It was not too long ago in Croatia that the cost of čvarci were around £2 a kilo, but today at Croatian markets they are close to £10 a kilo. Čvarci from the region of Slavonia have started to make an impact on markets in Europe, and in particular the UK, where a kilo fetches a pricey £62.
One spot in London where the čvarci are selling well are the famous London Borough Markets.
“The London Borough Markets is a lively place, those looking for something special will go there, so čvarci have gone well there,” producer Tomislav Galović told N1, adding that at markets in the UK there is generally no bartering.
“They appreciate quality, originality and uniqueness in the UK.”
Preparation of čvarci involves melting the lard. Lard is cut in blocks of about one inch (2 cm) in size and slowly fried in their own fat. Milk may be added at this point in order to obtain the caramel colour. Process lasts until all fat melts away and only a kind of tough crispy pork rind remains. Onion or garlic may be added as a spice and salt is always used as condiment. Pieces of skin may or may not be attached. In most common varieties of čvarci, some percentage of pork fat remains.
Galović says that in the UK the thinner, saltier variety are prefered. (photo / divljabaranja.hr)