Recipes and stories from the hidden heart of Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. Explore the culture and history of Istria – a gulf shared by Italy, Croatia and Slovenia – through the kitchens and recipes of its inhabitants.

Istria is the heart-shaped promontory at the northern crux of the Adriatic Sea, where rows of vines and olives grow in red fields. Here, the cuisine records a history of changing borders – a blend of the three countries (Italy, Croatia and Slovenia) that have shared Istria’s hills and coasts and valleys. This book is a record of traditions, of these cultures and of Paolo’s family: recipes from her childhood, the region’s past, and her relatives and friends who still live beside the Adriatic coast. Among recipes for potato dumplings, baked antipasti, and strudels made with cherries, apricots, and plums, are memories of the region and the stories of the recipes’ authors: the Italian-Istrians who remained in the region after the 1940s, and those who left for new countries. Istria is full of recipes inspired by home kitchens and memories of what grew in the owner’s gardens: hearty grain soups and seafood, crepes piled high and biscuits flavoured with cinnamon. Istrian cuisine is a rich blend of Venice and Vienna, Hungary and the Balkans – food doesn’t have borders, and certainly not in this book’s recipes.

272 pages

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