Homemade Delicacies from the Karst
KARST DISHES ARE A FUSION OF TRADITION AND PLEASURE
The preparation of the dishes is connected with the producers of the food, teran, Karst juniper spirit, Karst honey, and naturally the producers of meat products: the prosciutto, the pancetta, and kraški zašink all bear the mark of protected geographical indication.
The elegance of the gastronomical culture comes alive in the tasteful herbal frtaljas made from wild asparagus, fennel, lemon balm, and elder and zucchini flowers, which you will find hard to resist. You will also enjoy taking a few spoonfuls of the Karst yota stew and minestrone. The people of Karst will serve up numerous other dishes when you visit, however you will be forging an eternal bond once you taste the real Karst prosciutto and the teran, which will keep you coming back to the Karst for more.
The most widely recognized meat product is certainly Karst prosciutto – a geographically designated gastronomical phenomenon.
This is a dried meat product from the group of Mediterranean prosciuttos. Their common characteristic is a long curing process without any smoking, which includes dry salting with the use of coarse sea salts, extended salting or resting, and drying and maturing. The sea salt is actually the only additive used in production, and is crucial to prosciutto’s durability and taste.
KRAŠKA PANCETA (KARST PANCETTA)
The Karst pancetta is made from the meaty pork bacon from pigs with protected geographical designation.
A slice of the characteristic rectangular shape consists of the meaty parts with thin layers of bacon. The delicious meat is dried and matured without any heat treatment, with only coarse sea salt used.
Another geographically designated delicacy with recognized gastronomical value is the kraški zašink.
This special production from pork shoulder includes a dry salting procedure with coarse sea salt. It has a characteristic cylindrical shape, with the color of the muscular tissue from red to pink in the middle, and darker on the edges. The fat grown into the tissue gives it a special flavor.
SHEEP AND GOAT HERDING
Sheep and goat herding has a long tradition in the Karst. The Karst sheep/Istrian pramenka is also one of the four Slovenian indigenous breed of sheep. The protection of the Karst lamb with the designation of origin is based on the location, quality, and the sustainable breeding of the animals.
The high quality is the result of a natural diet with the feed’s varied herbal composition and free-range pasture practices in the Mediterranean climate.
The Karst sheep and goat cheeses contain specific sensory and structural properties. The climate and the limestone bedding influence the high level of aromatic substances, such as grasses, clovers, and herbs.
THE KARST HONEY
Another member of the family of products with protected designation of origin is also the Karst honey.
The climate and the microclimate make the honey dry and mature, with a strong aroma. It is rich in minerals and enzymes. According to bee pasture locations and time the typical types of Karst honey are maheleb cherry, wild cherry, acacia, chestnut, linden, winter savory, as well as flower and forest honey.
On the fields in the heart of the Karst there are vast groves of lavender (Lavandula), the evergreen Mediterranean plant with tiny blossoms ranging from blue to gray-violet. They are a sight to behold in the summer, when they blossom and are harvested. Each year the traditional Lavender Festival in the Karst also features showcases of manual and machine harvesting.
KARST JUNIPER BRANDY
The Karst juniper brandy is a high-quality brandy made from juniper berries, and also has a protected appellation of origin. The six-month maturation gives it a recognizable bouquet and a soothing, harmonic and full bodied flavor. Juniper oil also has healing properties. It is used for treating stomach issues and pains in the abdomen, as well as skin diseases, and inhaling its vapors is recommended when fighting a cold.