June 4, Pula

Homemade honey, homemade meat, homemade olive tree products, and much more – this will all be a part of Aromas and flavours of Istria (HandMade by Markat) which will be held on Pula’s market.


From 10:00 am on, spring delicacies made from homegrown potatoes, onions, mushrooms, dried sausages and various spices and herbs, with everything cooked in a huge Pula pan, will make this festival even better.


June 4 – June 5, Varaždin

Gourmet Varaždin is a two day event that calls for exploration and tasting of ethno-gastronomic delicacies from across the Varaždin area. You can visit the open-air restaurant and try not only well-known flavours, but also new dishes prepared using traditional recipes and indigenous ingredients, all prepared by top chefs from Varaždin’s restaurants.


An integral part of the event is the Healthy Food Fair which will allow local manufacturers to present a wide range of local products.

Apart from the ones from Varaždin, Gourmet Varaždin will host caterers from neighbouring counties and the visitors will have the opportunity to taste delicacies and wine from across Northern Croatia.


June 5 – June 12, Daruvar

Good wine connoisseurs know that Daruvar has, for a long time, been known for its excellent varieties of grapes and fine wines. Growing grapes in this region is a centuries-old tradition, because sweet and sunny slopes of Papuk provide ideal conditions for growing. Vinodar – International wine exhibit is the most significant event of the town of Daruvar and its vintners. The first part of the week consists of various lectures, field workshops, professional evaluations of wines, round tables devoted to the cultivation of vines, wine production and conservation, and much more.


The event lasts seven days, and the last three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) are held on the main town square, where visitors are introduced to rich cuisine, cheese, honey and honey products, Slavonian ham, sausage, kulen sausage and a wide range of local wines, spirits and various liqueurs. Also there is an exhibit of traditional crafts, souvenirs and handcrafts.  Saturday is reserved for the Vinodar parade which presents a long tradition of wine growing and wine production in Daruvar, it shows all of the work in vineyards, ancient tools and modern machinery and it’s all imbued with folklore music and dancing. For adventurers there is an aero picnic during which a paintball tournament is held, flights of para gliders, kites and airplanes, and various entertainment. Evening hours are reserved for concerts by famous Croatian musicians and restaurants are open 24 hours.


June 3 – June 4, Novigrad-Cittanova, Mandrač

This is an amazing gastronomic manifestation celebrating scallops as well as other shellfish and seafood, promoting Novigrad as an important gastronomic destination with specific gastronomic specialties.


The Novigrad scallop which, according to many, is the best in the world, definitely belongs to this group. The programme will take place in the town harbour, the so called Mandrač, and the offer of dishes with scallop and other shellfish at symbolic prices will be spread over a several dozen meters long table along Mandrač.


The offer will include the specialties made by numerous Novigrad’s restaurants and taverns, winemakers, olive growers, souvenir manufactures and much more.  Within the programme there will be show-cooking of several dishes from scallops.
The manifestation will of course include an appropriate music and animation programme, with traditional music, funny games, children’s corner with animation, etc.

Gnam Gnam Fest – 7th Novigrad scallop night – Istria, Croatia



June 3 – 5, Biograd na moru

This event represents the wealth of Croatian oenology, cuisine and ecology.

The goal of this Festival – held on a single long table under the slogan “Connecting Green and Blue” – is to achieve a connection between the continental and coastal regions of Croatia. We are pleased to say that there’s an outstanding interest for this event.


This weekend festival, in which artisans from around the country and local restaurateurs join together and present their offerings on a communal table, which grows in size each year, is the official beginning of the tourist season.

The date of the event is June 3th to 5th, 2016 and the venue is the shore of Kralj Petar Krešimir IV (the main promenade) in Biograd on the sea.


June 1 – June 7, Rijeka

Cherries are harbingers of summer. Due to possessing a high level of antioxidants, cherries one of 25 foods that reduce aging effects and are ranked third among fruits that lower blood cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. The anthocyanin that gives cherries their bright red colour has anti-inflammatory properties. Fresh cherries help reduce physical and mental exhaustion, while sour cherries help uplift your mood.


Cherries are part of the rose family and originate from Asia Minor. Depending on the sort, cherries can ripen either in May or June. In these parts, the best known sort is the biggest and the most succulent one, the so-called brtošinka, named after the seaman Brtošin, who supposedly brought it here from South America. It is the most succulent in mid-June, during the celebration of St. Vitus, the patron saint of Rijeka.

Those are just some of the reason why you should check out the Cherry week in Rijeka!


Apartman Ema

If you dream of holiday surrounded by picturesque Zagorje hills, your morning coffee with birds singing, then Apartman Ema is just that! Situated in greenery of Klokovec village, it may well be a great rural getaway!


