On Sunday evening, August 14, the streets of Vižinada on Croatia’s Istrian peninsula smelled of traditional Istrian sweets as the 24th edition of the widely known Sweet Istria event, which after a two-year break gathered more than 2,000 visitors with an exhibition of cakes, a rich program and a great party.
Locals from all over Istria made 221 different cakes according to old recipes, such as pandešpanje, pince, bucolaje, štrukolo ili povetice, fritule, cukerančiće, kroštule, briskve and paštine.
All those well-known sweets that are passed down from generation to generation in Istria, while preserving this tradition are a great treasure of the local population.
The jury , which judged the best sweets, consisted of Laura Kešac, award-winning participant of Sweet Istria, Klaudia Pilato, bakery Concettino, Franko Milotić, former professor of cooking, Davor Šišović, journalist from Bookalet and Donatella Leonardelli, journalist from portal Istra24.
The winners were: Danijela Korac (fritule), Vesna Škofić (kroštule), Zdenka Jakus (pinca), Neda Ivančić (povetica), Nevija Lukšić (pandešpanj), Nevija Gardoš (bucolaj), Ondina Kranjčić (breskvice), Loredana Paris Pastorčić (paštine) and Ana Žufić (cukerančići).
Money from the sale of the cakes went to help purchase school supplies that are needed by students from the Vižinada area in the coming school year.
“Thank you to everyone who contributed in this way, and all the cakes were quickly sold and HRK 5,800 was collected,” organisers said.
As well as the cakes, there was a presentation how to make krafi, an original eastern Istrian speciality which is similar to ravioli that is filled with a mixture of cheese, eggs or raisins, is made in a sweet or savoury version, and can be boiled or fried.
There was also wine and olive oil tastings held, a football match featuring NK Vižinada and concerts by Replay Band and Vigor Group.
The festival continues in Vižinada today, with the celebration of the traditional folk festival of St. Mary Vela. Concerts by BRASS BAND ZT Vižinada – Banda d’ottoni Visinada and brass band KUD “Istarski želježničar” Roč at 8 p.m., while at 9 p.m. the Malvazija band and Mambo kings will entertain.
The organizers of this popular event were the Tourist Board of Vižinada and the Municipality of Vižinada.