Updated: Feb 19, 2019
To sit in the house of Mr. Vojko Škopić and talk to him, his wife, and his mother, is a time well spent. Time well spent was also idea of Mr Vojko at the time he retired. He devoted this time to gardening and olive growing. As usual, this hobby turned to be a job by itself and quite soon Mr. Vojko became the biggest olive oil producer on the island of Ugljan.
In the picturesque part of the island, the family cares for some 250 olive trees, which give between five and six tons of olives annually. The local olive growing association confirmed the quality of Škopić’s products by giving him golden and silver award for olive oil in 2016. His extra-virgin olive oil has gained the prestigious title of the Croatian Island Product. In their olive grove there are sorts of oblica, leccino and pendolino. We tasted the award-winning oil in old-style kitchen, while talking about food memories with ladies of the house.
The oil is beautifully green, with the scent of grass, and with strong taste. Mrs. Škopić, who is proudly mentioning she is from Preko and not from Ugljan, says she was used to the old-style olive oil, made mild after olives are soaked in seawater. Afterwards, she learned the healthy qualities of very fresh olive oil making. After the day of picking, Mr. Škopić drives the olives directly to the mill, in order to be the first user of the press. Otherwise, he risks contamination by some other smaller producers who still soak the olives in sea. Thus, Škopić olive oil may be the purest oil of the island, as attested also by the chemical control.
Although this olive oil and piece of bread would be enough for a solid snack, they offered us homemade salted anchovies, which go perfectly with the strong oil. In some older days, these would be a brunch for the kings, together with homemade cherry liqueur and homemade red wine. There are still some vineyards left on Ugljan, but big disaster hit the island in the 1980s, when almost all vineyards were burned in a devastating fire. Desolation brought revival of vegetation and Ugljan is certainly among the greenest islands in the Adriatic.
A pleasant time spent with the Škopić family included a short tour of their beautiful garden. Adorned by olive and orange trees, they care for anything that grows on the island, from vegetables to herbs. A self-sustaining family obviously eats healthy and enjoy the life on this gorgeous island.
OPG Škopić Fortoška ul. 16, Ugljan 00385 (0)23 288048; 00385 (0)98 9407880 firstname.lastname@example.org