The Croatian media report today how the meat from a traditional breed of cattle originating from Istria, Boškarin, secured a type of EU protection. Its name was entered ‘in the register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications (‘Meso istarskog goveda – boškarina/Meso istrskega goveda – boškarina’ (PDO))’. It is the third product placed on that register jointly, by Croatia and Slovenia, after the Istrian pršut and Istrian olive oil were already protected. Istrian sheep cheese and Istrian honey are currently in the administrative stages of the same protection.
The Boškarin meat is fresh, aged for at least 15 days in a controlled environment, from the cattle calved within the Istrian peninsula (within the borders of the Istria County, certain parts of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County and within the Slovenian Istria).
Boškarin is an ancient cattle breed that was on the brink of extinction at one point. In the 1960s, during the breed’s heyday, there were over 60,000 specimens in Istria, but numerous factors led to the decline of the population. In the early 1990s, there were only a few purebred specimens in the Croatian part of Istria, and none in the Slovenian region. Then an association of their breeders was established, and their hard work led to a sharp increase in population, and there are almost 400 cows and bulls in Istria. Boškarin meat is considered a delicacy, and something you should really seek out when in Istria.