The goat is so closely associated with Istria that this noble animal was found on the coat of arms, as well as in the names of many Istrian business ventures. One of the tastiest such ideas is Capra, the Istrian version of the world-famous food trucks or restaurants on wheels that change their location and thus delight fans of good food in an affordable way. We visited them at the Rijeka Advent, which enriched Rijeka's pre-Christmas offer at Rijeka Resolution Square.
The first tastes were rewarded with those nice chance encounters where people we once saw on our travels are recognised. Toni once built his hospitality career in the family restaurant Due Fratelli, a culinary icon of the Labin region, which is located halfway between Labin and Rabac. Changes in business brought him to Capra - Istrian Street Food, where talents are built in a different but equally delicious way.
We started the meeting with boiled Cannella, which is much more sweet than boiled wine, found in large quantities all over Croatian Christmas stands. Quality ingredients are very important, and at Capra, quality essences are found in glass bottles of Aura from Buzet.
Food trucks started appearing in Croatia in the last five years with various festivals. Capra regularly participates in similar events in Trsat, Krk, Pula. A serious kitchen with a large capacity is based on Istrian recipes.
Two successful Capra foods were soon on our table. One is the žgvacet burger, in which chicken žgvacet is harmoniously found in a brioche bun, enriched with caramelised onions, radicchio and homemade flavoured salsa. Istrian žgvacet is special because it is made exclusively from chicken meat, as this poultry was once the most common source of meat in the Istrian countryside.
Also, Istrian žgvacet is prepared in the reverse order of goulash. First, the meat is fried, then plenty of onions, sliced tomatoes and wine are added. It is most often served with Istrian pasta, for example with fuži. But Capra made a great turn and served this typical Istrian dish in the most delicious way possible in a burger! The meat is separated from the bones, mixed with other ingredients and placed in a tasty burger.
In addition, we tasted Veli Joža, an Istrian sausage in a bun with stewed sauerkraut, crispy onions, homemade sauce with garlic, rosemary and malvasia. And this is a classic Istrian delicacy. Istrian sausage is a dry cured meat product obtained from coarsely ground pork with the addition of solid fatty tissue, sea salt, pepper and garlic boiled in Istrian malvasia. Adapted to burgers, Veli Jože delights far more than the usual offer of debrecin sausages and dubious other meats that can be found.
Capra also offers daily brunches, among which maneštra and jota are the leading ones. We tried the excellent manestra, and with it we also got sweet potato fries, which are normally offered with cow's cheese and homemade truffle sauce. In Istria, more and more restaurants offer sweet potatoes, which means that our largest peninsula is (finally) starting to turn towards higher quality vegetables, including vegetarian dishes. In Capra, they obviously got it right! In season, a veggie burger is also served, which is not so popular in the colder months of the year.
Capra makes everyone happy who recognises a goat on a food truck, so we will regularly look out for these features that guarantee excellent Istrian food!
Photos: Taste of Adriatic i Capra - Istrian Street Food