Istrian specialities have all but become a gastronomic brand. Although various traditions have entwined together to create the Istrian cuisine, today it is specific and recognisable but also healthy given that it is based on ecological, pure nature. A meal may begin with home-style pršut and sheep cheese, followed by a plate of homemade jote (vegetable stew with sauerkraut) or maneštre (vegetable stews), finished off with fuži (traditional local pasta) with wild game or chicken sauce, or roasted ombolo (traditionally prepared pork loins) with homemade sausages with cooked sauerkraut.
However, the pinnacles of gastronomic delights are truffles and Istrian truffles because of their high quality are amongst the most valued in the world. They are best with pasta meals, with meat and fish fillets but also with ordinary scrambled eggs. Olive oil is another trademark of Istra, also due to its exceptional quality. Aside from being served with pršut and cheese or as a base for many other meals, olive oil is a must with fish. And of course there can never be enough seafood specialities. Regardless of whether they are breaded or grilled scampi, grilled gilthead or broiled dory, mixed shells buzara style (stew style) or scallops topped with melted cheese and olive oil, grilled calamari or calamari risotto, Istrian style cod or fish stew, crab meat salad or octopus salad – these delicacies have no equal. They are of course best finished off with an excellent Istrian wine. Seafood meals are best served with Poreč malvazija, meat and past on the other hand go best with Motovun teran, while deserts (fritule or kroštule – traditional deserts similar to donuts) are best with momjan mu�kat. Istrian supa (traditional Istrian soup) is also a special Istrian treat.
Among the hundreds of Istrian restaurants it is difficult to pick out the best, especially since every year even the least known are of increasing quality, however, we will list a number of the most popular. The specialties of the Pula restaurant “Milan” are scallops, scampi risotto and frog-fish, while “Valsabbion” in the Pješćana Uvala can be proud of its creative Mediterranean cuisine, “Alla Beccacia” in Valbandon prepares snipe, wild game and mixed meat baked under the peka (bell shaped metal lid), “Sveti Nikola” in Poreč which serves a scampi carpaccio, octopus and frog-fish or fish fillet with asparagus and black truffles, “San Rocco” in Brtonigli offers polenta with mushrooms and venison saueed in teran wine, while the “Zigante” in Livade serves various meals – including ice-cream – with truffles.
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