Istria: Recipes and stories from the hidden heart of Italy, Slovenia and Croatia
by Paola Bacchia
Istria is the heart-shaped promontory at the northern crux of the Adriatic Sea, where rows of vines and olives grow in fields of red earth. Here, the cuisine records a history of changing borders - a blend of the countries (Italy, the Republic of Venice, Austria, and Hungary) that have shared Istria's hills and coasts and valleys.
This book is a record of traditions, of these cultures and of Paola's family: recipes from her childhood, the region's past, and her family and friends who still live beside the Adriatic coast. Among recipes for semolina dumplings, beef and pork goulash, and apricot strudel are memories of the region and the stories of the recipes' authors: the Italian-Istrians who remained in the region after the 1940s, and those who left for new countries.
Istria is full of recipes inspired by home kitchens and memories of what grew in the owner's gardens: hearty grain soups and seafood, crepes piled high, and biscuits flavored with cinnamon. Istrian cuisine is a rich blend of Venice and Vienna, Hungary, and the Balkans - food doesn't have borders, and certainly not in this book's recipes.
About the author: Paola Bacchia was born to Italian migrant parents and into their food culture. Her award-winning blog, Italy On My Mind, explores the connection between family memories and food through stories, photos and recipes. She returns to Italy every year to expand her knowledge of Italian food and traditions. Previously, she published Italian Street Food and Adriatico with Smith Street Books.