Tuesday 26 January 2016

Istria abecedary: C is for Cukerančići

Cukerančići are a traditional type of cookie or biscuit, always prepared for special occasions. Cuker means sugar in Istrian dialect (pronounced 'tsuker' and similar to Zucker in German... and different to šećer in Croatian), which is sprinkled on top (hence the name!). Very often they're dipped in white wine (after they're baked) before being sprinkled with sugar.

The Croatian letter C is pronounced like the 'ts' sound in the word 'cats'.

Monday 18 January 2016

Istria abecedary: B is for Balun

Balun is a traditional Istrian dance performed in pairs to music played by traditional instruments. You can see a video here.

B is also for Bukaleta

This is a pitcher made of earthenware that was traditionally used to serve wine at special occasions. Today this is a popular decorative souvenir that's often often personalized with someone's name.

B is also for Bura, a strong, cold wind that blows in the Adriatic.

B is also for Bazga (elderflower).

And B is also for Boškarin, a type of Istrian ox.

(Image Source: Istria Tourist Office)

Monday 4 January 2016

Istria abecedary: A is for Arena

While I'm away in India for the next three months, I've planned to start a abecedary on Istria, to keep content flowing on this blog while I'm away. 

So for each letter of the Croatian alphabet (there are 30!) I'll be writing a short post about one aspect of Istria, related to its culture, geography, society, architecture, or cuisine.

It's taking me a while to compile the abecedary (which is still work in progress) and I've discovered that for some letters it's more challenging to come up with something than for others. I've also been pouring through my image library looking for suitable photos to illustrate each post, or trying to source the ones I don't have.

So the natural place to start is at A:

A is for Arena

This is the name of the Roman amphitheatre located in Pula, built between 27 BC and 68 AD. Pula's amphitheatre is considered to be one of the best preserved of the remaining Roman amphitheatres in the world because most of its outer walls are intact and it has all four side towers. Today it's a popular tourist attraction and is used as a venue for concerts and other cultural events. 

(Photo credit: Istria Tourist Board)
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