Culinary trip to Istria - Spring

Culinary trip to Istria - Spring

In this blog we`ll be writing about gourmet weekend in Istria during Spring. In here you will find information where to stay and what local dish or food you have to try while there.

Table of Contents

Istrian cuisine is a part of Mediterranean cuisine and in last 20 years Istrian cuisine has established itself as a world renown cuisine with abundance of fresh ingredients prepared using traditional recipes with a pinch of modernity. 

Asparagus dish from

If we would to describe Istrian cuisine in one word than “seasonal” is the word that depicts this cuisine best. Using locally produce products Istrian cuisine offers diversity of dishes throughout the year and your gourmet experience on Istrian food varies depending in which time of year you visit Istria. 

Also, we`ll be writing a sentence or two about Istrian wines that goes excellently with amazing food and villas that offers luxury villas where you can experience all that Istria has to offer.

Istrian Spring food

During Spring restaurants in Istria offers dishes with asparagus and other seasonal vegetables. Asparagus is wild grow plant with somewhat bitter-aromatic taste and they are extremely appreciated in Istrian cuisine. It is great nutritious and detox food, ideal for Spring time. Days of Istrian Asparagus are being held in several towns in Istria from 21st of March till 13th of May. During this two-month manifestation visitors get to see and taste a real asparagus extravaganza. 

Asparagus from


Preparation of this iconic Istrian dish is quite straightforward and you can find it in restaurants all year round with numerous variations that depends on the season and groceries available at the time. But in Spring fritaja is prepared with asparagus.

Frying asparagus with onion and bacon

Asparagus needs to be washed and soft part removed. Fry the finely chopped onion in olive oil for a while, add the asparagus, salt, pepper and sauté until the asparagus softens.  Also, cut them to smaller pieces. After the asparagus soften add beaten eggs and finish the frying when eggs are done. You can also add bits of prosciutto or bacon in the fritaja to add to the flavor. This hardy dish will surely give you strength for all the challenges that awaits you exploring beautiful Istrian countryside. 

Fritaja with asparagus from


Another great Istrian dish is nadeva (stuffing). Chickens were used to cooked whole and nadeva was used to stuff the chicken during cooking. In this way you`ll get three meals at once. Chicken soup, meat and a stuffing as a side dish. In modern times people start to prepare nadev separately as a single dish. You can cook nadeva in water but cooking it in a chicken soup adds to the flavor.    

Today, nadeva is prepared by mixing bread crumbs, grated cheese (Grana padano or parmesan), eggs, olive oil, salt and pepper. Depending on the season you add other ingredients but in spring time asparagus are absolute must in nadeva.

Spalleta giravolta

                                                                                                                                       Baked pork shoulder

Spalleta giravolta (pork shoulder) is traditionally prepared in Istria, especially during Easter time. Sliced parts of pork are fried on olive oil until it changes color and just before they are done you pour Malvasia vine and serve it warm. You will also find this dish prepared with fritaja with asparagus. 

Breakfast with asparagus from

During its short season asparagus is an absolute king of ingredient in Istrian cuisine and you can use it in a soup, with octopus’ salad and even as purée. In short, Spring time in Istria is all about asparagus.

Asparagus soup from

Lamb under čripnja

Also, while in Istria be sure to try out “lamb under čripnja”. This dish is considered a true gourmet treat throughout coastal part of Croatia; Istria included. 



Čripnja or iron bell is put over the plate filed with lamb meat, potatoes and depending on season zucchini or tomatoes, red paprika and onion. Čripnja is then covered with embers and leave it to cook for two to three hours. Meat is usually cooked as a whole and sliced after.

Istrian wines

Istria is renown wine region and what better after a delicious meal than a good glass of wine.


There are two wine varieties that are dominant in Istria, Malvasia and Terran.


Malvasia (also known as Malvazia) is a group of wine grape varieties grown historically in the Mediterranean. This variety prefers dry climates and sloping terrain of well drained soils. Malvasia is golden, fragrant and flavorful wine that offers hints of apricots, muscat, and almond. 

Wine from

Malvasia grape found in Istria is indigenous variety and difference between Istrian and other Malvasia is that other Malvasia wines are sweet wines while Istrian Malvasia is dry. It is often served with white fish, risotto, shellfish and white meat.

Other sorts of white wines than you can find in Istria are Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Momjan`s Muscat and Sauvignon. 


When it comes to red wine than Teran is Istria pride and joy. This red wine is very aromatic, rich in flavor and with strong personality. Terran is grown in soils with rich content of iron. 

Wine from

First mention of this indigenous variety of wine was first mentioned some 600 years ago and ever since it has been unavoidable part of Istria! If you are a meat lover that this is the wine for you because Teran goes excellently with meat dishes, prosciutto and sausages. Also, famous Istrian dish, suppa, is prepared with Teran.

Other sorts of red wines in Istria are Borgonja (another authentic Istrian sort), red Muskat and Merlot.

Istria is a region filled with great vineries and be sure to check wine routes near place you are staying at.

Where to stay in Istria?

It`s Spring time and it is an ideal time to enjoy the nature to the fullest. Surrounded with nature that you can explore during long walks and luxuriously equipped, holiday homes and villas situated in rural parts of Istria are ideal for a great weekend getaway. 

Villa Grand Horizon

Also, heated pool and jacuzzi sounds great after all day hiking, right?

Check out our selection of villas for a fabulous weekend getaway in Istria.

Luxury Villa Aurum with Pool

This ultra-modern villa is situated in Kastelir in Central Istria will leave no one indifferent. On large estate of 1000 myou will find every luxury imaginable. 

Luxury Villa Aurum with Pool

From heated pool with magical night lights immediately captures your attention. The interior of this magnificent villa with its blue velvet and golden details exudes with luxury. Villa is fully equipped to provide extremely comfort weekend for up to 12 guests. Ideally situated it offers great possibilities for exploring the surroundings of rural Istria.

Luxury Villa Aurum with Pool

Grand Horizon with Pool

This 3-bedroom villa offers a stunning view over the Butoniga Lake and picturesque surrounding of Istrian countryside.

Villa Grand Horizon

This 5-star villa is situated on a 3000 mproperty. On this large estate guest can enjoy in walking among almost 300 olive trees. There is an organic garden that guests can use freely. Also, villas guests will surely appreciate that Villa Grand Horizon has an Eco Domus certificate making it an eco-friendly.

Villa Grand Horizon

Villa Josephine with Pool

Villa spreads over 2 floors and offers beautiful and soothing views on Istrian countryside. Lots of greenery that is surrounding the villa creates a peaceful atmosphere that is just calling you to sit back and soak up the war spring sun.

Villa Josephine with Pool

Fully equipped to provide luxurious accommodation for up to 9 guests this villa is an ideal choice for your Istrian weekend getaway.  

Villa Josephine with Pool

We hope that after reading this blog you will put Istria on your “to visit” list and be sure that when you do come to Istria you try out some of the traditional dishes that put this region on a culinary map of Europe. Also, do not forget to write us back about your experience.

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