October in Istria marks the beginning of autumn, and that means season of white truffles, young wine, mushrooms, olive oil. Shorter days and colorful landscapes show us the real autumn in its full splendor. This is the time when local producers enjoy fruits of their year-round work, but at the same time keep preparing for a long winter that will put everything to sleep until March, or even April. This October, Istria prepared a warm preview of winter season that’s ahead of us:
TRUFFLE DAYS IN ISTRIA
Buzet, Motovun, Livade, (October, November)
Truffle, or in Croatian, tartuf, is unarguably the king of mushrooms in Istrian gastronomy. Although truffles can be found in some parts of France and Italy, which are respectful gastronomical destinations, Istria holds the Guinness Record for the biggest white truffle in the world. In Istria, truffles are most commonly found in woods around Motovun, Livade and Buzet. These Istrian towns have dedicated October and November to gastronomic manifestations that celebrate this mushroom that people either love or can’t stand. Truffles are most often prepared with omelette, traditional Istrian pasta fuži, or with a good piece of beefsteak.
Want to discover your favorite truffle combination? Find out on these events during October and November:
Tuber (food) festival, Istrian white truffle fair, Livade, (October 20-21)
Festival of Teran and Truffles, Motovun (October 20)
Truffle Weekend, Buzet (November 3-4)
Oprtalj-Portole, October 14th
The long tradition of picking chestnuts hasn’t been properly celebrated in Istria until its first Chestnut festival in 2009 in Oprtalj-Portole, a small picturesque town situated on a hill, not far from Motovun. The tenth edition of this event, which is the only one of its kind in Istria, will reveal many interesting chestnut meals and desserts. The event will last during the whole day, and besides the exhibition and tasting part, it is accompanied by various workshops for children.
ISAP – International prosciutto fair
Tinjan, October 19-21
Istrian ham, known as Istarski pršut, is the most famous cured meat product in the region, and 3 years ago, its name entered the register of Protected Designation of Origin and Protected Geographical Indication. The harsh winters of central Istria give excellent conditions for processes of drying, so it is produced mostly that area. This autumn for the 12th time in a row, Tinjan, Istrian municipality of prosciutto, will celebrate ISAP, the International Fair of Prosciutto. Last year this famous prosciutto fair gathered numerous home and international prosciutto makers, and an approximate amount of 12 tons of prosciutto was sold and eaten. This year for the first time, the festival will last three days and will attract thousands of visitors.
Brtonigla-Verteneglio, October 27-28
The two-day event in Brtonigla, dedicated to mushrooms, is not all entertainment, it’s education as well. When Autumn arrives in Istria, many mushroom lovers rush to the woods for picking various kinds of mushrooms, around which they need to be very careful and well acquainted. How does autumn fun of mushroom picking in Istria look like? See for yourself at this two-day festival where you will first learn about mushrooms by going to the woods and after which on the second day you’ll enjoy mushroom delicacies.
ISTRIAN GRAPPA FESTIVAL
Hum, October 28
An occasional shot of brandy is what keeps many Istrians warm and prevents potential colds and flues during harsh crisp winters. In Istria, the most commonly produced brandies are honey brand, popularly known as medica, and mistletoe brandy called biska. In addition to being known as the world’s smallest city in the world with 20 inhabitants, Hum is also known for its mistletoe brandy recipe and has recently been named as the City of Mistletoe brandy. Every year at the end of October, famous brandy producers from all over Istria come to Hum to compete for the status of best brandy maker during a one-day festivity open for public! Cheers!
Photo courtesy of: Pexels, Pixabay, Central Istria Tourist Board
Author: Annamaria Gržetić
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