Learning Croatian through experiences #004
Buying fritule in Split
Buying fritule at Goluzarije in Split - an enjoyable experience
Everyone in the Croatian diaspora knows the importance to social life of fritule – also called, from place to place, and with some variations, uštipci, or pašarate.
Yum! Yummy! Jummo! How do you say that in Croatian? [Njum!]
In my childhood home, we called them pašarate, and I believed that this was the name most commonly used on the islands. However, Google draws a blank with this name.
We used to tell non-Croatians that they were the bits of dough pushed out from the centre of American-style doughnuts.
It's simply not possible to have a birthday, wedding, or any other social occasion unless baba makes her magic fritule.
But when I am travelling around Croatia, it seems odd to be amongst Croatian people without fritule on the table. Maybe they are not so popular now? And very few places sell them.
I was in Split for a conference in late 2016, and using the occasion for some learning Croatian. I was hanging out for some fritule. After all, that is why I came to Split ... The conference was secondary!
Just imagine how my digestive juices flowed when Mateja and I saw this shop just behind the Hrvastko Narodno Kazalište (HNK):
We looked through the window.
Very inviting, indeed!
Of course, we had to make a closer inspection. The unmistakable aroma attracted us strongly.
We went inside ....
This young man was making fritule right there and then!
Wonderful looking fritule. Uniformly golden (unlike mine, with patches ranging in colour from pale yellow to blacker than black) and almost perfect spheres (again not like mine, which my grandkids see as an elephant, or a crab, or a spider, or or a flower …..).
I had to have some, didn’t I?
We went in, Mateja with phone in hand to video events - which I admit were more than a little hammed up.
I was served by a very pleasant man whom I later (two years later) came to know as Ivan Matić – co-owner with his brother Marin.
Warning: The end of the video is very, very ugly! It may be a good idea to stop at 1:48.
In case the sound wasn't clear enough, we had a little discussion in which Ivan obligingly pointed out in which regions the words fritule, uštipci and pašarate are used. I asked him to add some sugar (šećer) and cinnamon (cimet).
They were so fresh that they were still warm.
Did I like them? The answer is in the last 10 seconds of the video. Fortunately, the video ends before you can see me dribbling.
We left, and in his eyes I guess we were just a couple of his thousands of tourist customers - maybe a little more strange than most – that he would never see again.
Little did he know ……. Little did we know ….
Wind the clock forward almost exactly two years, and I am in Split again, attending the same conference as two years earlier.
Well, of course, we made a point of re-visiting this special little shop Goluzarije. And I took my computer to show him the video that we had recorded two years ago.
As we walked in, there was Ivan again – just as last time. He had no recollection of who I was, and was a little suspicious of what I had to show him. All the more credit to him that he was just as obliging as before – especially with some stranger (Mateja) recording the proceedings.
In the following video, see how obligingly Ivan responds to an invitation from a stranger to watch a video he knows nothing about .....
And in the following video, Ivan and his wife Paula watch the video that we recorded two years earlier, remembering events and people. He gives me permission to publish stuff about our interaction on this site, gives me his business card, and then insists on giving us some fritule with coffee and tea.
Do forgive the "jumpiness" in this highly edited video.
What beautiful people, with beautiful food - and not just fritule …
If you are in Split, do yourself a favour and visit these charming people at Goluzarije - which they describe as a slastičarnica fritularnica! It is the best of the best in Split. And, in my opinion, in all of Croatia.
And tell Ivan that Bob and Mateja sent you. But watch out: Ivan's brother Marin looks very similar.
If you are not in Split (How unfortunate!), and don’t have a Croatian baba to cook fritule for you, they are quite easy to make.
Here are two recipes, one described for fritule, and the other for uštipci.
Beware! If you go to the recipe for making fritule, you run the risk of submerging into the Chasing the Donkey website and never re-emerging!
Making a toast to a lovely experience - with fritule. What more appropriate way?
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