Since returning from Eastern Europe after an exciting month of travel in warmer weather I have been asked why I decided to this part of the world.  Although when I said I was going to Çroatia there were murmurs of ….Oh I would love to go there or it is on my bucket list.

My reason though was more presice. …..ISTRA! When I moved to Castlemaine  (1.5 hours north west of Melbourne  Victoria) I discovered some excellent quality smallgoods at supermarkets and delis.   There were sausages, bacon, salami, ham and my favourite prosciutto amongst their range.  One would see it in cafes in Melbourne on brunch menus featuring bacon from Istra!

When I mentioned this to a friend she said one could visit their store near Daylesford at Musk so a day trip was planned.  Not only was their range of small goods available but there were other ISTRA delights including Ajvar – a Balkan speciality which is essentially made from roasted red peppers, oil, spices, vinegar and salt.  It is delicious and totally addictive.   There are stuffed cherry peppers with a vegetable cream and so much more.  I learnt that the owners were from Istra an area in the north of Croatia.

I knew I had to go there to discover more of their wonderful products.

Fast forward several months and I was on a flight (three flights actually….Melbourne to Abu Dhabi to Belgrade to Ljubljana) and onto Croatia to start my 12 day Food tour (which included wine tastings) which did not disappoint.  Croatia has become one of my favourite countries I have visited.  The food,  the people,  the wine, history and beautiful scenery.

And it all started with purchasing quality products from the supermarket.  Follow your food dream…in this case


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