The Croatia Asparagus festival is a yearly event held in high esteem for the locals, and indeed the flocks of people who come from all over the world to appreciate it. I usually stay in Dubrovnik villas as many are located on the Dalmatian coast with spectacular sea views.
The festival lasts for 2 weeks running this year from the 9th April through until the 24th April. It is held on the beautiful coast of Istria in the popular resort town of Lovran, boasting the fact that it is now in its 11th year. It is however still a traditional festival, in the sense that it is a celebration of fresh food, which is an ancient concept. You could even go as far as saying it is a celebration of life itself when you think of it in this way. Naturally on today’s platform it has become somewhat trendy and cosmopolitan with fresh food and healthy eating becoming more and more popular. On the tail end of Americanisation and fast food culture, for our health’s sake alone, this must be a good thing!
The main celebration falls on the middle Sunday between the two weeks of the festival, and on this day an omelette of gargantuan proportion is made. The omelette comprises of 100 eggs and 30kgs of fresh asparagus, known as the ‘Vela Frijata’. It is held in the main square of Lovran, and the locals put on a grand parade dressing up as asparagus and the like, with live music playing until the early hours. They really do make the most out of it and it is a fantastic party atmosphere. It spreads all across the city with local restaurants setting up in the streets cooking a plethora of asparagus based dishes. It is a haven for chefs and people who love their food alike, with lots of secret local recipes which the more keen chefs may want to try and get their hands on. It’s a pioneer in ancient traditional flavours along with cutting edge new ideas and concepts for asparagus based dishes.
Just eat more asparagus!
Asparagus is becoming more and more popular not only for its flavour, but for its health benefits. As early as the second century, the physician Galen coined the plant as ‘cleansing and healing’. It is high in antioxidants and has many of the body’s required essential vitamins. It is low in calories and sodium, whilst being very high in dietary fibre. It is also high in Vitamin b6, A, C, E, K, calcium, magnesium, zinc and even chromium, which is a mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.
Live locally? Buy locally!
Another main point about asparagus from this region is that it grows locally. Asparagus does not travel well and will last around 2 weeks, hence the length of the festival. It is at its best completely fresh, and this is why the most worldwide gourmet chefs come to appreciate it in its purest form. Its diversity is also astonishing, showcased here at its best, where you can have pizza, countless main courses, deserts and even beer made from it. If you a lover of asparagus, or fresh food in general, this festival which is ended with a magnificent firework display, is definitely for you.