During the month of April, Opatija Riviera gastronomy is dedicated to asparagus, a wild growing plant that can be picked while walking on the slopes of Mount Učka. Spring is the best time to taste dishes prepared with this healthy plant since its period starts at the beginning of April, when the first warm rays of the sun heat up the sea and the slopes where asparagus grow. The special quality and distinctive taste of asparagus in the Kvarner area come from the unique combination of sea and mountain air.
Throughout the history, asparagus has been widely appreciated for its health benefits and medicinal properties. It helps protect heart and blood vessels, fights cholesterol, has a diuretic effect and stimulates body detoxification. The distinctive feature of this plant is that it has only 35 calories but high nutritional value. It also has been considered, during the history to have aphrodisiac properties due to the high content on vitamin E, which is also known as the vitamin of fertility.
The Asparagus Festival is held every April and in many restaurants and taverns on Opatija Riviera various dishes prepared with this wild plant can be enjoyed.
During the Asparagus Festival make the most of local cuisine and taste various asparagus dishes traditionally prepared in this region such as omelette, soups, various pasta and gnocchi dishes, as well as a variety of fish and meat specialities.
The main festivity is held in Lovran, on the town main square where the big omelette is cooked and prepared in a 2-metre large pan right in front of you. The omelette is prepared with 1000 eggs and 30 kg asparagus. This year it will be held on Saturday, 8th April.
If you decide to pick asparagus on your own, ask locals for the best places where to go, how to spot them and how to pick them right.