Kumparička, backroads of Istria, Croatia
When I started in on ranking my favorite food experiences of the past year I didn’t know what all would be making this list but I knew who was going to be taking the top spot. It’s like listening to Casey Kasem’s year-end countdown at the end of 1983. You were pretty sure of some songs to be on that list but you knew for damn sure Every Breath You Take would be sitting on the the # 1 spot.
The benchmark is quite high here. We let our guests know ahead of time that 1) it’s really amazing 2) it’s goat cheese heaven 3) the previous guests most likely voted it their favorite food experience of the tour. There’s the usual smorgasbord of soft and semi-hard cheese served alongside fresh out of the oven bread. Then there’s a soup, some veggies and sausages or fresh fish to go with the vibe of the whole place which is completely serene. This is partly because everyone is too busy sampling everything on the massive wood tables and partly because you are literally in the middle of nowhere. The silence is broken only by the sounds of muffled food orgasms and the off-beat discussions and laughter that spontaneously combust when hanging out with such colorful hosts as Ales and Igor.
I’ve personally tried about everything that they have to offer, or so I thought before visiting again in September. But on this occasion they pull out two secret weapons that I was not expecting: some seriously hot hot-peppers and ribs. And those succulent ribs haven’t been forgotten in the months since I devoured one after another after another.