Samoborska kremšnita, samoborska greblica and samoborska češnofka - intangible cultural heritage of Zagreb County
In a relatively short period of time, three good news came from Samobor, both for its citizens and for all local cuisine lovers. After rudarska greblica and samoborska kremšnita, samoborska češnofka also became a protected product. Rudarska greblica went the furthest and received national protection of geographical origin in the European Union; samoborska kremšnita entered the Croatian Register of Protected Cultural Heritage, while samoborska češnofka obtained a decision on national protection of geographical origin. Protection at national level is an important first step towards a prominent position on the European gastronomic map.
There is certainly no shortage of delicious snacks in the surroundings of Zagreb, and the Samobor city area has developed a reputation as a culinary mecca of the County. Although it is the destiny of every good dish to disappear soon after it is created, these dishes acquired the status of intangible cultural heritage thanks to a closely guarded recipe and skill passed down from generation to generation, as a part of unique local heritage. Diligent hands that have created and prepared these dishes for generations have made history which we can taste in its original form today. A tour of Samobor and its surroundings, along with dozens of other tourist attractions, is best known for discovering the wealth of authentic flavours and aromas.
The story of samoborska kremšnita is only about a hundred years old, but this irresistible dessert made of puff pastry and whipped egg cream very soon became a famous Samobor gastro souvenir. This delicious dessert is best to consume immediately after taking it out of the mold, when it's still warm, foamy and melts in the mouth. Luxurious in its simplicity, it is a true taste of Samobor's tradition, which distinguishes it from all other variations of kremšnita in this part of Europe. Samoborska kremšnita, as an autochthonous Samobor and Croatian brand made according to a protected recipe, should be tasted in two legendary institutions on the main square, namely in the patisserie "U prolazu" and in café Livadić. When going for an excursion, it is a common practice first to eat a slice of warm kremšnita on the spot, while enjoying pleasant conversation over coffee, and then to take a package with you to consume at home.
Although samoborska greblica originates from the nearby village of Rude, you can also taste it in Samobor. As the main promoter, custodian of tradition and the only certified producer, Bakery Nikl has become synonymous with samoborska greblica. Through the enormous efforts of the small association Rudarska Greblica, this micro-local story has become a protected European Union brand, to the pride of its region. This modest thin dough pie stuffed with cheese filling and toppings such as walnuts, yellow carrots and spring onion leaves, nettles, chard or spinach has a long history. It is handmade from start to finish, the result of which is perfectly crispy dough, juicy and creamy in the middle, with a recognizable salty aroma of fresh cheese. As it used to feed the miners a long time ago, today it is a perfect snack during your visit to the green surroundings of Samobor.
A slightly more demanding trip, such as a tour of the natural beauties of Žumberak, requires more solid food, for which the area of Samobor cuisine is the best choice. The ideal meal for hungry hikers is homemade sausage, samoborska češnjofka. It has been produced for over a hundred years in a specific way from pork, beef, and lard, and a decoction of fresh garlic and dry wine. It is lightly smoked and ready to cook, with a slightly spicy taste with emphasis on pork. It is a real treat in itself, and in combination with cabbage or grated potatoes it becomes a prime example of a rich home-made lunch. Samoborska češnjofka is served in numerous restaurants, taverns, picnic areas and even mountain lodges in Samobor and its surroundings, and every butcher likes to add his own signature. The Samoborska Češnjofka Association has united producers and prescribed standards, because recognisability of this speciality on the large European market can be guaranteed only by its excellence and originality.
The recognition of Samobor gastronomic products for which the European Union has established the right of intellectual property represents a recognition of traditional values, motivation for next steps for preserving local cultural heritage, but also a tempting reason to visit and enjoy all the attractions of Samobor and its surroundings.