Boskarin is the white grey long horned cattle in Istria, a symbol the region. It was used in agriculture, to plow the fields, for towing the stones for building the houses while its meat was used by farmers as food. But when modernization took pace, the first tractors that were introduced to speed up the work on the land, the number of boskarin started to decline rapidly and were left at only 100 livestock in the 1990s.
It took some 20 years to revive the traditional Istrian cattle that are today farmed for the gourmet purposes with a livestock of 2500. Mainly thanks to the Istrian local government that launched several programs to protect the boskarin farming under the AZRRI agency for the rural development of Istria. Boskarin took a long and thorny path from being a working animal in the field used for towing the rocks for house building to the farming for gourmet purposes.
A delicacy on the table
Today boskarin is hailed as a true gourmet delicacy in Istria, its meat is back into the gourmet cuisine of the region and the traditional cuisine and recipes are taking on a new note. Farming boskarin subsidized by AZRRI program, the maturation and production of meat is done in controlled environment, several gourmet products such as boskarin salami are now on the market and there are restaurants labeled as the best places to serve the original boskarin meat according to highest standards in gastronomy.
The most prestigious gourmet meal
Boskarin is delicacy not only in Istria but in whole of Croatia. “There are some forty restaurants in Istria, ten in Zagreb and one in Dubrovnik who now serve boskarin as the highest gourmet dish.
Products made with boškarin beef
We can say that the traditional Istrian cattle has been saved from extinction and has found its way to the haute cuisine”, explained the head of the AZRRI program Graciano Prekalj.
AZRRI launched new boskarin products – top gourmet salami – on the market just recently. Their names – bakin, kaparin and moro – are the traditional names given to the cattle by the Istrian farmers. The salami are just fantastic, full flavored yet gentle and some even with truffles. “These products come in small and exclusive series, 3-4 tons a year and they represent a gourmet delicacy. The cattle is farmed exclusively on the pasture, there are no food additives in their nutrition and the meat is matured in controlled environment before it is released to the restaurants”, said Edmondo Suran of the AZRRI agency.
There are top restaurants in Istria that serve boskrin meat up to the highest gastronomical standards. Konoba Busicna near Umag is one of them – boskrain carpaccio is just exellent along wth other delicacies prepared by the owner Fabijana Mijanovic and her team. Konoba Nono serves boskarin meat with fuzi or pljukanci, the typical Istrian pasta or as a steak.