Čobanac, fiš paprikaš, cicvara, čvarkuše, bazlamača, tačkrle… just some on the long list of traditional dishes from Golden Slavonia that the local population refuses to forget, and visitors recognize as a valuable tourist attraction and a reason to visit this destination.
Respected Croatian chef and a great lover of Slavonian dishes, Branko Ognjenović, says that the secret of this cuisine lies in the excellence of local ingredients, simplicity, and the combination of top-quality wines and dishes from the same region.
“Products from black pigs, with spicy kulen being a standout, good ham that can be wonderfully utilized in the kitchen, pork with roasted potatoes prepared in their skins and on homemade lard, cracklings, sausages, and bacon… The list of dishes you must try in Croatia’s Požega-Slavonia County is long. And I’m also a big fan of pasta: noodles with poppy seeds and tačkrle are a real treat for the palate,” reveals Chef Ognjenović.
Although the story of the eno-gastronomic offer in this part of Slavonia has a traditional aspect, its modern version is incredibly appealing and tasty. For example, he highlights sweet potatoes with kulen and acacia honey, pumpkin risotto with mushrooms and black pig bacon, baked apples with cinnamon in vanilla… And we can’t decide which dish is tastier.
“All of these are assets of this rich cuisine with great potential. When you package all these fine delicacies in a beautiful story about family, tradition, ambiance, and serve them with well-chilled Graševina in fine glasses, make an effort to showcase everything in the best light, success is guaranteed,” emphasizes Ognjenović, noting that the excellent Graševina wines of Golden Slavonia are a perfect accompaniment to every dish, including carp chips, his personal perfect match that he enjoys at the end of a challenging day.
With three vineyards: Kutjevo, Požega-Pleternica, and Pakrac, the Požega-Slavonia County is a well-known wine destination, and its Graševina wines are among the best in the world, as confirmed by awards from prestigious evaluations.
Alongside the exceptional quality of this variety, top-notch technology, rich tradition, experience, and knowledge of winemakers, Graševina is now the most sought-after Croatian wine, ranging from sparkling wines to predicates, and the choice is best advised by the famous sommelier, Darko Lugarić.
“In the summer, Graševina brut or extra brut sparkling wine or a blend with Graševina will be a perfect refreshment. Pair semi-dry and dry young Graševina with cold plates featuring spicy kulen and young cheeses, while dishes made from authentic black pig and, for example, sweet potatoes with kulen, are best enjoyed with aged Graševina, aged for two to three years, with slightly higher alcohol content. Apples with cinnamon in vanilla and tačkrle pair perfectly with ice or selected berry harvest Graševinas,” advises Lugarić.
The World of Graševina, a Story of Rich Heritage
The World of Graševina was born on the foundations of the rich wine identity of the Požega-Slavonia County. “This unique project connects the wine story, rich tradition, exceptional cultural and natural heritage of our county, supports winemakers and the tourism sector, and, alongside the attractive Interpretation Center, the Bećarac Museum in Pleternica, opened at the beginning of the year, it includes the construction and equipping of the Spahijski cellar in Pakrac and branding the entire area as the World of Graševina,” says Maja Jakobović, Director of the Požega-Slavonia County Tourist Board.
The World of Graševina project, with a total value of 8,729,448.52 euros, was co-financed by the European Union with 7,364,375.34 euros from the European Regional Development Fund through the Operational Program Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014 – 2020.