The greenery of house’s yard is fascinated, and many guests simply enjoy the garden barbecue and beautiful terrace. The house is newly decorated and offers a magnificent view on hills, where you can walk in search for old wooden Zagorje vineyard houses (klet).


Apartman Ema is in vicinity of Krapinske and Tuheljske Toplice, where guests can enjoy spa, pools, thermal waters, and fun. Active holiday abounds and you can choose hunting, riding, and baloon fly.

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The interior of house is made in harmony of old and new. Wooden parts resemble the old Zagorje houses, as well as old grandma’s furniture, while the utilities offer all the comfort of modern age. The place caters for four people, and extra bed for children is possible to obtain.

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Everything is ready for peaceful and relaxed holiday here – from satellite TV, central heating, climatisation, kitchen utilities, wifi, and parking place.


Apartman EMA
Klokovec 220, Krapinske Toplice

Štrukli and Štruklijada

The region north of the Croatian capital, called Zagorje, has always been known for its thermal spas, as well as cultural sights and natural landmarks. On their departure, tourists would always supply themselves with local, home-grown, groceries (like cottage cheese and sour cream, fruit and vegetables, poultry – the renown turkey – honey, and, of course, wine).


To all that, the local household farms would always serve a dish known as štrukli. Basically, it’s a pastry made of thin-spread dough made of mais and wheat flour, filled with a mix of cottage cheese and eggs, covered in sour cream and baked in a brick oven. Due to the constant growth of demands for gastronomic experiences and the influx of visitors to local restaurants, the traditional recipe for the mentioned dish was lost over time. In order to revive the traditional dish, to be prepaired accordingly in the future, a gremium of agronomers, gastronomers and local tourist boards, decided to promote štrukli as an original, local brand, that is to be promoted as part of a traditional cuisine of Zagorje.


To do so, the local community came up with an annual food festival, known as Štruklijada, with its primary goal to establish zagorski štrukli as an internationally recognizable brand. The festival doesn’t only attract a lot of tourists, but also local caterers, who want to demonstrate their own skills in preparing štrukli and win the title of the First štrukli of Zagorje.

In the past, it were the local housewives from Zagorje (which is mostly part of Krapina County), who were showing off their unique expertise in preparing štrukli, with some minor differences in preparation, throughout the rest of Central Croatia. Zagorje has always been known as a real treasure chest hiding unusual regales, which the poverty-stricken, yet ingenious local women, came up with, to nurish their large families. Štrukli can be prepared sweet or salty, they can be cooked or baked, they can be served in a soup, as a couvert, dessert, main dish or just a snack.

Every part of the Croatian northern region has its own version of the mentioned pastry. All variants consist of a thin-spread dough, which is filled with a mixture of cottage cheese, sour cream and eggs, then rolled, and (usually) put in a ceramic (clay) casserole and baked in a brick oven. The dish has been made that way for centuries, and as such isn’t known anywhere else in the world. Once the home-grown gourds and pumpkins come to ripe, the variant of štrukli known as bućnica (pumpkin roll) is made. There is also a variant including poppy seeds and sugar beet. Pending on the filling, the štrukli are called differently: sirni (cheese), bućini (pumpkin’s), makači (poppy’s) and z repom (beet’s).

How to make štrukli?
The ingredients are mixed as follows: one part bread flour is mixed with one part cake flour. Some lukewarm water with a spritz of vinegar is added, along with salt, one egg and two spoons of sunflower oil. All is well knead until the dough begins to separate from the bord. The dough is then cut into stripes, which are to be covered with a clean dishtowel or a rag, and left to rest for an hour. Then each stripe is to be spread with a rolling pin on a table cloth, then sprinkled with some sunflower oil, and finally spread by hand across the table. The thicker ends are torn off by hand. The dough is then filled from one curb, then sprinkled with some melted butter, margarine or oil (in order not to fall flat and stick) and then rolled with the table cloth to the opposite side. It’s then put into a buttered casseroll, and cut with a plate in wished length, before it’s put into the oven, or with a knife, after it’s baked.
To make them sweet, a spoon of sugar is added to the filling.


Photos by:

In the realm of Rudarska Greblica – Nikl’s Bakery

In the hilly outskirts of Samobor, a ten-minute-drive away from the main square, at the very end of a creek called Rude, surrounded by heavily forested peaks in the north and lush meadows in the south, lies the home of the Nikl family, along with a pastry shop and a bakery. There, the Nikl family has been producing pastry since 1978. Truth be told, it was Nikl senior, who upon his return from Germany, having gained a vast knowledge from some of the best German Bäckermeisters, took up the bakery business, and at first baked only bread and buns, which were sold to local supermarkets and schools in the area.


