of public tourism infrastructure, which will increase its attractiveness, recognizability, and attendance and thus strengthen the potential of the natural heritage of continental Croatia.

Additional goals are indeed connecting with the important tourist locations of the county - with the Papuk Nature Park (25km), with the Drava story (20km), with the picnic area and Lake Orah, Orahovica (30km), to increase the destination potential and number of visitors and tourists.

EPIcentar Sequoia is opening its doors to all visitors this summer.

For more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Slavonian Family Farm's Slavonsko Zlo Hot Sauce Sales Grow 50%

April the 21st, 2021 - Despite the fact that little good economic news ever comes out of the Eastern part of the country, one Slavonian family farm's Slavonsko zlo hot sauce has gone from strength to strength with its sales.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, behind the Slavonsko zlo hot sauce brand is a line of hot chili sauces and products produced and marketed by the Matko Maltar Family Farm.

According to Maltar, their goal is to offer fans of spicy food supplements something new, innovative products based on natural organic ingredients. They've been developing the brand since back in 2018, the business is a family business, and their chili pepper plantation is next to Petrijevci, a village halfway between Belisce, where the family farm is headquartered, and the City of Osijek. There are also greenhouses in Belisce in which Slavonsko zlo hot sauce is produced.

"In less than a couple of years, we've become available and recognised throughout Croatia, and through our web store, we've had numerous orders from abroad. This whole story with the line of Slavonsko zlo sauces didn't actually even ever arise as a business idea, but out of pure enthusiasm, and only quite a bit later on it did it turn out to have market potential.

How much I can earn isn't really my primary motive because I'm still employed in the family printing house, I have a secure existence, so I practically do two jobs; one in the morning and the other in the afternoon and on weekends. My mission is to redefine the view of most people when it comes to spicy stuff, to profile, present and popularise hot sauce,'' explained Maltar.

The Slavonian family's Slavonsko zlo hot sauces are made with a variety of substances, including gin, hemp oil and more.

In addition to the four basic products; Original, Smokehouse, Jamaican and Candy, they also offer hot Habanero sauce with ginger and pineapple. They also work with other small producers. Behind them is a series of special editions of products created in collaboration with renowned chefs, such as Zlarissa hot chili pepper paste - harisse in the Slavonian way created in collaboration with a member of the Croatian culinary team and chef of the restaurant Lipov hlad Ivan Djukic.

“New products, investments and innovations are our continuity. It all started as an experiment and we're constantly combining things with new peppers, aromas, flavours. As for the ongoing coronavirus crisis, I practically didn't even feel it in terms of doing business, and the primary reason for that is our orientation to the web store distribution channel. The web store achieves brilliant results, and our sales are growing progressively.

As much as 90 percent of our sales take place online, and this year our sales increased by 50 percent compared to the same period last year. Often our main problem is that we don't have enough products, but we started dealing with that by agreeing to buy peppers with two other family farms,'' explained Maltar.

In addition to the Internet, they also sell their products on the doorstep and in a number of restaurants and shops. The family cooperates with about twenty restaurants and street food vendors from all over Croatia. Most of their customers opt for their boxes or stretchers with multiple types of sauces, meaning that more or less all of their products are equally in demand.

"Soon we're going to start with the production of ajvar, and since ajvar is a relatively mild product when it comes to spices, we'll place it on the market not under the name Slavonsko zlo, but instead under a sister brand. We recently agreed for our products to be made available at the Romberg restaurant, which will soon open in Belisce. This is a very ambitious project that aims to showcase Slavonian gastronomy in a much more modern way,'' concluded Matko Maltar.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

VukovART 2021 to Return Art, Culture and Joy to the City of Vukovar

April 20, 2021 - With a five-year tradition already in place, VukovART 2021 promises a month of fun and exciting activities for Vukovar with visual eye candy as souvenirs to last.

A unique concept in the culture and art of Vukovar, the VukovART festival will be held from May 15 all the way to June 15, writes HRTurizam.  

With a five-year tradition, the streets and squares of Vukovar will once again host numerous exhibitions and workshops, debates, children's programs, film, and literary programs, panel discussions, colorful lectures, and concerts. This event, organized by the City of Vukovar and Val Kulture association, co-financed by the European Social fund, promotes Vukovar as a Port of Art, changing the visual identity of the city making it a beautiful place to live. In addition to the local community, tourists also enjoy the eye candy of the city's open-air gallery. Artists Boa Mistura (Spain), BustArt (Switzerland), Jana Brike (Latvia), Mr Woodland (Germany), Victor Splash (Russia), Artez (Serbia), Juandres Vera (Mexico), Kerim Musanović (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Marion Ruthardt from (Germany), and Croatia's own Forest are ten artists who will come this year to give their contribution to the growing visual content of the city.

The festival will be opened by a beloved Croatian band Vatra (Fire), with performances of Mia Dimšić, musical composition CLUE, and vocal composition Watercolor in the following days too. During every larger event of the festival, „a superb craft scene and street food“ offers will be offered to visitors too. 

VukovArt_-_Art_Harbour.jpg

© VukovArt - Art Harbour

Famous Croatian singer from Psihomodo Pop with a neck in painting as well, Davor Gobac will exhibit his paintings and also host Motivational and Art Workshop for children.

„There will also be an active weekend led by the Vukovar Half Marathon, and for a slightly more relaxing activity, a bicycle race will be organized to tour previous works of art“, says HRTurizam article.

Domagoj Jakopović Ribafish, Dusan Bučan, and Robert Knjaz will host travel lectures and the full program and more details can be found on VukovART official website and on social networks.  

