Gastroadvent at HNK Split Highlights Croatian Fish Products High in Zinc, Šalša with Varenik

Daniela Rogulj

December 6, 2020 – Split Gastroadvent continued on the second Advent Sunday in the foyer of HNK Split, this time honoring radio journalists and highlighting Croatian fish products high in zinc. 

Split Gastroadvent is a unique event that fuses nutrition, gastronomy, and tourism. With several years of dedicated work on gathering knowledge and skills, it reaches everyone and all parts of the world, through the image, pen, and voice of dedicated journalists, who bring light to Split in this unusual year as well.

As 2020 marks the jubilee 10th anniversary of recognizing the Mediterranean diet, this year’s theme pays great attention to the sea. The Mediterranean Sea boasts an area of about 2.5 million km² and connects all countries of the original Mediterranean diet.

Following this theme, this year’s Gastroadvent wreath is also dedicated to the sea and its preservation. The seafoam wreath symbolically and literally simulates the sea world and is created from discarded trash and plastic. The Mediterranean diet theme inspired prominent sculptor Nives Čičin Šain to send a message in an artistic way: “Let’s preserve our sea and the life in it that feeds many with its beauty.”


During this Advent month, Gastroadvent pays special attention to fish and fish products. Such meals supply the body with important nutrients. Fish products are a good source of zinc (Zn,) a micronutrient of great importance, which has a beneficial effect on the metabolism of macronutrients and carbohydrates and protein synthesis. It plays a significant role in protecting cells from oxidative stress as well as for the normal functioning of the immune system. It is especially important to consume enough fish, oysters, oysters, crabs, tuna, shellfish.

The Croatian Chamber of Commerce has been advocating for years to encourage the representation of fish on menus. For ten years now, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce has implemented the project “Croatian Fish – Eat its Worth.” The project aims to increase consumption of local fish products and build and raise the culture of fish consumption in Croatia, all by raising consumer awareness of the importance and investment in sustainable fisheries, the high nutritional and health value of food originating from locally regulated catches or farming, and the importance of the product they consume from a food safety system of well-known, high standards. This project is of special importance, which was emphasized by President Jozo Tomaš, and confirmed by the cooperation with Gastroadvent in Split.


The fish of the Adriatic Sea was presented by partner Gastro Ribarnica Brač, which makes fish more accessible through regular campaigns, and with its professionalism guarantees safety, availability, and originality. The Amare brand, which focuses on “love from the sea”, combines hand-cleaned meat of Adriatic shrimp, which is synonymous with quality and an indispensable food for restaurants and households, as well as marinated shrimp, marinated anchovies, and salted anchovies. Their novelty is the first burgers made of Adriatic shrimp and scampi, which have achieved notable success on the market. On the wings of this success, the idea for a burger made of Adriatic fish was created, more precisely of four types of white fish and two types of bluefish.


Ecology and competence in gastronomy and tourism are the future projects of the Split School of Tourism and Hospitality. Under the leadership of director Ivo Bilić, the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Split has been appointed the Regional Center of Competence in Tourism in the summer of 2018.


The regional center of competence in the tourism and hospitality sector is the name of a long-term project of the Tourist Catering School Split and partners.

The idea of creating a Regional Competence Center (hereinafter: RCC) arose as a need to improve human resources in tourism, and this school has been in development for about 10 years. Seven years ago, a model of the center was presented at the Ministry of Tourism, originally as an idea for the development of quality schools in tourism. The initial model was for Split-Dalmatia County with about 15 schools (mostly in Croatia) that educate for at least one of the occupations in the tourism and hospitality sector (there are about 100 schools in Croatia), and the main goal was (and remains) that students have better exit competencies upon completion of education and that they are uniform in all schools. The important role of the RCC is to connect with the local community, and it will be manifested through two goals:

1) Projects with kindergartens and primary schools in creating habits among young people and encouraging reflection on tourism, and on the other hand as promoting our professions,

2) Participation in local (regional) events, creating habits among the population about the benefits and importance of caring for the guest-tourist. 


This year’s Gastroadvent also features Mediterranean Food –, a project funded by the European program Interreg Mediterranean, worth 3.7 million EUR, and implemented by the Public Institution RERA S.D. for the coordination and development of Split-Dalmatia County. The project involves 14 project partners from 9 countries in the Mediterranean, which is aimed at popularizing the Mediterranean diet. The main goal of the project is to strengthen research in this area in accordance with the UNESCO Convention on Mediterranean Nutrition, to raise the quality of food and life in 9 project partner countries, as well as promote the Mediterranean diet, which is recognized as the gold standard of proper nutrition, as well as its far-reaching beneficial effects on health.


This time, tomato šalša with varenik, an aromatic nectar from Plavac mail grapes, was presented by the “Brac” high school in Supetar. An evaluation of all products will be organized in order to declare the best, which will go to an international presentation in Seville (Spain) next year.

Split Gastroadvent is held every Advent Sunday at a new location! 

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.



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