Monday, 20 January 2020

One of the favourite parts of Dubrovnik Good Food Festival is surely Dubrovnik table, that goes across entire length of Stradun. This special event was reserved for the last day of the festival and has been held this morning.
Numerous Dubrovnik hotels and restaurants, bakers, confectioners,  and caterers, as well as winemakers  from Konavle and Pelješac will present  their knowledge and skills.  

Locals and their guests got the chance to enjoy the numerous delicacies as well  as wine tasting. All the collected money from the coupons will go to charity.

The programme of Good Food Festival ends today in Hotel Libertas Rixos with gala dinner.

Don't miss our big photo gallery, but be aware - you might get really hungry!

“Do you have any small change?” What is it with shops in Dubrovnik and small change! It seems that unless you exactly the right amount of money you are left waiting whilst the shop assistant digs around in her handbag looking for her own change. Where do all these coins go? And why can’t shops seem to find any?

To be fair it isn’t only shops. Waiters in cafés and even restaurants have a heart attacks if you pull out a 200 Kuna note. IS someone collecting all these pieces of metal, like a magpie or a human magnet, and stuffing them under the bed. I had a strange situation the other day in a local bakery. I bought a French stick and a doughnut, a total of 18 Kunas. When I handed over a 20 Kuna note the young lady behind the counter said “Do you have anything smaller, any change?” – “I have a 10 Kuna,” I joked. The joke flew right over her head as she waited for my small change. I tried a more direct approach “Unless I give you 18 Kunas in coins how could I have anything smaller?” It worked and with a grump she passed my 2 Kuna change.

It would seem that this young lady isn’t that great at maths because the next day I asked her for “A jam croissant,” seeing there was only one left. She then replied “One croissant?” with a questioning voice. There was only one left! “What would you do if I said two croissants please?” I asked. “Hmmm, well we only have one so I can’t sell you what we don’t have,” she replied. I was lost for words.

Just the next day in a local supermarket the elderly lady in front of me handed over a 50 Kuna note for a loaf of bread. “I don’t have any change to give back to you,” replied the shop assistant with a tone like it was the problem of the customer. I almost jumped in with “And whose fault is that,” but held back as I released it wasn’t event her fault, but the fault of the shop owner. I did some quick sums in my head and said “I will pay for the bread as I have change.” It solved the wait.

Should the National Bank of Croatia produce more coins to make up the shortfall? Or maybe they are just waiting for the Euro to be introduced and to solve the problem. And on the flip side if you try and change your coins for notes in a bank or even the post office they frown at you as if you have trod in dog poo. The banks don’t want it and the shops don’t have it, which would suggest that all the coins are indeed being stored under mattresses. Maybe we could collect all these coins together and pay off the foreign debt, or even weld them together and make one of the columns for the Peljesac Bridge.

In fact we have a huge box and home where we throw all this small change, so we could certainly help build that first bridge column.

I have a feeling that some serious rethinking is needed. Do we really need to have 5, 10 and 20 lipa coins? Here’s a whacky idea, why not just produce 50 lipa coins and round everything up or down to the nearest Kuna. If something costs 10.20 then it would be 10.50…well you get the idea. And just think about all those tourists who fly home with pockets loaded with Croatian coins. Maybe that’s the problem. Could it be that all our small change is being exported!

I have another whacky idea. This change is completely unless to foreigners when they get home (unless they are coin collectors). So why not have a huge barrel at the airports to collect money for worthy humanitarian causes. Tourists could empty their pockets of coins and at the same time raise money for a good cause. In fact that isn’t such a dumb idea. In fact why hasn’t somebody though of this earlier? I am pretty sure that almost every tourist would be more than happy to a) help a good cause and b) get rid of those coins. The charity could be alternated on a weekly or monthly basis so the funds would be spread around…no it isn’t a bad idea at all. This is nothing new it happens all over the world so why doesn’t it happen here? “A good idea is about ten percent and implementation and hard work is 90 percent,” once said a successful American businessman – ah…that might be the reason why.

Good Food Festival continued yesterday evening in the beautiful ambience of Restaurant Kantenari at the Sunset Beach Dubrovnik. The guests were ready for something special: dinner with a famous chef – Priska Thuring.

