Šurlice - Scent of Spring
A specific Krk pasta – šurlice – became a signature dish of this northern Adriatic island, the biggest one in Croatia. Many local restaurants and taverns have šurlice on their menus, preserving it as one of the highlights of the Krk gastronomy.
In fact, there isn’t a simpler dish. You just need flour, oil, and water. Some add salt, some don’t. Easy, isn’t it? Well, quite the contrary. The form of šurlice is made with very skilful hands, coiling on the small wooden stick. Some say šurlice is home dish of the town Vrbnik, others claim it should be fair to say it was eaten all over Krk. Today, for sure, šurlice is island’s pride, and it is fair to say it goes perfectly with the Vrbnik Žlahtina, prime wine of the island.
Šurlice is a festive meal. Usually, it was made for weddings and sometimes for holidays. In other days, usually on Sundays, people ate macaronis. Thus, šurlice had a special status and were made with special care. Originally, šurlice should go with lamb stew, but today different variations and combinations are available in the Krk taverns.
The most important is the sauce, as it gives a distinctive flavour of every pasta. To detect real šurlice, they must be thinner, and not so soft as other pasta. If you come across this kind of šurlice, you know it is the real thing! And another good blend is to combine it with some local herbs. As a Mediterranean island, Krk is rich in herbs and Mediterranean spices. It is especially felt in spring, when lots of herbs are ready to be used in various dishes. Asparagus is definitely one of them.
It is a vegetable fit for a king, a treasure trove of health, food, medicine, and an aphrodisiac all in one…. These are just some of the epithets used by asparagus aficionados worldwide to describe their fascination with the plant that has been considered a symbol of life and nature awakening from their respective slumbers since time immemorial.
Although it is common in Croatia, asparagus season lasts the longest in the northern Adriatic. It is a mainstay of Kvarner cuisine, especially during Easter, when it signals the blossoming of life and the return to the outside world. The Christian iconography is best exemplified in the gastronomical blend of asparagus and eggs, the fritaje, which is a common way of preparing asparagus in the region. It is an excellent complement to sea food, especially the sweet Kvarner prawn with sheep’s curd, a natural symbiosis of Kvarner right there on your plate!
Our own experience with asparagus blended with šurlice was also divine, especially in the Tavern Pod Prevolt, and as part of dish in the restaurant Mulino. Ideal for vegetarians, it features this healthy wild and green vegetable that rises naturally in the Mediterranean climate. On the other hand, the House of Krk Prosciutto welcomed us with beautiful šurlice with prosciutto and rocket.