Intangible Heritage of Croatia – Ćupter – Traditional Wine Jelly Candy

Total Croatia News

Learn how to make the candy of Croatia’s past!

The grape harvest is coming to an end for this year and winemakers have had quite a few very busy weeks. Here’s the story about what wine can be used for, except for the already pretty obvious reasons!

Ćupter is a tradition connected to the Makarska, Imotski and Vrgorac regions and is part of the intangible heritage of Croatia, but is commonly made across the border in Herzegovina too. Locals describe ćupter as a form of old-fashioned gummy bear. They’re made mostly from grapes and they’re typically ready to be eaten at around Christmas time. Each region has its own way of making them, and here’s the almost 90 year-old recipe.

In order to make ćupter, you’ll need to separate good quality grapes and blend them, then stir the mixture in order to make ”varenik” or juice. The varenik should be boiled, and then you should add flour or semolina.

For seven litres of varenik, you’ll need to add 1.25 kg of semolina, and it should cook for an hour on a low fire. One litre should be cooked with sugar.

The rest is mixed with flour or semolina and a bit of the juice is saved for later. The mixture should be stirred all the time in order to prevent any lumps from developing.

When the mixture thickens, you can then add in 0.5 kg of roasted chopped almonds.

In order to have a nice aroma, you should add lemon or orange zest, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and then continue mixing. When it becomes more difficult to stir it, then you know it’s ready. You’ll then need to pour the mixture into wooden moulds with a wet cloth over them so the fluid doesn’t stick.

After a couple of days, you can take it out and cut it up into smaller pieces. It should dry for a bit longer, and then it should be stored in paper boxes with bay leaves.

This is how you make this traditional candy from all-natural ingredients that were the only things available for the people of the past. The ćupter-making tradition has been part of Croatia’s intangible heritage since June the 8th, 2017.


SOURCE (text and photos):  Stari Imotski, Vrgorac blog


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