Thursday, April 5, 2012

Croatian cheese

One of the pleasures of travelling is checking out another country's cheese scene so I was looking forward to finding out what Istria in northern Croatia had to offer when I visited it last week.

The answer was not a great deal of distinction, just a lot of simply made fresh cheeses and a few aged, Pecorino-style ones. Cheese seems to be served almost as a condiment, accompanying vegetable dishes like asparagus or cold meats such as Istrian ham.

It's much more likely to be used at the beginning of a meal or as an accompaniment to a wine-tasting

Or as a selection of canap├ęs at a buffet as with this hotel brunch (top and below).

Or it may be roughly grated, Pecorino-style, over a plate of pasta (in this case pasta with wild asparagus).

So there don't appear to be many strong cheeses but maybe that's deliberate so it can act as a foil for Croatia's gorgeous, grassy olive oil.


Alessandra said...

I never tried pecorino from Istria, I am curious now :-).
FYI, I have a make your own mozzarella post here


Fiona Beckett said...

Wow, that is really impressive. Take my hat off to you, Alessandra

Anette said...

I visited Istria a couple of years ago and found Paski Sir from the island of Pag. A really tasteful hard cheese made of sheep's milk. A bit like Trentino, the Italian cheese. In 2010 it was named the World’s Best New Cheese at the World Cheese Awards. Try it!

I got in contact with Simon Kerr, who represent the diary. When I went to London last year he wrote to me about where to find the cheese:
You can find our cheese in a few places. 1st La Fromagerie on Moxon Street, it's one of the most prestigious cheese mongers in the UK and I know you will love it there, it's a very special place. 2nd London Borough Market. Our importers D'Issa have a stall there in the Jubilee area (it's a very big market) and the cheese is doing very well. D'Issa sell many Croatian delights so I am sure you will enjoy it there also. I hope you have a great time in London, thanks for everything.