Endless wheat fields and agricultural land of Slavonia have long been considered the “breadbasket of Croatia“. Traditional Slavonian cuisine is a blend of typical local dishes and the centuries of mixing cultures and peoples, sometimes due to war and conquer and at other times due to trade. Therefore a culinary tour of Slavonia uncovers how hearty and simple peasant’s dishes absorbed the influences of Austrian, Hungarian, Central European and Turkish cuisine.
Slavonia is perhaps best known for kulen. Though the region has plenty of exquisite sausages and hams, kulen stands out as its signature product. It is one of the most famous Croatian dishes abroad and is protected by European Union as one of its indigenous food products. Prepared in autumn, kulen is a dry, smoked spicy pork sausage, whose red colour and distinct flavor come mainly from paprika. More than a condiment, paprika is a culinary token and leitmotif of the region, where it is unimaginable to have any feast without stuffed peppers or a freshwater fish stew prepared with paprika.
The heart of Slavonia is big, and so are its traditional menus and cast iron pots, used for the preparation of all kinds of stews.
Among those, most famous is čobanac, a shepherds’ stew prepared in large cast iron pot outdoors, over an open fire, always for a large number of people. Yes, the dining tables in Slavonia are never small and never empty, always ready to welcome another guest. Typically, a host will offer some home-baked bread, a range of delicious spicy sausages, roasted pig or some stew, a home-made pasta like trganci with pork rinds and cheese. A culinary tour of the region uncovers yet another specific, originally oriental dish – ćevap. A distant cousin of kebab, local ćevap is made from thoroughly grilled minced meat with the addition of onions, tomatoes and of course, some peppers!
And when you think you have no more place left for dessert, Slavonians will present an offer you cannot decline. Needless to say, a stock of home-made dry biscuits awaits in every Slavonian cupboard. However, you should be prepared for more lavish bites, such as mađarica, a chocolate layer cake or medena pita, a honey layer cake. Or perhaps bazlamača, a traditional corn cake with dark fruit jam.
Without a doubt, Slavonia is one of the largest wine regions in Croatia. Therefore, the culinary tour of the region is definitely the wine tour as well.
Besides having many micro wine regions, Slavonia boasts several world-renowned winemaking hubs whose wines are exported on a massive scale, shipped to the posh restaurants across the globe.
Here, winemaking tradition has deep and unbroken roots. For example, back in antiquity Romans gave the Požega valley name of Vallis Aurea or Golden Valley. Here, on those mellow, golden slopes, they begun producing wine back in the 3rd century A-D.
Another example is Kutjevo wine company, which boasts a continuous wine production ever since 1232 when Cistercian monks built a wine cellar, still in use by the company.
The result of this amazingly strong winemaking tradition are many premium world-class wines. Once served at the European imperial courts, today the elegant wines of Slavonia keep winning medals at world toughest wine competitions. The rather long list of regional wines has its many highlights – such as Graševina, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Traminer, Yellow Muscat, Cabernet Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Merlot. Recently, warmer autumns allowed the production of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel. Such huge variety allows a perfect pairing with each and every traditional regional dish.
Thriving at the crossroads of cultures, Slavonia absorbed many influences. Its historical towns and cities boast many fine examples of medieval, baroque and classicist architecture, along with the remnants of early human cultures. As your culinary tour takes you to the countryside, the vast green expanses of Slavonia plain invoke the long dried-out Pannonian Sea which once covered these lands. Bucolic ambient and forests of indigenous oak – used to make top quality wine barrels around the world – are interrupted only by occasional hills. Slavonia is home to one of the most biologically rich habitats in this region, Kopački rit Natural Park. This wetland abounds in various fish species and migrating birds.
The regional wine châteaus and wineries definitely make sightseeing tour on their own. From those traditional ones to the outstanding architectural feats such as the winery in Radovanci, which won many architectural prizes around the world. And, last but not least, Slavonia has a rich intangible cultural heritage such as traditional music and folklore, today under the UNESCO protection.
Tour With Zoran
Petra Svačića 41c
Registered at Commercial Court in Dubrovnik, Du/Tt-10/150-2
Fund capital: 20.000,00HRK paid in full
Member of the Board: Zoran Turajlić
IBAN: HR 7623400091110421687
ID CODE: HR-AB-20-090028580