We spent a day and an overnight in Karanac, a village in Slavonia, a northern agricultural region of Croatia very close to the border with Hungary. The countryside is fertile, flat farm land. Since joining the European Union, the farmers of this area now compete in a wider market and at high prices and, as a consequence, they are struggling. Many have been reduced to subsistence farming. The village of Karanac is slowing becoming a center for aggro-tourism. We stayed in traditional rural farmhouses and learned about local farm products.
Our hosts were Goca and Dennis, a delightful couple.
The properties in the village are long and narrow and extend back from the street with the houses made up of joined rooms one after another. In the back of the property are the barns and sheds. The cultivated fields are outside of the village.
Dennis and Goca collected and displayed farm implements and traditional decor.
Goca had painted the walls with lively patterns using rollers with relief patterns.
Goca also makes soaps and preserves to sell and a local woman, Lily, demonstrated how she made cheeses to sell in a local market.
Some in our group helped chop dried fruits, vegetables, and herbs for three different cheeses that we then were served for breakfast.
Daniel, a local potter demonstrated making vessels on a wheel and then judged our attempts at making coiled pots. I won (blue) and Charlotte (red) came in second!
We also visited a local winery operated by two sister where we learned about local wine making. The sisters are wearing blouses with lovely Hungarian embroidery. I recognized it immediately because my mother took up the hobby after she retired and I have many examples of it on pillow cases.
For lunch we were served a meat stew in a paprika sauce. The region is influenced by Hungarian cuisine (more about the food later on.)
Peppers drying was a common site in the village.
Next we visited Zagreb – next post.