Kvarner newsletter / no 27

The tastes of Kvarner
Asparagus, olives, wine…

An indispensable part of the spring ambience on Kvarner is the recognisable taste of wild-growing asparagus, which is claimed to have a particularly good taste here in this region, and thus an even more beneficial effect on the body. It grows throughout Kvarner, but the town of Lovran and the island of Krk have prepared some special events dedicated to this wild-growing plant, which goes particularly well with a glass of home-made wine and olives. On the island of Krk, there is a path dedicated to them – the Krk Olive Oil Route...

"Following the paths of asparagus and golden drops" is the title of a special event on the island of Krk dedicated to asparagus, olive oil and other delicacies of the region with a series of interesting programmes. To begin with, from the 3rd to the 5th of April there will be an exhibition of original Croatian agricultural products and souvenirs, sporting equipment and walking poles – which might come in handy!

Namely, on Easter Monday there will be a traditional walking route along old shepherd's paths. At noon starts a guided tour to mark the opening of the new walking trail that unites many of the area's distinctive features: olive oil, pršut dry-cured ham, cheese, wine, asparagus, and of course the beautiful island landscape. The trail is 9.5 kilometres long and includes ten interpretation boards that inform visitors about the phases in the production of high-quality olive oil, some of the most important olive species, plants growing along the trail, history of olive growing, and much more.

Lovran, a holiday resort in the immediate vicinity of Opatija, will host the Asparagus Festival from the 10th to the 25th of April, during which the town's restaurants and taverns will offer a variety of dishes prepared with this vegetable. On Sunday the 18th of April is the Asparagus Party, which will include a varied musical programme (Lovran's accordion players, Kantriders band from Rijeka, and Anelidi band from Istria), and a giant omelette made of thousand eggs and 30 kg of asparagus. Of course, such a giant portion requires a special cookware – a pan 2 metres in diameter!

Asparagus is a plant from the lily family that has been known for its beneficial effects on the human body for three millennia. Research has confirmed that asparagus is rich in vitamins, minerals and folic acid. It stimulates the brain and the growth of good bacteria, cleanses the body from harmful substances, and regulates high blood pressure. Thanks to these beneficial effects, it can be recommended to pregnant women. Asparagus is also known as aphrodisiac. In the coastal parts of Croatia, asparagus grows wild, and the specific Mediterranean climate makes it even tastier and boosts its beneficial effects on human health.