Have you already come up with a menu for your New Year’s celebration? All right, and what are you filling up the squid with? What with are you grating your fresh truffles? Whose family recipe will you be using to bake a pandešpanj? What are you looking so confused for? You’re not going to tell me you did not cool down one of the sensational Istrian sparkling wines for the midnight countdown?! Hm, yeah, I do not want to be looking down on your efforts, but Istrians do it better!
I’m kidding, you do not have to sulk now, I’m sure you will delight your guests with a top-of-the-line feast, but you will certainly go wrong if you add just a little bit of Istria to your celebratory atmosphere. To begin with, do not forget that red and gold traditional colors of the New Year’s celebration, which means that Teran and Malvasia must flow in streams! The Istrian prosciutto and truffle cheese must always be ready for a quick bite before, between and in the middle of all the night’s courses. New Year’s, after all, happens just once a year!
Speaking of wine, a bokalet of the hearty Istrian soup with croutons, olive oil and cooked wine will give your guests the strength to celebrate the all night long. The warm Teran will not only warm their souls, but will also heat up the atmosphere even before the first toast! And you do the toast with local Istrian brandies. Thanks for the asking, I would love a teranino (after the biska, and before the medica).
The squid season is in full swing, and you can fill them up with literally whatever you have in your refrigerator. Let loose, free your creativity without fear! Continue the winning roll with fuži (Istrian pasta) with grated fresh truffles – if you serve these decorated with edible gold leaves, your party will be remembered as legendary even before the clock strikes midnight.
After these sensational courses and entrees, the main dish will not be necessary, but if you really insist on a filet of Istrian boskarin or on some game goulash with local gnocchi, I will not be stopping you. My parents taught me that it was rude to refuse the host!
Do not let the year leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth! For that not to happen, Istria has an incredible feast of antique cakes and sweets that pair fantastically with the lovely Istrian sparkling wines. Fritule are, of course, implied, but if you really want to shock guests with your skills, ask the Istrian nonas for some almost forgotten recipes, such as pandešanje, povetice, bucolaja, candy cakes or paštine. Or, better still, cancel all your plans and come celebrate the New Year in Northwestern Istria!