Blatska Lumblija – Forget Me Not Cake

Total Croatia News

Blatska lumblija is an old cake made in Blato on Korčula island, but just what are its origins?

This old cake with a very interesting past has been being made for almost 200 years and its traditions date back to Napoleonic times, when Korčula was under French rule.

The story behind the blatska lumblija is a love story of one French soldier and local girl from Blato. The two of them needed to separate after the French army left in 1811, and when the soldier was about to leave he gave her a cake he made from the available ingredients, telling her: N’oublie pas (Don’t forget me). As she didn’t understand French, she heard the word lumblija and that’s how the cake’s name came to be.

Since that time, blatska lumblija has been being made from ingredients that are collected and prepared during the summer. The cake has almonds, walnuts, raisins, orange, lemon, different spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, cove, carob or walnut rakija and the most important ingredient – varenik (cooked wine must – a soft wine syrup that is cooked on a light fire for several hours and reduced to dark sweet syrup).

Blato is a town on Korčula well known for the emigration of its residents during the beginning of 20th century to Australia and South America. When leaving, they would take their memories of their loved ones and their homeland with them, and among them was blatska lumblija.

The traditional time to bake the cake is the time around All Saints when people remember their loved ones who have passed away.

This cake is gastronomically unique and acts as a link between French and Croatian traditions and culture. Blatska lumblija carries the story about historical moment and lifestyle on Blato and Korčula from old times no matter how many years have passed. For locals from Blato, blatska lumblija is not just a cake, but a story about the traditional island lifestyle and its local culture.

Every year in Blato at the local Plokata square, in memory of this old love story and in order to preserve the tradition, there is traditional blessing and tasting of traditional blatska lumblija prepared by high school pupils under the guidance of their professors and parents. The event occurs on All Saints Day.

This traditional event is organised by the Tourist board of Blato, under the title of ”Days of lumblija from Blato” – the event involves the exhibition, tasting and competing for the best lumblija cake, followed by klapa singing and Kumpanjija dancers in their traditional costumes.

The cake is also exhibited during the summer on Brač island, close to Split. Every year for nine years so far in mid-August on the ”Night of Hrapoćuša cake” – this is another special island cake, originating from Brač. During this event this year, visitors were able try hrapoćuša from Dol and lumblija cake from Blato. The event is part of the project “Four islands – four towns – four recipes” that aims to connect these two islands, as well as islands Hvar and Vis (and their traditional foods starogrojski paprenjok and viška pogača) which all have a well-known emigration history and strong gastronomic heritage.

These events exist to protect this rich gastronomic heritage. The associations from Korčula who work on protecting the heritage are Blatske fižule, Kumpanjija knight’s society, whose members make the lumblija cake among other traditional dishes. The cake is now in the process of getting its mark of geographical origin. Companies who produce blatska lumblija are OPG Sanja Protić and Konoba Zlinje, as well as Blato 1902 d.d. so this cake is available throughout the whole year.

If you want to make this cake, the simple instructions are as follows:

The ingredients are: almonds, walnuts, raisins, spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, cove, carob or walnut rakija and the most important ingredient called varenik – cooked must (mošt). Sugar, olive oil, butter, and lard are added to these and mixed with a bit of yeast and flour.

The dough needs to rest for 2-3 hours and then you knead it, it is then baked in the form of bread at 180 degrees for 35-40 minutes. This cake can last for about a month when kept at room temperature.


SOURCE(S) (text and photos): Tourist Board Blato, Tourist Board Blato news, Tourist Board Blato Press, Tourist Board Blato Facebook


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