Another traditional Croatian dish has been given EU geographical protection status today…
Poljički soparnik (Poljički zeljanik/Poljički uljenik) has been protected and issued with the EU geographical origin label. It was registered a Protected Geographical Indication (GPI) on Tuesday in Belgium.
Poljički soparnik is savoury pie made of finely ground wheat flour with a filling of Swiss chard. Its origins, centuries ago, are from modern-day Omiš and the surrounding areas which was once part of the Poljica Republic in the late Middle Ages and the early modern period in central Dalmatia. The original season for the dish was the colder time of the year when older, sweeter chard was available.
The soparnik is said to be the prototype of the Italian pizza, which the Romans brought to Italy. Today it is used as a cultural trademark and sold increasingly on markets and in restaurants and found on events and festivals.
Soparnik has already been declared an intangible cultural heritage of Croatia by the Croatian ministry of culture, and now it awaits protection at the European level.
“Soparnik is an old Croatian food, from the area of Omiš. The dough is made from finely ground wheat flour, water and salt. You need three kilos of Swiss chard and one red onion. Spices are olive oil, garlic and salt and needs 10 minutes to bake in a komin. The komin needs to be heated for an hour. When it is done you spread olive oil and garlic on top and cut into rhomboid slices” Željka Šarić from the Poljica Socitey explained.
The society says that receiving the status is important as it will mean accessing EU funds will become a lot easier when presenting the Poljički soparnik at fairs in Europe. Poljički soparnik is now the 10th Croatian food product protected at EU level, joining pršut from Drniš, Krk, Istria and Dalmatia, extra virgin olive oil from Cres, mandarins from Neretva, sour cabbage from Ogulin, kulen from Baranja, and potatoes from Lika.