However, soon the business took up, and the Nikls were baking many special pastries according to ancient recipes, following one simple principle: using as little yeast as possible with a mixture of sourdough made according to a family recipe. Today, the bakery is run by Andrejas Nikl (junior), and the Nikls are proud owners of two more stores located in the town of Samobor, as well as in several healthy food shops  in Croatia´s capital – Zagreb.

The family have been producing the finest pastries in the area for over three decades now, and I am a bit nervous, since I have never heard of the family prior, though I´ve visited the area on many occasions. I´ve been told to pay special attention to a thing called Rudarska greblica (“Miner’s peel”), a simple, yet very tasty pastry, which is the highlight in the Nikls´ production line.


The salty cake has been mentioned only once in writing – in a book printed in 1915, by Milan Lang, an organist and writer, who spent his entire life in Samobor. There, it is described as a “thin doe filled with cheese and walnuts”. Rudarska greblica dates back to the sixteenth century, when the busy housewives of Rude had little time to prepare lunch for their miner husbands, who were slaving away at the local ore mine, Sv. Trojstvo (Saint Trinity).

Today, Rudarska greblica is made with many fillings: walnuts, hazelnuts, carrots, nettle, spinach, peppermint, chard or scallion. However, there are some fundamental rules to what a true greblica should look like, and how it is made. The dough cannot be too thick, nor too thin, and the filling must consist of cottage cheese and some other ingredients. It must be salty and the curbs must be pressed up, so that the filling doesn´t leak.


It is a sunny morning when I arrive at the Nikl home, after a half-hour bus drive from Zagreb, along with my photographer, Jordie. A tiny dog greets us in front of the pastry shop. I think it is a Yorkshire Terrier, but Jordie disagrees. We are welcomed by an employee, who was cutting a marble gugelhupf, as we were walking in, but we´re soon delegated to the owner´s mother, who excused her son, since he had a delivery to run in the capital.


The smiling lady immediately takes some marble cake and serves it along with orange juice, offering us a tour of the estate later on. For the next fifteen minutes we are sitting on a wooden bench in front of the store, gazing at the green peaks across the street, enjoying our marble gugelhupf and orange juice.

Fifteen minutes and a marble cake later, a delivery van stops in front of us. A young man jumps out, carrying a smartphone and some writing utensils with him. I think it´s a delivery boy, and in a way I was right. The well-groomed, smiling man reaches out with his right arm to welcome us, and I am stunned to learn that the guy is the owner – Andrejas Nikl. I still gaze at his tattooed forearm, and the tight black shirt and bleached jeans, thinking that the guy is a frontman to a rock band, but after he leaves us for a second, walking out the store with an apron, which he professionally tights around his waist, I know I am standing in front of a professional pastry chef.

Photo by: Zlatko Brajdić

My photographer is given free hand to take pictures of everything she likes. We walk into the production area, and there, at least five women wearing baker´s attire, are neck deep in dough. I am surprised. Mister Nikl, or Andrejas, since he is very informal, takes charge and pulls out two blobs of dough, and then the magic begins. In a matter of seconds the dough is spread in a thin, square shaped layer, pulled onto a sheet pan. Then he takes a bowl and fills it with the cooled cottage cheese mixture, and adds some grinded walnuts and salt to it, stirring it together with a spoon. He then covers one half of the doe with the mixture, and then overlaps the whole with the other half.


I ask him about the right dough mixture. Andrejas explains, that a good doe is made with flour, water, milk, eggs, sour cream, sunflower oil, salt, sugar and some yeast, while the filling mainly consists of cottage cheese, eggs, salt, sugar and sunflower oil. In a matter of seconds the square shaped cake disappears in the big oven, and half an hour later should be done. However, we are lucky to get a baked greblica, still hot, for tasting, and are shocked how delicious it is. I am told that the cake has been celebrated since 1985 every year during the “Days of Rudarska greblica”, and that since 2007 it is registered in Croatia´s Protected cultural heritage index (number 44).

Photo by: Nikl Bakery

After my second round of this tasty delight, I sense that the whole bakery is now running at full speed, and we don´t wish to keep our busy hosts from their running errands. Andrejas tells us about the old local water mill which is about a hundred meters away, which we are to visit before we jump the bus back to Samobor. My photographer, of course, can´t wait to snap a couple more pictures of the green surrounding. We shake hands one final time and are sent off with a plastic bag containing one whole greblica and a gugelhupf marble cake wrapped up in tin foil. If this is how they welcome reporters in the Samobor area – I don´t wish to ever leave!

Bakery Nikl
Rude 352, Samobor
Tel./fax: 00385 1 3379-048, Mob: 00385 91 3379 048

Text by: Branimir Luka Tomić
Photos by: Jordi Ilić

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