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6th Young Olive Oil Festival in Vodnjan

by Gogo on December 6, 2010

in Olive oils

This year I visited again the 6th Young Olive Oil Festival in Vodnjan, one of my favorite gastronomic events in the region due to its relaxed and informal atmosphere. Unfortunately, I was there only three hours since around 4 PM I had to take the road to the Konoba “Batelina” in Banjole where the first spontaneous gathering of Croatian food&wine bloggers took place (more about this historical event here, in Croatian). Too bad, because the most interesting part of the festival are lectures where one can learn a lot about cultivation of olives but also about gastronomy in general.
I ove godine bio sam na vodnjanskom festivalu mladog ulja, jednom od meni najdražih gastro sajmova u regiji, vjerojatno zbog svoje opuštenosti i neformalne atmosfere. Na nesreću, zadržao sam se samo tri sata jer je već oko 16h valjalo potegnuti do konobe Batelina u Banjolama gdje se održalo prvo spontano okupljanje hrvatskih enogastro blogera (nešto o tom povijesnom događaju ovdje). Šteta, jer najzanimljiviji dio festivala su predavanja na kojima se može dosta naučiti o maslinarstvu ali i općenito o gastronomiji.

Fear of trains?
The main parking lot is full so I park across the railroad – then I walk over it where it’s not allowed. The risk is not high since in Istria it is more probable to see the Mediterranean Monk Seal than a train passing. One suggestion to the organizers: next year schedule a shuttle train from Pula to Vodnjan. You will reduce chaos on the parking lots, assure that the visitors can return safely to their homes even after several glasses of wine and finally, wouldn’t it be cool that the festival starts already in the train?
Na glavnom parkiralištu nema mjesta pa parkiram preko pruge – koju onda nepropisno prelazim pješke. Neke veće opasnosti nema jer vlakovi u Istri su, na žalost, rijeđa pojava od sredozemne medvjedice. Predlažem organizatorima da druge godine uvedu shuttle vlak od Pule do Vodnjana i tako smanje gužve na parkiralištima, omoguće ljudima da se sigurno mogu vratiti doma i nakon brojnih čašica vina, a i zar ne bi bilo cool da festival počinje već u vagonu?

This year the main novelty was the oil bar where visitors were able to taste all oils exhibited on the festival. Expert tasters were there to advise you, among them Marco Oreggia, the most famous expert for extra virgin olive oil in the world.
Ove godine novost je oil bar gdje su se mogli probati sva ulja izložena na sajmu. U odabiru ulja pomagali su vam stručni kušači ulja a među njima je bio i Marco Oreggia, najpoznatiji svjetski autoritet za ekstra djevičansko maslinovo ulje.
Expert tasters behind the Oilbar

The bar had also its educational role – there were several glass bells in which one could stick nose in and sniff desirable and undesirable aromas. I started with the undesirable ones, rancid and morchia that are two most common defects in the olive oil.
Bar je imao i svoju edukativnu ulogu – postavljena su staklena zvona u koje je posjetitelji mogao zarinuti nos i omirisati nepoželjne i poželjne arome. Prvo sam omirisao one nepoželjne, užeglo (rancido) i talog (morchia) što su dva najčešća defekta maslinovog ulja.
Olive oil defects - rancid and morchia

After that, the desirable ones – green grass, tomato and tomato leaves, all aromas that are very common in Istrian olive oils.
Potom, zelena trava te list i plod rajčice, aroma koja se često susreće u istarskim maslinovim uljima.
Olive oil aromas - grass and tomato

Finally, aromatic herbs and ripe fruits. The olive oils of pronounced fruitiness are not very typical in Istria, maybe the most fruity oil comes from Karbonaca, an olive variety indigenous to area around Vodnjan.
Za kraj, aromatične trave te zrelo voće. Ulja izražene voćnosti nešto su rjeđa u Istri, možda najvoćnije ulje daje vodnjanska autohtona sorta Karbonaca.
Olive oil aromas - aromatic herbs and ripe fruits

