Posted by: viewfromtheriva | March 27, 2016

Skradinske Delicije, keeping tradition alive and yummy!


Katarina Paic in traditional dress with her family's products

Katarina Paic in traditional dress with her family’s products

One of the more wonderful things about living here is getting the chance to discover not only Croatia’s rich everyday culture and traditions, but those hidden small wonders in villages and towns, like Skradin, a gem of a coastal village at the mouth of the Krka where it meets the sea just a few kilometers from famous Krka National Park.

It’s the kind of seaside village that gets a lot of visitors since the park gets hundreds of thousands.  Bill Gates has been here several times and Anthony Bourdain, the irreverent chef host of the very popular TV show “No Reservations” was not far away getting roaring drunk at Bibich Winery (the video went viral since at one point Tony actually fell off his chair!).

I was with friends who took a winding back road up to Skradinske Delicije, a family-run enterprise built around an ancient stone house compound that they use to show groups how life was lived in more simpler times.

There’s clearly a lot of passion here, mom Miranda Paic not only bakes authentic Skradinske torte, but hand sews authentic period costumes, including millinery, that she, her husband Ante and daughter wear to events celebrating eco-tourism.

The Paic family has received numerous awards for both the quality of their products and their dedication to preserving local Skradin traditions

The Paic family has received numerous awards for both the quality of their products and their dedication to preserving local Skradin traditions

We weren’t able to enjoy legendary Skradinske risotto, cooked at least 10 hours with an array of mouth-watering ingredients that made me want to ask if I could please sleep over just to see it being cooked!   But we did get to sample some divine fig cakes, sugared almonds (impossible to stop eating, if I only didn’t worry about my teeth, I could have eaten handfuls!) and lots of other goodies.

Many regions of Croatia have their own unique folkoric costumes that in some areas are still worn at weddings and other ceremonial events. Matilda researched the original design, the tight circles, and then created entire costumes incorporating these images, silver filigree jewelry and the colors and textures representing Skradin.

Many regions of Croatia have their own unique folkoric costumes that in some areas are still worn at weddings and other ceremonial events. Miranda researched the original designs, the tight circle motif is one of them, and then created entire costumes incorporating these images, silver filigree jewelry and the authentic colors and textures representing Skradin.

The Paic compound is only “open” a few months of the year to small groups.  The main “business” of the family is a nearby campground that caters to the legions of Krka visitors from June-September.

After some homemade hooch (I think it was Orahovac–walnut liquer), out came the signature confection, Skradisnke torte (Skradin Cake)–an amazingly light cake first made in the 14thC when this tiny town was actually the capital of Croatia and Bosnia!

Although the recipe can differ from family to family, the key ingredients are honey, walnuts and almonds (the family has a lot of almond trees and sells them sugared or salted) as well as using them in cakes and pastry; some rose liquer and I think the rest is simply magic.

fireplace

Sitting around a gorgeous hearth on simple wooden tables listening to Katarina and her mom (the whole family is gorgeous!) talk about their love affair with Skradinske delicije, enjoying those sugared almonds, fig cakes, chocolate covered who know’s what, but please give me more, was such a privilege.

Katarina and her mom Matilda sharing their love of Skradin tradition with us

Katarina and her mom Miranda sharing their love of Skradin tradition with us. In the background is one of Miranda’s hand-sewn costumes.

If you have friends who want to camp near the park or will enjoy what you read about here, please send them to: www.skradinske-delicije.hr  so they share at least some of our experience!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: