Olive oil has become one of the pillars of every Mediterranean cuisine and whole hymns have been written about it. Croatian olive growing covers approximately 900 km of coastline of more than 1000 islands. In these areas we will come across different reliefs, land types and climates. With regard to them, breeding is divided into six subregions: Croatian Littoral, Northern Dalmatia, Central Dalmatia, Southern Dalmatia, Dalmatian hinterland, Kvarner and Istria. In a small Istrian village, Cunj, echoed words that we certainly do not hear for the first time: “Well, there comes a time when everyone will want to return to the village and pick something from their garden.” These are the words that are ringing even today in the ears of the main protagonist of this story of ours, Mrs. Loredana. The voice that utters those words belongs to her father Mario. She inherited knowledge, responsibility, but also an immense love for olives from him.
Her father spent every day off in the far north of Istria, in the embrace of Učka and Ćićarija, in the untouched nature of his native village of Cunj, in the Buzet region. He, of course, used his pension to work. This time for work from the heart, for work that will enable him to “pick something from his own garden”. And not just anything, but to pick her majesty – the olive. In the 80s he planted the first olives in his olive grove. Year after year, the olive grove gradually grew, and today it spreads over 1.02 ha. Grandpa Mario is unfortunately no longer with them, but his spirit still lives among the branches he pruned himself (and we are sure among the new ones 😊). The olives did not survive the first winter in the 80’s, because nature intended to show all its power that year and freeze them one by one. But the love for olives is stronger even than the harshest winter. It is also stronger than the damage caused by hail, than the barren year, than the deer that browses a hundred young olives just before giving the first fruit. It is stronger than all the troubles that threaten this outdoor factory. Nothing can surprise or accommodate this family, not even the birth of the youngest granddaughter Ena on last year’s harvest day 😊
That open-air office is an office for, Ms. Loredana tells us, her husband, son, daughter in law, granddaughter Lana, and mom (until Ena grows up). She admits to us that although it is always good to listen to the advice and experience of the elders, the ideas of the younger ones still push them forward. The idea and vision of the VeeMee label “Do you think you know what you’re eating?” caught her attention at first. Still .. we will hope that she will miss the next 2 lines of text 😉 because we believe that the younger members of the family farm must have had their fingers involved in the realization of this cooperation 😊. They belong to the “digital generation”, but also to the generation that is finding it increasingly difficult to “swallow” the inconsistency of the food they buy.
Non-traceability is not a label that can be attached to Loredana Krbavčić’s family farm. You can find everything about the production of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Pavletić Cunj on the VeeMee platform. If the year is fruitful, in their assortment, in addition to extra virgin olive oil, we will find Divine and St. John’s wort oil in which they macerate aromatic and spicy herbs.
Today there are 31 autochthonous olive varieties and 44 introduced varieties in Croatia. Leccino, Pendolino and Frantoio are Italian varieties that were planted in the very beginning, but in 2009 they turned to autochthonous varieties in which Istarska bjelica is in the front. Its tree is medium lush, the canopy is dense, and the upright, long and solid branches are adorned with oval fruits of medium size. It is characterized by regular and abundant fertility, and the oil has a note of moderate bitterness and piquancy.
The quality of Extra virgin olive oil Pavletić Cunj, is crowned with many golden acknowledgements. The one that is maybe the most valuable, certainly the one that they are most proud of, is its inclusion in the only guide for extra virgin olive oils, FLOS OLEI.
They believe that the special care for quality contributes to this. “Being guided by tradition we keep the quality “ is their slogan which they apply from picking the olives, to filling and storage, after which they can proudly stop and remember how much effort, love and money it took. Olives are processed only a few hours after the harvest, which ensures the preservation of all valuable and healthy ingredients of this liquid gold. Do you want to try it too?
And you can! but how to get your hands on one?
If you are travelling to Istria, you should visit Biskoteka in Roč, or the center of Buzet where you will find the store of Mrs. Loredana with her autochthonous goods. Click on https://emerkato.hr/trgovina/opgloredana.html and in just a few clicks ensure your goods.
If you think Istria is too far, maybe you will reconsider after this:
Loredana Family Farm got its funds from EU funds for investment in non-agricultural activities, for the reconstruction of the birthplace of her deceased father. The story that began in Cunj therefore gets a sequel. From 2022, all the lovers of nature, clean air, olives and olive oil will be able to enjoy an unforgettable experience in which they will have the opportunity to get acquainted with all the charms of the cultivation of olives, straight from the window of the room.
There you will start your morning with a spoonful of olive oil on an empty stomach! It is advisable that you do that from time to time from home. The advice is coming straight from Mrs. Loredana, and if she says that it is a natural medicine for an aching stomach,then we believe her!
Is this sequel based on the love for grandpa Mario, olives or both, we cannot say with certainty. However, we know that we have already booked our accommodation.
Until next reading!
Your VeeMee Advisor 😊