That saturday afternoon the gastro show was managed by Dušan Černjul, famous Istrian chef from recently closed restaurant Vela Nera who very soon will open a rural hotel with restaurant in Šišan, a village 10 km east of Pula.
Tu subotu popodne gastro show vodio je Dušan Černjul, poznati istarski chef iz nedavno zatvorenog restorana Vela Nera a koji vrlo skoro otvara ruralni hotel sa restoranom u Šišanu, selu 10 km istočno od Pule.
Dušan Černjul starring at Gastro Show

On the stand of OPG Ukušić (OPG – family farm) from Višnjan I tasted interesting marmalades made from Malvazija and Teran grapes, and aronia, a bush-like plant giving fruits similar to blueberry that seems to have many health benefits. These marmalades would go perfectly with goat and sheep cheeses.
Na štandu od OPG Ukušić iz Višnjana kušao sam interesantne marmelade od malvazije, terana i aronije, grmolike biljke koja dalje plodove slične borovnici i za koje tvrde da imaju ljekovita svojstva. Te marmelade išle bi izvrsno uz kozje i ovčije sireve.
Marmalades from Teran and Istrian Malvasia

The candies of a forgotten past came from Dalmatia – carub sticks and dried figs. I tried one olive oil made from Oblica olives, but its quality could not keep the pace with Istrian olive oils. For example, the sample I tried was a bit rancid.
Iz Dalmacije došli su slatkiši zaboravljenih vremena – štapić od rogača i suhe smokve. Probao sam jedno maslinovo ulje od oblice, ali kvalitetom se nije moglo nositi sa istarskima. Na primjer, uzorak koji sam probao čini mi se da je bilo mrvicu užeglo.
Carob sticks and dried figs from Dalmatia

Did you know that olive tree can, apart olive oil, give provide also cheap biomass fuel? The olive Mill Baioco from Galižana produces pellets from olive pits and they claim, if you install pellet stove compatible with them, you would spend only 1500 kuna to heat up an average flat in Istria during the heating season.
Jeste li znali da maslina osim ulja može dati i ekonomično biogorivo? Uljara Baioco iz Galižane od koštica radi brikete i kažu da, ako se ugradi peć koja ih podržava, se prosječan stan u Istri može grijati jednu sezonu za samo 1500 kn.
Olive pits transformed into biofuel

Reporters from Croatian national television interviewed Edi Družetić, the guru of Istrian oliveculture, expert taster, person who long ago pointed out that olive varieties indigenous to Istria give oils of better quality and stronger character than the oils made from omnipresent tuscan varieties (for example, leccino)
Bila je prisutna i ekipa HTVa koja je intervjuirala gurua istarskog maslinarstva Edija Družetića, stručnog kušača, čovjeka koji je još davno ukazao da autohtone istarske sorte daju kvalitetnije i karakternije ulje od danas prevladavajućih toskanskih (npr. leccino).
Edi Družetić - guru of Istrian Olive Culture

Edi works as agronomist in Agroprodukt Pula and I would say he is credited that their monovarietal oils from Buža, Leccino and Bianchera are fantastic. This year they started to produce the oil from Rošinjola that is even more outstanding, of intensive fruity taste that overwhelms the whole mouth and then persist for minutes, while its pungency arrives with a slight delay… A proof that even large companies like Agroprodukt are able to make a high-end gastronomic product.
Edi je zaposlen kao agronom u Agroproduktu Pula i rekao bih da je on zaslužan da su njihova jednosortna ulja od buže, leccina i bjelice naprosto fantastična. Od ove godine imaju i ulje od rošinjole koje je priča za sebe, intenzivnog voćnog okusa koji ti obuzme cijela usta i onda traje i traje, a pikantnost dolazi sa laganim zakašnjenjem… Dokaz da i velike kompanije mogu proizvesti vrhunski gastronomski proizvod.
Monovarietal oils from Agroprodukt - Pula

