Blato's Lumblija - The Pride of Korčula's Gastronomy
Updated: Feb 19, 2019
In order to keep the traditional Blato cake “lumblija”, the Municipality of Blato, its Tourist Board and Cultural Institute Blatski fižuli holds in Dubrovnik and Blato, on island of Korčula, 7th Days of Blato Lumblija, from October 17-28.
Highlight is the evening of October 17th, when exhibition, degustation and award for the best Blato Lumblija will take place, together with presentation and degustation of authentic Blato liqueurs, special rakijas and other homemade products from the family farms. Special guests are traditional delicacies from the three another Croatian islands under a motto “Four islands – four places – four recipes”. Next to Lumblija, one can try Hrapoćuša cake from place of Dol on island of Brač; Starogrojski Paprenjok from Stari Grad on island of Hvar and Vis Pogača from island of Vis.
The program is presented also in Zagreb, in organisation of Association for table culture G.E.T., where a presentation of making this autochthonous Blato cake took place. Blato Lumblija and the manifestation was presented by director of the Tourist Board of Blato Maja Šeparović and director of Blatski Fižuli Ivana Sardelić, and the cake was made by Sanja Protić from a family farm in Blato which produces Blato Lumblija and other island delicacies.
Lumblija is an old cake made in Blato on island of Korčula. It is made for more than two hundred years and there is a legend from the Napoleonic times connected to this specialty. A legend has it there was a loving relationship between a French soldier who was also a baker and a young girl Blajka and this relationship had to seize to exist. When they were separating, he gives to his darling a cake saying “n’oublie pas” (don’t forget). The girl heard these words as Lumblija. When the soldier left, young Blajka and her name became part of many love stories, and Lumblija is left as a memory.
The legend linked to the Lumblija is just one of the stories connected to the making and tradition of existence of Lumblija in this region, which is relatively unknown, says Maja Šeparović, who tries to make the cake and tradition closer to contemporary and future visitors. She wants to make it easier to understand the cultural identity and traditional heritage of Blato and push for more tourist stories that are connected to this destination.
Blato Lumblija is made from special ingredients that are to be prepared and collected in the summer months. It contains cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, almonds, nuts, oranges, lemons and other ingredients, including indispensable varenik (traditional grape delicacies obtained by long-lasting cooking of young wine). The time when it is baked is time for memories of loved ones at the beginning of November.
Blato Lumblija is a story about the traditional way of life, about plant species and influences of nature through a unique product that builds a picture of the historical moment, environment and ways of life of Korčula and Dubrovnik, and is linked to a romantic love story. The legend that follows the formation of the Lumblija is a kind of link between French and Croatian culture and tradition through gastronomic unity. That's why the French restaurant Alegria was chosen as the venue for the presentation in Zagreb, and Bertrand Le Tallec, the French Embassy's economy advisor to the Republic of Croatia, was among the guests. "Croatia and France are very beautiful countries, both have wines, olives, gastronomy and good people. Our countries should be connected, not only through import and export of goods, but also in other ways," said Bertrand Le Tallec and expressed he wishes to visit Blato when he comes to Korčula.
Sanja Protić will, with the help of EU funds, open a workshop of Blato and Korčula gastronomy, so anyone who wants to make and try various traditional delicacies (or just taste and buy them), will have this unique opportunity. The process of protecting the geographic origin of the Blato Lumblija is also underway.