Days of Croatian Prosciutto Held in Zagreb

Total Croatia News

Photos by: Tomislav Smoljanović

On 26th and 27th of April, Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is also the capital of prosciutto. Prosciuttos from all over Croatia – from Istria to the island of Krk; from the famous Drniš prosciutto to the various Dalmatian prosciuttos – have gathered peacefully and cheerfully as a part of the fifth edition of the Days of Croatian Prosciutto, which are being held in the capital for the first time.


The event was officially opened yesterday morning at the Hotel International. The opening ceremony was attended by Darko Markotić, president of the Croatian Prosciutto cluster; State Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture Tugomir Majdak; Dragan Kovačević, Vice President for Agriculture and Tourism of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce; and Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić. The ceremony also included the presentation of special plaques for the excellence in prosciutto making and the selection of the best Croatian prosciutto for this year.


Ten samples were received for tasting, including all certificated Croatian prosciuttos. That the products offered were of exceptional quality is proven by the fact that all samples won gold medals, and the range of points was from high 87.75 to extra-high 95.38. The Drniš prosciutto Drniških Delicija Maran, with 95.38 points, was the absolute winner.


“I am pleasantly surprised with the title, because the competition was strong, although the number of producers is still too low for us to achieve a breakthrough in Europe,” said this year’s winner Zoran Ćevid, who produces his prosciuttos according to traditional recipes. For high-quality smoked ham, the most important is raw material. It is also necessary that no more than 72 hours pass from slaughter to salting.

“Statistics show that we produced about 250,000 prosciuttos five years ago, but now the number has reached 400,000. That is a large growth of sixty per cent. This is the result of hard work and large investments, perhaps the largest in the food industry sector, amounting to more than 40 million euro. The biggest success is that the share of domestic raw material in our prosciutto production has grown over the past five years from 10 per cent to more than 50 per cent,” said Darko Markotić, president of the Croatian Prosciutto cluster.


“We will provide national financial support to increase primary production and thus get quality raw material for the production of Croatian prosciuttos,” said State Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture Tugomir Majdak, adding that pig breeding is a strategic branch that the government plans to develop.

“In addition to the export potential, the Croatian prosciutto has a great potential in tourism through the top gastronomic offer, because modern tourists are looking for an authentic experience, and it is through gastronomy that they can best learn about the way of life, customs and rich traditions of a particular destination,” said Dragan Kovačević.


Mayor of Zagreb Milan Bandić presented the gold medals, adding that he also produces prosciuttos which the attendees could taste. Special prizes were awarded for the development of prosciutto production to producers Josip Hreljak, owner of Pisinium, the company famous for the production of top Istrian prosciuttos, and Jure Barić, owner of the Opskrba Trade company from Slivno near Imotski, known for the production of Dalmatian prosciutto.

More Croatian food news can be found in the Lifestyle section.


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