Among small-scale producers, I was pleasantly surprised by a group of olive farmers from Zamask that all had excellent oils. They come from the central Istria, region known for indigenous variety Črnica that gives sweet oil with aromas of various nuts. Another oil worth notion is a monovarietal oil from Ascolana produced by OPG Valenta from Zamask (phone +385 91 7233372), very, very fruity and sweet – this producer is worth following, this year they got gold medal on “Maslina 2010” competition in Split.
Od manjih proizvođača oduševila me ekipa maslinara iz Zamaska koji su svi redom imali vrhunska ulja. Dolaze iz središnjeg dijela Istre koji je poznat po autohtonoj sorti črnica koja daje slatko ulje sa mirisom na orašasto voće. Mene je oduševilo jednosortno ulje od ascolane koju proizvodi OPG Valenta iz Zamaska (tel. 091 7233372), vrlo, vrlo voćno ulje slatkih nota – proizvođač je to koji obećava, a ove godine se dobili zlatnu medalju na natjecanju “Maslina 2010” u Splitu.
Great monovarietal Ascolana oil from Zamask

Two girls, Gurwoman and GastroLada, are surely among the most popular food bloggers in Croatia. They catched BakalarMen (bakalar Milena, Bačva) and managed to get the secret of making the best “not-homemade” baccalà mantecato in Croatia, but in my opinion also better than the one you can find in italian supermarkets. He told them a tip – it is better to use dried cod since it manages to absorb more oil that the salted one.
Najpoznatije gastro spisateljice na hrvatskom webu, Gurwoman i GastroLada, uhvatile su BakalarMena (bakalar Milena, Bačva) da im otkrije tajnu kako mu je uspjelo napraviti najbolji “ne-domaći” bakalar na bijelo u Hrvatskoj, a usudio bi se reći da je bolji od bilo kojeg koji se može kupiti u talijanskim supermarketima. Odao im je trik da je sušeni bakalar bolji od onog soljenog jer da upije više ulja.
GastroLada, Gurwoman and BakalarMilena man

Omnipresent winemaker Trapan and his wife Andrea were catched with elite troops of Croatian enogastronomic bloggers (Vinska priča & GastroLada).
Nezaobilazni vinar Trapan i njegova supruga Andrea uhvaćeni u društvu jakih snaga hrvatske enogastro blogerske scene (Vinska priča i GastroLada).
Croatian wine&food blogers with Trapan

It was also possible to taste some “Istrian” cured hams (pršut). I put Istrian intentionally in quote marks because for me these semi-industrial hams produced from Slavonian pigs are just pale copies of the original home-made Istrian pršut.
Bilo je tu i takozvanih istarskih pršuta, kažem takozvanih, jer za mene su ti poluindustrijski pršuti proizvedeni od slavonskih svinja tek blijede kopije onih pravih domaćih.
Istrian cured ham

The best tapas were at MIH stand where Iva Rudolf i Melinda Cossetto were kindly offering their creative delicacies, for example bruschetta with mozzarella, green apple and olive oil. MIH produces a tasty vinegar from elderberry, a fragrant plant with beautiful white flowers. As you can imagine, the vinegar has a great flower aroma and it is not so aggressively acidic. I recommend it even to those who can’t stand a common wine vinegar.
Najbolje zalogajčiće imao je MIHov štand gdje su ljubazne Iva Rudolf i Melinda Cossetto predstavljale svoje kreativne uratke, kao na primjer brusketa sa mozzarelom, zelenom jabukom i maslinovim uljem. MIH ima ukusan ocat od bazge koji, možete pretpostaviti, jako lijepo miriše na cvijeće a kad ga probaš uopće nije tako napasno kiseo. Svidjet će se i onima koji obično ne podnose ocat.
The best oil&food pairing was at MIH stand Mozzarella, green apple and olive oil

At the end I visited the stand with unpasteurized cheeses Kumparička (and Trapan wines, of course) that was crowded all the time so, unfortunately, I tried none of these noble stinky cheeses. Next year!
Za kraj štand sa nepasteriziranim sirevima Kumparička (i Trapan vinima, of course) oko kojeg je uvijek bila nesnosna gužva tako da nisam uspio ništa probati od tih plemenito smrdljivih delicija. Druge godine!
Kuparička goat cheeses

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

wineandfood4u December 13, 2010 at 11:38

ova edukativna nota sa mirisanjem mana i specifičnosti iz maslinova ulja mi se čini fantastičnim!

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