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Wild asparagus at the tip of Istria

by Gogo on April 19, 2010

in Tasty adventures

The tip of Istria is on Kamenjak promontory - Rt Kamenjak

The tip of Istria is situated in Nature Park Cape Kamenjak - Rt Kamenjak

Since I was a kid I was fascinated with places situated at some geographical (or political) discontinuity – tips of an island or peninsula, river mouths, affluence of two rivers, mountain tops, high cliffs, but also borders between two countries… It’s where one world ends and another starts. Definitely, these points in space possess a special kind of “energy”.

Today I chosen to visit the southernmost point of Istrian peninsula situated in Cape Kamenjak – Rt Kamenjak Nature Park . I often go to Kamenjak, especially in the summer when it becomes a popular beach spot among locals and tourists, but I have never been on the very tip of Cape Kamenjak.

To arrive there, after entering the Nature Park, just follow the signs for The Safari bar (by the way, one of the coolest bars I have seen around the World). From the bar head to south-east and after 15 min of walk through maquis (or along the coast) you arrive at the tip. Here incredibly white and dangerously sharp sea-rocks are retreating and giving place to the sea. 270 degrees around you there’s just water and wind. A look at the water surface reveals a strong stream, so powerful that, even in the summer, nobody dares to enter into the sea here.

Abstract sculpture made by nature

Abstract sculpture made by Nature

Some 50 m towards west the atmosphere is calmer. You find a hidden creek with crystal clear green water, sheltered by the nearby hill from the strong wind, bordered by sea-rocks eaten up by the sea – it seemed to me as if some contemporary artist has put his installation there .

Just above the creek there was a lot of wild asparagus (here is my previous post about foraging for wild asparagus and a recipe for Istrian sushi with asparagus) but I didn’t pick any – a sign warned me that the land around the tip has the status of highly protected area and any plant picking is strictly forbidden.

At the end, to test you wild asparagus picking capabilities, here’s a game for you. How many wild asparagus are there on the picture below?

How many asparagus are there?

How many asparagus are there?

Most people say four but the correct answer is five. This was quite easy because they were coming out of the grass and this is quite rare, more often these delicate beings are hiding in the bush and you need to have an eagle eye to quickly scan the Mediterranean shrubland (macchia) and spot the prey.

In the next post: How to make a juicy pasta with wild asparagus without cream or butter.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Clem May 4, 2010 at 11:00

Ha, I finally saw all five of them! I’m interested in the juicy pasta recipe because of my cream handicap: after 20 years of eating only crème fraîche de Normandie, I am very suspicious towards Croatian cream… Yes I am a food snob 🙂

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Gogo May 4, 2010 at 22:25

Clem, but I won’t put any milk based cream into the pasta. In Istrian cuisine cream and butter are practically not used at all so I had to be creative to get a creamy touch in the mouth. A purely vegan dish. You will see 🙂

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Clem May 5, 2010 at 09:51

Can’t wait!!! By the way, I love that picture of the abstract sculpture. Kamenjak is such a beautiful place (you know that’s where I had my very first swim in Adriatic sea? on a 16th of March too, and it was freezing!).

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