EU Protection Status for Poljički Soparnik?

Lauren Simmonds

Several Croatian dishes have recently recieved EU protection status, and another old Croatian speciality, Poljicki soparnik may soon join the list.

Mandarins from the Neretva, kulen from Baranja, extra virgin olive oil from Cres, Prosciutto from Drniš, sour cabbage from Ogulin and potatoes from Lika are just a few Croatian foods that have rightfully obtained EU geographical protection status, now an application for Poljički soparnik to receive the same protected status and be issued with an EU geographical origin label has been sent and is currently sitting with the European Union anticipating its outcome.

Poljički soparnik is a type of savoury pie filled with Swiss chard. Omiš and the surrounding area (former Poljička Republika) is its place of origin. It is claimed that the original recipe originates from the Osmanii period (15th – 19th century), and some sources say it was the prototype of the modern-day Italian pizza, which the Romans then brought to Italy. Today it is used as a cultural trademark and sold increasingly on markets and in restaurants and is found at various events and festivals. Since the early 2000’s there is a dedicated soparnik festival in the municipality of Dugi Rat, and there is also a Poljički soparnik society (Udruga Poljicki soparnik) dedicated solely to the dish. It has since been declared as intangible cultural heritage of Croatia by the Croatian ministry of culture, it now eagerly awaits ultimate protection at the level of the European Union.

Petar Rodić, president of the Poljički soparnik society
Petar Rodić, president of Poljički soparnik society, photo by

The Poljički soparnik society says that to date, nothing remotely similar has been granted with the protection of the EU, and that receiving the much desired status is important as it will mean accessing EU funds will become much easier when presenting Poljički soparnik at cultural fairs and festivals around Europe.


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