A 6.5 foot wide pan big enough to hold 66 pounds of wild asparagus and 1,000 eggs stands ready for cooking a giant frittata kicking off Croatia’s 14th Annual Asparagus Festival. Made each year in the town square of coastal Village of Lovran on the Adriatic Sea, this glorious celebration centers on the spring time wild asparagus proliferating on slopes of the Ucka Mountain range in the Kvarner and neighboring Istria regions.
During the two week festival (April 12th to April 27th 2014), local restaurants feature a variety of wild asparagus dishes, often with ingredients such as prosciutto to balance out its natural bitterness, along with live music and other events in town squares spanning Croatia’s two major geographical regions which mark diverse culinary traditions and diets. Typically, heartier cuisine influenced by Viennese, Hungarian and Turkish traditions predominate in continental Croatia while Mediterranean cuisines based on olive oil and seafood are served with aplumb along the coastline.
Photo courtesy of Croatian National Tourist Board