Learn more about Croatia's festivals on our TC page.  

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Friday, 9 April 2021

Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković Delivers Three Rural Development Programme Contracts

ZAGREB, 9 April, 2021 - Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković on Friday presented three contracts from the Rural Development Programme worth HRK 8.5 million to beneficiaries in Jarmina municipality in eastern Croatia.

She also attended the opening of "Jarmina", the first kindergarten in the municipality in which HRK 7 million was invested from EU funds and her ministry's Rural Development Programme. It will be attended by 75 children.

Vučković told the press this was the 12th kindergarten in Vukovar-Srijem County built with funds from the Rural Development Programme, for which HRK 56 million was ensured, adding that 200 kindergartens would be opened in Croatia thanks to over HRK 1 billion from the programme.

The 12 kindergartens have been opened in communities with a population of below 5,000.

Vučković said kindergartens were important for keeping young families in villages, adding that her ministry would soon advertise calls for the construction of more kindergartens, farmers' markets, firehouses and community culture centres.

Last year the Croatian EU presidency secured the support of the member states for a transitional regulation to enable continuity of financing until "the whole common agricultural policy reform is adopted," the minister said, adding that the reconstruction and construction of the social infrastructure in rural areas would continue.

Over €5 billion for Croatian agriculture

Vučković announced that Croatia would receive over €5 billion for agriculture in the EU's 2021-27 budget.

She said 12.9% of Croatian farmers and over 20% in Vukovar-Srijem County were under 41.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

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Friday, 2 April 2021

Srijem and Slavonia: A Taste of Happiness

April 3, 2021 - From small snacks to spicy dishes and the most delicate desserts, when it comes to food, Srijem and Slavonia are unsurpassed.

Slavonian small snacks and finger food are even tastier, for starters, if they are from the black Slavonian pig. Gingerbread, kulen, kulen cutlet, švargl, sausage, bacon, cheese, ajvar, and more. Then hearty soup, just removed from the heat, still smoked, then sarma and delicious cookies of all colors and sizes. First of all, brandy, and with every dish, the wine of the Srijem vineyards. A very ordinary day in Srijem and Slavonia will look like a real feast, so if you are a gourmet, be sure to stop by. The invitation is valid indefinitely.

It’s not that it won’t make your cheeks glow and your stomach warm. It has everything you need - a harmony of flavors: it is moderately salty, moderately thick, and somewhat spicy. The noodles melt in your mouth and red ground pepper does not cover the delicate taste of fish. It only lacks fish bones. That is why it was given an honest and straightforward name - boneless fish.

Vecernji List reports, this innovative version of one of the most popular dishes east of Zagreb was designed many years ago at the Dunav Hotel in Ilok and has since become their trademark. This hotel, otherwise a real avant-garde in the traditional Slavonian, Srijem, and Baranja cuisine, is not only known for its innovative fish, but it was also the first in this part of the country to receive a Michelin recommendation. Everyone who has eaten there at least once knows. Super price, top quality, everything is fine and fresh, and for a sweet finish, our recommendation is šnenokli. It may seem too simple to you, but that’s exactly where the charm lies. With an absolute explosion of flavors in such a traditional and everyday dish, you will want to immediately ask for a recipe from the head chef. 

Good wines accompany delicate dishes, and those from Ilok, the center of the Srijem vineyards, have seduced the most demanding palates for centuries and are drunk in European courts since the princely family Odescalchi filled them in unique packages in the Old Cellars 200 years before Bordeaux and Burgundy. They are protected from traders and resellers who often confused it with that of inferior quality.

True connoisseurs and wine lovers in Ilok will enjoy the fragrant Traminers, and there is still talk of that Ilok cellars that were drunk at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The grapes for the top Traminers of this most awarded Croatian winery are grown on Principovac, a famous wine-growing position and the country estate of the Odescalchi family, where his first vine was planted in 1710. Since then, this royal variety has not ceased to intrigue the wine world.

In Ilok, you have to walk through its beautiful historical core, visit the church of St. Ivana Kapistrana, the Museum of the City of Ilok in the Odescalchi Castle, the Old Cellars from the 15th and 18th centuries, and, with prior notice, at least two or three more wineries, about twenty of them on the Ilok Wine Road.

A homely, positive atmosphere, which can only be provided in Slavonia and a modern, refined interior, characteristic of fine dining restaurants in major world capitals, is how at first the new Vinkovci restaurant Lu could be described. The award-winning chef, Ana Marija Stanković, is a national champion and bronze medalist at the Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart. Fire burger, homemade smoked sausage, pork fillet, glazed pork ribs, chicken fillet in an almond crunch, french lamb rack, beefsteak, rump steak, perch fillet; you will enjoy its interpretation of traditional Slavonian cuisine; especially if you follow modern trends and above all appreciate quality food.

lu.jpg

Restaurant Lu Vinkovci | Restraurant Lu Facebook

Although there are more and more modern restaurants and pubs, Srijem and Slavonia will wish you a warm welcome in traditional, proven good restaurants where dishes are simmered, long and slow, with a lot of heart and a few secret ingredients, just like the daughters-in-law used to do.

The final stop is Sotin, the popular Gondola restaurant, and the picnic area. It is cooked there according to traditional, carefully selected recipes. You will enjoy fragrant Slavonian sausages, the famous shepherd's pie or delicious Šokac steaks with špecli, and the greasy bread and the finest saltines homemade jam owned by Aunt Luca look so good and entice with the scents that even the most notable characters will not resist. And only when you take the first bite, that is the taste of happiness.

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