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article imageGastronaut culinary promotion of Croatia reaches Krk Special

By Paul Bradbury     May 11, 2014 in Food
Krk - Culinary specialities from the island of Krk are highlighted as the Gastonaut team discovers the food and wines of a historic Croatian island.
The latest culinary presentation of Croatia's rich and diverse gastronomy took place on the island of Krk on May 8, 2014, as the team from Gastronaut, accompanied by Digital Journal, visited the historic tourist island in northern Croatia.
Gastronaut is one of Croatia's oldest and most respected gastronomic institutions, whose members include leading restaurateurs and winemakers, gourmands and journalists, and the 58-strong team on Krk provided a balanced mixture. This was the second Gastronaut trip of 2014, following the highly successful visit to Hvar in March, an event which the national media linked to the opening of the season on Croatia's premier island.
The cured hams and famous Krk prsut from Kuca Krckog Prsuta Zuzic was a fine introduction to the isl...
The cured hams and famous Krk prsut from Kuca Krckog Prsuta Zuzic was a fine introduction to the island's gastronomy.
Krk is an island close to Rijeka which is connected to the mainland by bridge, and is a popular tourist destination, as well as having a famous gastronomic tradition, and the Gastronaut itinerary was scheduled to discover as much as possible in a 24-hour period.
A glass floor at Zuzic reveals the delights in the cellar.
A glass floor at Zuzic reveals the delights in the cellar.
The schedule started in the hilltop village of Vrh, just outside the town of Krk, where the island's famous prsut specialities were presented to the group by Kuca Krckog Prsuta Zuzic, whose impressive restaurant and tasting room showcased a range of the company's homemade specialities.
Aperitifs at Torkul preceded a 3-course octopus lunch.
Aperitifs at Torkul preceded a 3-course octopus lunch.
This was followed by a visit to restaurant Torkul, whose range of aperitifs preceded a fine three-course lunch of octopus specialities, which were washed down by the wines of Belje and Orahovica, the two main wine sponsors of the event.
The delightful Cocktail Bar Volsonis was the scene of the welcoming drink  complete with billiard ta...
The delightful Cocktail Bar Volsonis was the scene of the welcoming drink, complete with billiard table and ancient walls.
After checking in at the waterfront Hotel Drazica, the Gastronaut team headed into the centre of Krk's historic old town for a welcome drink at Cocktail Bar Volsonis. Located on the main square, Volsonis is a treasure of heritage, and a guide took the group downstairs for a detailed explanation of the historic stone walls below, in stark contrast with the modern billiard table in the bar.
A walking tour of Krk s historic old town was a great introduction to the town s heritage.
A walking tour of Krk's historic old town was a great introduction to the town's heritage.
Krk's rich history and picturesque old town was explored with a local guide, before some mandatory culinary stops at Terasa Diana and the Nada wine shop, where Krk's most famous indigenous white wine variety, Zlahtina, proved popular.
No Gastronaut walking tour would be complete without a glass of wine - the indigenous zlahtina white...
No Gastronaut walking tour would be complete without a glass of wine - the indigenous zlahtina white from Nada Wine Cellar in Krk Old Town.
Gastronaut director Karin Mimica cut an impressive figure throughout the whole event, and her superbly organised itinerary met every deadline, no mean feat with 58 people enjoying the island's gastronomic delights. Her ability to manage the group, as well as blend with all restaurateurs, was a crucial factor in the success of the trip.
The view from Krk.
The view from Krk.
With all the focus on the food and the wine, it was easy to forget that Krk is a natural paradise, whose beaches and pristine Adriatic sea are major attractions for tourists. Here, for example, is the morning view from Hotel Drazica.
Dinner at Restaurant Marina  with dishes prepared by six Krk restaurants  was a highlight for many.
Dinner at Restaurant Marina, with dishes prepared by six Krk restaurants, was a highlight for many.
After a welcome breather of just fifteen minutes, it was time to reconvene at the main evening event, a spectacular dinner at Hotel Marina on the Krk waterfront, where no less than six restaurants prepared the very finest Krk cuisine.
Karin Mimica  right  is the driving force behind Gastronaut  and runs the programmes superbly.
Karin Mimica, right, is the driving force behind Gastronaut, and runs the programmes superbly.
Karin Mimica was on hand at every stage to introduce and present Krk's considerable culinary riches.
The Marina dinner was accompanied by some lively music singing traditional Dalmatian classics.
The Marina dinner was accompanied by some lively music singing traditional Dalmatian classics.
And there was music...
Excellent food, wine and company continued late into the night, until this Digital Journalist had to make his excuses.
A healthy start to Day 2  with a presentation on aloe vera  complete with flavoured alcohol-free alo...
A healthy start to Day 2, with a presentation on aloe vera, complete with flavoured alcohol-free aloe vera cocktails.
A rather fresh start to Gastronaut Krk Day 2, as the first meeting of the day was a presentation of the powers of aloe vera, with some delicious and refreshing non-alcoholic aloe vera cocktails on offer from Forever Living.
A demonstration of the traditional hand-rolling of surlice  a Krk pasta speciality.
A demonstration of the traditional hand-rolling of surlice, a Krk pasta speciality.
This was followed by a visit to Pansion Maritim, where among the attractions of offer, was a demonstration of the preparation of Krk's famous surlice pasta. Wrapping the dough around a thin stick, the dough is then thoroughly rubbed to elongate it, before being placed on a tray for cooking.
Olive oil production and authentic products at Nono included some spectacular storage of its dried m...
Olive oil production and authentic products at Nono included some spectacular storage of its dried meat products.
From pasta to olive oil, the next stop at the olive oil house Nono provided a fascinating insight into olive oil production on Krk, where an estimated 130,000 litres of quality olive oil are produced every year. In addition to its famous oil, Nono also produces a range of homemade products, and the hams hanging in a cave-like side-room were particularly impressive.
Te outstanding wines of Igor Hruskar from Orahovica were a popular accompaniment to the programme.
Te outstanding wines of Igor Hruskar from Orahovica were a popular accompaniment to the programme.
Throughout the event, the wines of Belje and Orahovica were available for tasting. Orahovica winemaker Igor Hruskar was particularly passionate about his wines, which were well received by his gourmand audience.
Grilled sea bass fillet  polenta with chard and black olives  with cherry tomato brochettes - the ma...
Grilled sea bass fillet, polenta with chard and black olives, with cherry tomato brochettes - the main course at Valamar Koralj Romantic.
And so to the final stop in a very intense programme, lunch at Valamar Koralj Romantic, an outstanding finish to an exceptional culinary 24 hours on Krk.
The final dish of the event  with arguably the best presentation of all. Coffee pancakes with cream ...
The final dish of the event, with arguably the best presentation of all. Coffee pancakes with cream, dried figs and nuts.
The food was excellent, the presentation was excellent, and the overriding impression of Gastronaut members at the end of yet another excellent meal was that Krk makes an outstanding contribution to the very diverse Croatian gastronomic scene.
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