Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Visit to Poreč: The Basilica & Boškarin

During our time in Istria, on our two-week tour of Croatia, we made a brief stop at the town of Poreč, a popular resort spot on the west coast of Istria, along the Adriatic Sea. Poreč is bout 2000 years old, and the Romans once built a city there. As expected, you'll find many tourist shops here and plenty of restaurants. 

One of the top attractions in Poreč is the 6th-century Euphrasian Basilica, also known as the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of Mary, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Part of this complex dates back to the 4th century, when an earlier basilica was established by Saint Marus of Parentium. Around 535, Bishop Euphrasius had much of the basilica constructed. The Basilica is very well preserved, and includes a baptistry, bishopric, atrium, bell tower and chapel. We made a stop at the Basilica, and you can check out my photos of some of the sights within this fascinating place.

You could easily spend at least a couple hours exploring the Basilica. 

While wandering through Poreč, after stopping at a few shops, I decided to stop for a bite to eat at Fora Le Parte, a wine bar & bistro which was established in 2016. It was a pleasant day and I sat outside, so I could people watch while enjoying some food and a glass of wine. 

There were plenty of choices of restaurants I could have stopped at, but Fora's sandwich board caught my eye with its mention of Boškarin. The Boškarin, also known as Bakin, are an ancient breed of cattle that originated in Istria, said to be descended from bulls of the Podolica breed, originally from southern Italy. Like Waygu, Boškarin began as draft animals, but when tractors eventually took over, there was little need for Boškarin. The breed nearly died out until some dedicated breeders established the Federation of Istrian Cattle Breeders and brought the population back from extinction. Now, it is seen as a gourmet delicacy, and I wanted to experience it.

The Boškarin Carpaccio was exquisite, silky and flavorful, with a rich, beefy taste. And at only about $13 US, this was also an excellent value. I chose an older Malvazija wine for this dish, based on a recommendation from the server, and the pairing worked well, with the richer, more savory Malvazija complementing the delicious beef. If you visit Istria, you need to sample some Boškarin at some point. 

No comments: