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Croatian Čvarci off to Conquer China


Croatia’s largest čvarci producer is set to enter the lucrative Chinese market…

Frelimo, who is the largest producer of the Croatian pork scratching čvarci, have just returned from a trade fair in Shanghai where they have been promoting their popular product, and are now in the process of obtaining the necessary paperwork to export the product on the lucrative Chinese market.

“Wherever we go everyone is delighted with čvarci. We realised that the urban population as well as the younger generation love this traditional Croatian product, so we came up with a variant – a delicacy čvarci which is made almost completely from squeezed fat and formed into a crunchy, thin strip that can be eaten alone as a modern snack,” Frelino’s Miroslav Mataušić told Poslovni.hr.

Frelimo, who already export to Germany, Sweden and Switzerland, last year alone sold 43 tonnes of čvarci.
The company last year were awarded the “Superior Taste Award” in Brussels by the International Taste & Quality Institute for their čvarci.

The awards are based on 60 chefs and 60 sommeliers blind testing around 1,300 food products.

Once a cheap rustic countryside specialty, čvarci have now become an expensive delicacy in Croatia, and they are now also fetching astronomical prices overseas as well. 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.

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. The 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.

(photo / divljabaranja.hr)

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