Croatia’s season of celebrating its natural treasures continues in Istria.
A windy Sunday afternoon did not stop thousands of chestnut gourmets to come to Oprtalj for the seventh edition of the Chestnut Festival. Judging from the licence plates of vehicles which had blocked entrances to the small Istrian town, the only Istrian chestnut festival has attracted not only Croatians, but also visitors from Slovenia, Italy, Austria and even Germany, reports Glas Istre on October 12, 2015.
The hosts have provided them with a record 1.5 tons of chestnuts, mostly from forests around Oprtalj, but there were also several “visiting” chestnut traders. The popular autumn treat has made Oprtalj famous. “With our Chestnut Festival, we have managed to motivate local residents to start gathering and selling chestnuts, and thus create additional income for their family budgets, and at the same time to contribute to the protection of natural resources in the Oprtalj area”, said mayor Aleksander Krt.
One kilogram of locals chestnut was sold for 30 kuna, while the price of a portion of roasted chestnuts was 15 kuna. You could also taste various dishes, honey, cakes and other desserts based on chestnuts. The lines were the longest for chestnut and coconut cakes, chestnut and apple pies, as well as rolls and cakes made from chestnuts. Maristela Štokovac Vižintin said that the stand of the Oprtalj Tourist Board had prepared 150 kilograms of chestnut cakes.
In addition to chestnuts, other autumn treats were also presented. The “Boletus” Mushroom Society presented an exhibition of mushrooms and prepared a special mushroom meal, although Lino Bazjak complained that the mushroom season had failed due to a long drought. The Hunter’s Club “Vepar” from Oprtalj exhibited its hunting trophies and prepared hunters’ dishes. The festival included performances of elementary school pupils from Milan Šorga Elementary School, as well as “Naša Sloga” Wind Orchestra from Babići. As part of the Chestnut Festival, an antiques fair was organized which brought together about fifteen collectors and dealers of antiques and artwork.