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That was certainly not my last trip to Istria’s Slovenian coast. We had four fantastic days there to get an idea of the culture and culinary art of the Portoroz/Piran region. In this short time we have gathered a host of experiences. That region offers a lot, and as you could see in my last plot, Eating is very much involved. Small wonder, as in that area mainly olive oil and wine is produced as well as sea salt, and truffles are found. Fish farming is no less important, about which I will tell you more in this post.
Everywhere you will find the region’s famous Fleur de sel, be it in restaurants or when promenading along the seafront. I can warmly recommend to you a visit to a typical saline, for there are only very few wellands left on the Slovenian coast. The biggest salt works are the Salines of Sečovlje, whose area covers 517 hectares. Naturally, you can walk around there by foot, but there are also free bicycles available at the entrance.
However, the salt harvest is not possible every year. Last year it fell out completely. During two weeks in August weather must be constantly hot and sunny to enable crystallization and evaporation. During those two weeks salt is harvested early in the morning, but not later than at noon, whereas the second harvest is in the evening.
The entrance fee is 3€
more information here – Secovlje Salina
Relaxation at Lepa vida open air spa
In the midst of the Salines of Sečovlje you will find the Lepa Vida Thalasso Spa, which you should enjoy while visiting the salines. There is a big salt pool and three smaller pools containing water with different salt contents. There are also a Kneipp pool and various private tents for treatments of Thalasso Therapy, of which the most important elements are salt mud and brine. We tested the salt mud treatment, that tightens the skin, which is good for fighting orange peel skin and similar imperfections. These minerals are used for combating various diseases.
Entrance fees: 2h – 18€ / 4h – 30€ (every additional hour 10€)
Salt mud treatment: 30min – 30€
more information here – Thalasso Lepa Vida
Truffles and wine at Family Forte
In the region’s hinterland we visited Istra Terra for gettint more information aon the region’s truffle search. Istra Terra organized this lovely event at Family Forte. Our visit was very nice and authentic upending with conjointly cooking a delicious truffle dinner and wine tasting.
more Information here – Istra Terra
Bay of Piran FONDA FISH FARM
A visit to the Fonda Fish Farm is also highly recommendable. We started early in the morning on rented bicycles and went along the coast to the fish farm. Marine biologist Irena Fonda gave us a cordial welcome and we went by boat to the fish farm. The Fonda family, full of devotion and love for marine life, and having acquired the necessary knowhow, decided to raise the best sea bass of the world.
For years Irena Fonda and her family had to fight for recognition in their own region.. She told us that good fish quality is not enough, for at the central fish markets the lowest purchase price was more important, regardless from how far away the fish was imported. But Irena Fonda is not only an excellent marine biologist, but also a little marketing genius. In the course fo the years they managed to stand out adding to the excellent quality a specially developed packaging and modern marketing methods. Today Fonda’s Piran sea bass can be found in numerous Slovenian restaurants and inns as well as in top hotels and restaurants in neighboring Italy and Carinthia and even in Tyrol.
How do you recognize fresh fish?
At the end of our perambulation Ms. Fonda put us a very important question: how do you recognize fresh fish? I replied spontaneously: by the eyes and the smell. I was not entirely wrong, for scarcely somebody mentions the smell. The eyes can be very simply manipulated and inflated. The smell, hover, cannot be cheated. A further characteristic is holding the4 fish by it head: when it remains rigid in horizontal position and does not hang down, it is of good quality.
more information here: www.fonda.si