Our produce and specialties

The unique and distinctive flavours of Lovran

Sweet and juicy cherries, local sweet chestnuts, wild asparagus, Kvarner scampi and laurel (which gave the town its name) are the basis of Lovran’s gastronomy.
The fresh local ingredients on the tables of restaurants and taverns are brought directly from the sea, terraced gardens in the Lovran hinterland and green pastures of Učka, and are the basis of the culinary offer of Lovran and the surrounding riviera, largely influenced by its position between sea and forest.

Marun (lat. Castanea sativa)

The marun sweet chestnut is larger and of better quality and taste than other varieties. The most famous of Lovran’s fruits, it was one of the town’s main export products. The sweet chestnut locally known as marun is a specific type of this fruit, endemic to Lovran and its surroundings. It differs from ‘ordinary’ chestnuts in size, the lighter colour of its easily removable shell, and distinctive sweet taste.
There are several theories about the origin of marun. The most accepted is that it was created by crossing indigenous horse chestnuts with seedlings brought by Lovran sailors from the Far East.
Marun is an important element of the history of Lovran as it fed generations of local people. It was cultivated in large private estates in the hinterland as one of the main foodstuffs of this area.

It can be eaten in various ways. Roasted and ground,
it was used as a substitute for coffee. Sweet chestnut honey was the base for medica brandy. Sweet chestnuts were also the main export product of Lovran, widely known in Germany, Austria, Italy and other European countries.
In its honour, the Marunada food festival takes place every October. Accompanied by entertainment, dancing and music programmes, it offers various delicacies prepared with this indigenous Lovran fruit.

Asparagus (lat. Asparagus officinalis)

This delicious wild plant is extremely healthy for the liver, kidneys and lungs. Growing in abundance in the forests of Učka, it is a common ingredient in local specialities.
Wild asparagus is a culinary delicacy known for more than three thousand years. Its beneficial effects were known to the ancient Egyptians and Romans. It is often referred to as ‘the royal vegetable’. It got its name in Roman times, when commoners spent spring days in the woods, picking asparagus for patrician dinners.
It is native to the Mediterranean area and grows abundantly in the surroundings of Lovran and in the forests on the slopes of Mount Učka. However, this does not mean that it is easy to find!

Successful picking requires good knowledge of the terrain and the places where this sought-after plant usually grows.
The asparagus season lasts from late March to early May. The Asparagus Festival takes place in April – a food event during which Lovran’s restaurants and taverns offer various asparagus dishes. While the most popular is fritaja, a kind of omelette, asparagus also goes well with meat, pasta or rice.

Cherry (lat. Prunus avium)

If summer had a taste, it would be cherry. This sweet juicy fruit with a high nutritional value was one of the main export products of Lovran.
Cherry is an original Mediterranean fruit. It probably arrived in the Lovran area from Greece even before the beginning of the Common Era, when this sweet fruit was discovered by the Romans, who had their villae rustica on the coast of Lovran. Cherries are the sweetest introduction to the summer, because in June Lovran’s gardens are full of these large, dark red fruits.
The cherry has been one of Lovran’s main export items for centuries. Ships from Lovran harbour often carried this fruit, which was known for its quality, size and taste.

There are several varieties of Lovran cherries, which differ in size and taste: the bright and sweet cvetići, the dark and soft duraže, the smaller and harder matešinke, the slightly sourer fruštejke, and the largest and most famous brtošinke. Cherries are used to make great jams and compotes, excellent desserts and strudels, as well as complex dishes. Numerous specialities prepared with this excellent and healthy fruit can be tasted during Cherry Days in June.

Laurel (lat. Laurus nobilis)

The aromatic plant gave Lovran its name and fills the air with its intoxicating scent. Celebrated as a symbol of victory since ancient times, laurel is used today as a spice and a medicine.
Laurel, the plant that gave Lovran its name (Latin name Laurus nobilis), grows in abundance in this area, filling the air with its inimitable scent. The first time Lovran was mentioned in historical books – in the seventh century – was under the name of Lauriana. This could be due to the Romans who built their residences on this coast because, in ancient cultures, laurel was considered a sacred tree. The Greeks believed that this plant was sacred to the god Apollo, while the Romans adopted the symbolism of the laurel wreath as an emblem of victory and success.

Laurel is a Mediterranean plant, used as a spice but also as a medicine because it has an antiseptic effect, strengthens appetite, and improves digestion. It is also used in the treatment of bronchitis, cold, and flu. This provides an added symbolic association of this aromatic plant with Lovran as a town famous among the Austrian and European elites of the late 19th and early 20th centuries as an outstanding health resort for respiratory diseases.

Kvarner Scampi (lat. Nephrops norvegicus)

The aroma and texture of Kvarner scampi cannot be compared with other kinds. That is why Kvarner scampi is among the most sought-after seafoods.
Kvarner scampi has pride of place among the specific foods of Lovran and its surroundings, standing out with its size and reddish colour, thin shell and rich-tasting flesh. The characteristic aroma and texture of Kvarner scampi makes them especially appreciated among gourmets and seafood lovers. As the scampi live at shallower depths, they are caught in pots that do not damage their sensitive tissue and thus their full taste is preserved.
Freshness is extremely important in the preparation of Kvarner scampi. As they pass from local fishermen to the kitchens and tables of the area’s renowned restaurants, it is essential not a moment be lost.
This versatile food is served raw as an appetiser, marinated in a few drops of olive oil and lemon juice. It excels as the predominant taste in risotto and other warm appetisers, but the most famous and most appreciated, a dish that emphasises not only the taste but also the aroma of Kvarner scampi, is buzara.

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