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Priska is one of the most creative chefs of the new generation on the Croatian gastronomic scene. This Canadian with Zagreb address began her Croatian career back in 2005 and what is interesting in Dubrovnik, at the Hotel Palace.

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She grew up in Canada where still as a child she cooked with her mother and she was educated in Switzerland as an apprentice at the legendary hotel Dolder Grand. Her life’s path led her to Croatia where she fell in love because here ‘’onions and garlic still taste like onions and garlic, tomatoes taste like tomatoes and strawberries taste like strawberries ̋.

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She is currently living in Zagreb and working at the Dubravkin put restaurant, which, with her arrival, once again took its place among the best Croatian restaurants.

Priska’s menus follow the seasons and she chooses the ingredients herself at local markets, something that she enjoys doing.

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This modest, top professional, master of pairing tastes and colours, created her own refined menu and prepared really special dishes for the fourth Good Food Festival – dried marinated sea bass, veal sweetbread, dry curd cottage cheese and pumpkin gnudi, farm raised lamb in white wine and terrine -55% chocolate. It was all combined with tasty, quality wine.

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The musical part of the evening was perfectly covered by famous Croatian singer Zorica Kondza, while the host was famous TV presenter Mirko Fodor.

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Good Food Festival ends today with famous Dubrovnik Table across the Stradun right at noon and will finish with Gala Dinner in Hotel Rixos Libertas.

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Condé Nast Traveler readers ranked the 30 best islands in the world outside the United States in the 2017 Readers' Choice Awards survey.

Among the best islands around the globe, from the Far East to the West, an island from Croatia has also found its place on this prestigious list.

According to Condé Nast Traveler readers, the world’s best island is Boracay in the Philippines, whilst the Croatian island of Hvar placed as the 28th on the list.

''Lush vineyards, secluded coves, and winding medieval streets attract visitors to this 42-mile-long island off the coast of Croatia. The Adriatic island is as popular with backpackers as it is with luxury yachts, and this summer brought the debut of UberBOAT, connecting Hvar to towns along the Dalmatian coast'', wrote Condé Nast Traveler about Hvar.

Condé Nast Traveler also added some useful tips for travellers to the island, ''Hvar is a popular base for exploring additional islandsfarther afield, including other Pakleni Islands that are home to caves, coves, and nude beaches, which can be reached by rental boat. Although Hvar has no airport, there are frequent, fast ferries from Split on the mainland to Hvar’s two main centres, the town of Hvar and Stari Grad''.

Here is the list of the world's 30 best islands chosen by Condé Nast Traveler readers:

1. Boracay, Philippines
2. Cebu and Visayan Islands, Philippines
3. Palawan, Philippines
4. Mallorca, Spain
5. Mykonos, Greece
6. Bermuda
7. St. Barts
8. Turks and Caicos
9. Bali, Indonesia
10. Cayman Islands
11. St. Lucia
12. St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
13. Crete, Greece
14. Sardinia, Italy
15. Ibiza, Spain
16. Antigua
17. Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada
18. Isla Mujeres, Mexico
19. Barbados
20. Capri, Italy
21. Fiji
22. Moorea, French Polynesia
23. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
24. British Virgin Islands
25. Santorini, Greece
26. Mauritius
27. Anguilla
28. Hvar, Croatia
29. Madeira, Portugal
30. St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Yes, the swimming season is still alive in Dubrovnik. The warmer and calmer weather has held until the end of October and the tourists in the city and locals are making the most of it by dipping in the Adriatic Sea.

The current sea temperature in Dubrovnik is around 21 degrees and with the roasting sunshine the Adriatic is a magnet for swimmers. The forecast is for more warm weather, at least until the end of the month, so why not take a dip.

Yesterday the Sunset Beach in the bay of Lapad was full of sunbathers, swimmers and people enjoying al fresco coffee in the golden sunshine.

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‘’Recover, reshape, recharge’’ is a slogan of the first health hotel in Croatia recently presented to the public.

Nowadays health services are the most sought for among modern leisure and business travellers looking to maintain their healthy lifestyle while on vacation.

As from this year, Croatia has enriched its tourist offer with the first health hotel. After the ‘’soft opening’’ in June, Marvie Hotel & Health was officially presented to the public a few days ago.

