Discover why Istria is Croatia's top foodie destination in autumn and how to get your hands on the region''s finest produce.
Croatia: home to a famous coastline of 1,000 islands, passionate football fans, Goran Ivanisevic and several well-known music festivals. You may not be aware however, that this Adriatic country is also home to a gourmet gem that's the reason why you should be in Istria, now.
Yes, Italians may have the market on sexy sport cars, designer clothing and Prosecco but Croatia is chasing their tail when it comes to one delicacy: truffles. Not the chocolate kind (let's leave that to the Belgians). We're talking about the meaty, delicious on your pasta dish, found underground kind. The kind that sell for thousands of Euros at auction. And you can find them in November in the picturesque Istria region of Croatia.
Istria is home to three types of the tasty black fungus while the forest near the fairytale-like hilltop town of Motovun is Croatia's most valuable white truffle hunting area. So where and how to get your hands on these diamonds from dirt? The Zigante Truffle Days Festival is a good place to start. Over ten weekends from September to November, people can the festival's International Gourmet Expo where food, drink and olive oil producers showcase their products that are either made using local truffles or the perfect accompaniment.
Once you're done sampling olive oil with truffles, a dry Istrian white wine or cheese with black truffles, you can then think about going on a guided truffle hunt. This organized tour will take you into the heart of Motovun forest, along the Mirna river and Botonega stream. A licensed guide will accompany you, along with a faithful hound to sniff out the earth's treasure.
As the night draws in, there's only one thing to do on your Istrian truffle adventure; sample the goods in a fabulous restaurant. Konoba Mondo in Motovun's quaint old town is a great spot to try beef carpaccio with shavings of black truffle or fresh homemade pasta with truffles. The traditional interior is so charming that you may never want to leave.
Adriatic DMC is a leading destination management company based in Croatia offering authentic travel programs for discerning travelers to the region. The company specializes in crafting group and bespoke excursions, land tours, cruises, MICE travel programs and logistics support in Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Serbia and Macedonia.