Locally known as pedoći, mussels are one of my favourite seashells, which you simply must try prepared in buzar sauce! Usually, the side with this dish is polenta, but I like it with pasta as well. These seashells are often boiled without removing the shells and are eaten with fingers which end up sticky from tomato sauce and Mediterranean spices so that you will literally have to lick them clean! Buzar sauce is often made from other seafood, such as shrimp and other seashells, making this dish even more irresistible. But, pedoće are just as tasty when prepared simply – boiled a bit with some parsley, garlic and olive oil…
Venus clams can also be done in buzar sauce, but it is by no means rare for chefs to serve them raw, with a splash of lemon juice. Almost all seafood is transformed into a top-notch gourmet experience with a splash of lemon and these seashells are no exception. Boiled, they go excellently with a number of spices and are also often coupled with various sauces. If you have not done so already, be sure to try them, and for a full experience, accompany the dish with a glass of white wine, preferably of the famous Istrian Malvasia variety.
Another favourite of the Northwest Istria’s chefs, as well as of all the guests of their restaurants and taverns, Noah’s Arks can be – other than raw with a bit of lemon – excellently made, as you might have already guessed – in buzar sauce. They can also be warmed a bit to encourage them to open and prepared with olive oil and lemon. But for those in search of a more distinct taste, I would recommend them roasted with cheese and garlic. Tomato with bread crumbs or even artichoke can be added to this dish. Try to have only two when they are prepared this way – we guarantee you will fail!
It’s a fact that oysters are most popular raw, with a drop or two of lemon juice. This is, after all, they way they are eaten as an aphrodisiac. At the Days of Seashells try them in a cream soup or roasted with different vegetables, herbs or spices. Some recipes even have them done with almonds! I have not tried these yet, but I am certainly planning to.
Scallops, or kapešante, as they are locally known, are the most famous seashells of this part of Istria. The ones growing near Novigrad are truly special: the mix of the fresh water of the river Mirna and seawater has made them one of the most tasty scallops in the world! Grilled with ravioli, or done with truffles, garlic and parsley, even as a mini beefsteak – however made, scallops are the main ingredient of some of the most imaginative combinations. For seashell aficionados, like me, scallops rule at this time of the year.
Raw or roasted, with pasta or salad, as an etrée or as a main dish, by themselves or paired with other seafood… Whenever I think of Queen scallops, I am faced with a challenge: how do I prepare them? Or, when at a restaurant, which dish do I order? I simply cannot make up my mind! Queen scallops are meaty and rich in taste and they go well with numerous other foods. This is why so many people choose these seashells when trying for an exquisite gourmet experience.