The hotel is located by the sea in the part of Split called Zenta hence its name ‘’Marvie’’ which is derived from the Latin word ‘’mare’’ meaning ‘’ sea’’ and the French word ‘’vie’’ meaning ‘’life’’.

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The Marvie hotel gives its guests an insight into the Mediterranean kind of life, providing tranquillity, relaxation and health. It spreads over 9,400 square metres with three floor underground garage, 76 rooms, 2 luxury suites and a large outdoor pool on the roof terrace with a spectacular view.

At guest’s disposal there is a whole array of specialized health care services with well-equipped spa and fitness facilities space. In addition to rest and relax facilities, there are physics and rehabilitation clinics as well as dermatological ambulance for aesthetic medicine. Gastronomic offer is based on a modern cuisine with Mediterranean ingredients along with a wide selection of gluten-free dishes.

The Marvie Hotel employs 30 people, whilst the Tromont construction company with the support of the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) realized this investment worth 105 million Kunas.

orest fires are raging in Konavle, south of Dubrovnik, and two special firefighting planes have been called in to help. Around 60 firefighters are believed to be on the ground controlling the blaze that started at 11.00 o’clock this morning between the villages of Gabriel and Uskople.

The fire spread to the east and as the terrain is difficult to navigate it managed to spread up the hills and has proved difficult to bring under control. No residences are at threat at the moment, however a thick pine forest has been burning throwing a huge acrid column of smoke in the air.

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firefighters in konavle

The Good Food Festival continued today, the penultimate day, with a presentation of fines wines from the island of Krk. As the sun shone down on the Sunset beach in Lapad guests were treated to traditional delicacies and wines from Krk whilst the vocal group Subrenum provided the music.

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The Toljanić family from Vrbnik on Krk presented sparkling wines, fresh white wines and even a beer made from wine. The family own and run many successful vineyards on Krk and last year opened the first ever wine hotel in Croatia.

“We are happy to bring a piece of Krk to Dubrovnik, ours is a family business and the whole family is involved in one way or another,” commented the Toljanić family. 

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Family run vineyard on Krk 

Along with the excellent wines guests had the opportunity to taste delicacies such as dried sausage with truffles, pasta with goulash, Krk prosciutto and award winning cooked ham.

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 The 2017 Good Food Festival continues tomorrow with two great events, the Dubrovnik Table on the Stradun and the finale the Gala Dinner in the Rixos Libertas Hotel.

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And yes beer from wine! 

Good Food Festival is one of the most favourite festivals in Dubrovnik and it again proves why. One part of rich programme was held today morning in the Tourist Information Centre at Pile – the presentation of Mandarica by Jadre Nicetic and Lucija Tomasic. Ladies did their best to present this special and yet simple dessert. Jadre researched it and Lucija prepared it.

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Mandarica is an old forgotten cake, quite similar to pudding, that in the past Dubrovnik ladies prepared often. It’s special because it’s made with rice flour combined with rose water (commonly and gladly used in Dubrovnik) in pudding moulds. In the past rice for making sweets was milled in the special small household millstones. This cake is mentioned by the writer Josip Bersa in his book  ̋Dubrovacke slike i prilike ̋ and the art historian Cvito Fiskovic also left us a written record of this cake.

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It is sure that Madarica was made back in 18th century and it’s possible that it was made even long time ago – in 16th century. However, in 1950’s it started disappearing and it’s almost not consumed nowdays. One of the reasons is surely an invention of pudding powder, which is easily mixed (even though Mandarica is quite simple to do too).

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One of the goals of this presentation is to bring back Mandarica, especially in Dubrovnik restaurants. Since we had the chance to try it, we sure hope that Mandarica will make a comeback!
Good Food Festival continues until Sunday, October 22nd.

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Australians clearly love Croatian bread and bakery products. Mlinar, one of Croatia’s largest and most well established bakery, has opened its second outlet in Australia. Last year Mlinar opened its first bakery in Australia, in Sydney, and after a year of successful business has expanded with another store this time in a suburb of Sydney, Liverpool.

This move into the international market for Mlinar isn’t the only one as the company have also been making huge steps in Germany with a statement saying that they plan to open 150 bakeries over the next five years.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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