February 13, 2019 – Korcula is quietly establishing itself as a luxury gourmet destination, and if you want to see it truly shy, late April is the time to be there.
After the snow and the cold, the sun is beaming through my Varazdin window, and thoughts turn to one of the nicest times of year – Spring in Croatia.
One of my highlights of 2018 took place in Spring last year, a rather delightful discovery on Korcula. The weather played fair, and the long May bank holiday weekend was spent at the 2nd Korcula Spring Food and Wine Festival, Korculanske Pjatance.
A group of restaurants from the town and surrounding villages put on an outstanding selection of dinners, cooking classes, workshops, wine tastings and live music that really worked well. Included were two of the stars of the Dalmatian dining scene, Michelin-recommended Lesic Dimitri and Konoba Mate in Pupnat. We were fortunate to arrive for one very special occasion, the 20th anniversary of the Bire winery in Lumbarda, famous for its Grk, where the Bire wines were paired with a 5-course classic from Marko Gajski, resident chef at Lesic.
With accommodation right on the beach at Tara’s Lodge at Zrnovska Banja, the kids took to the Tara motto of Eat, Sleep, Beach, Repeat with gusto. In between, there was foraging for herbs in the woods near Pupnat for a dessert workshop with celebrity pastry chef Petra Jelenic, and a pasta-making masterclass with Filippi, which my daughters enjoyed immensely. A wonderful family event.
Korculanske Pjatance returns this year from April 26-30, during the Easter Holidays, so there is even more reason to head down to this lovely Dalmatian island. You can follow the event on Facebook.
Stay a few days longer, until May 3, and enjoy yet one more festival, Sparogijada. If you have never tried wild asparagus before, you are truly missing out. Much more bitter and concentrated than traditional asparagus, it is one of the most eagerly-awaited times of year for locals, who disappear into the fields to forage for their own supply.
You don’t have to do that, as the asparagus comes to you in the form of the Sparogijada festival, which is described as follows by the Korcula Tourist Board:
Taste traditional dishes made with asparagus, a delectable plant found in Korčula’s nearby fields.Taste traditional dishes made with asparagus, a delectable plant found in Korčula’s nearby fields.
The asparagus is a favourite seasonal ingredient picked during the April-May period.
Students of Korčula culinary school prepare various dishes with asparagus and other local ingredients. For those with a sweet tooth, they prepare traditional Korčula cakes and pastries.
Keep up with the latest from this lovely island with our Total Korcula section.