Thursday, April 5, 2012
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 canapés 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.