What is Istria without pasta, and what is pasta in Istria without pljukanci? It is very difficult today to come to an Istrian tavern or restaurant that does not serve a whole range of Istrian pasta, and often there are pljukanci among them. The story seems easy. Add a little salt to the flour, pour hot water over it (repeat, hot, not cold because that would make the pljukanci fall apart), knead the dough. Then the small pieces are separated with the fingers and rolled between the palms two to three times, rubbed on a board in spindle spades, and thrown into boiling water. Of course, the exercise makes a master.
Such a master is Mrs. Lucija Venier, who creates generational Istrian dishes in her beautiful family farm in Kaštelir. With her, however, you will not often hear that pljukanci are made, but žbirići, as the name for them is in this part of Istria. Žbirići shall be made not only by members of her family, but also by guests who have a unique opportunity to make pasta themselves. Since they then cook and eat it, our team still "got sick" of laziness, and with a glass of excellent local wine - Malvasia and Borgonja - waited until the žbirići turned into a delicious dish through the hands of other visitors. There are not only žbirići in the offer of Šjora Lucija's place, but there are also homemade gnocchi, posutice, lasagna, fuži.
The newly acquired experience in the kitchen is then enriched with beef stew or homemade vegetable salsa, which are eaten in a rustically decorated snack bar that cools from the heat in summer and warms from the bora in winter. The beef is brilliantly prepared, with a noticeably soft meat texture, and is served in rustic and colourful pots.
The vegetarian version is equally delicious, and it is on the table mostly because of foreign guests. They come by bike and live a healthy life, although we in our team quickly agreed that there is no moving away from meaty flavours until further notice! All this is poured with a little wine and bread is dipped in olive oil, and it is an additional pleasure when you realize that both wine and wheat and olives are from family production!
Apart from pasta, the family of Lucija Venier is also known for making homemade cakes such as fritule, kroštule and biškoti. And here is the real art that is almost shyly shown to guests in one corner of the tavern: these are the series of plaques and awards that Lucia has won over the years. She was a multiple winner at the festival of homemade cakes, Sweet Istria, in Vižinada with her fritule, so we tasted these traditional and always present Istrian desserts that enchant with their taste. Lucija also won with her pinca, kroštuli, paštini.
It goes without saying that these flavours are enjoyed. Additional respect for the entire field-to-table process is also required. With the exception of the mill, where flour is obtained from their cereals, all the other ingredients of this family farm are exclusively the fruit of the work and will of the Venier family. And this is where this important determinant of the family-agricultural economy can be seen: the family runs and operates an economy that is primarily focused on agriculture, with a unique and great offer of culinary workshops!
OPG Lucija Venier
Kaštelir 65, 52464 Kaštelir
+385 (0) 52455198