Pumpkin festival in Ivanić-Grad (in Croatian it’s called Bučijada and you can read more about it here and here has been held in the town of Ivanić-Grad for 13 years now, and it’s a central celebration in Central Croatia of all those wonderful fruits of autumn, with the emphasis on pumpkins. While, of course, native to North America, pumpkins have in the past been an important ingredient in many traditional recipes in the region, so it’s no wonder that there is a festival celebrating them in this part of Croatia. In the recent years many foreign influences and nutritional guidelines have made the old pumpkin grow even more popular, and now even the beverage that has sparked so much debate and interest in the past few years, the infamous pumpkin spice latte can be found in Croatia.
But why, oh why, you must be wondering by now, are we talking about pumpkins on an almost exclusively wine site? A more attentive reader of this site will probably be able to make the connection, as we have already mentioned Ivanić-Grad in our articles (http://www.total-croatia-wine.com/grapes/909-the-indigenous-grapes-of-croatia-skrlet and http://www.total-croatia-wine.com/croatian-wine-events/1231-skrletovo-2017, just to name a few). Škrlet is an indigenous wine variety of Croatia, more specifically indigenous to the Moslavina region, where the producers of the wine have organized the Škrlet wine makers association. And this year they decided to participate at the pumpkin festival, showcase their wines indigenous to the region and present how the wine they’re working hard on promoting blends with various pumpkin-based dishes. Their booth on the festival is called Škrlet Corner (ŠkrCo in Croatian, which is also a bit of a joke because it’s pronounced similar to what you’d call a cheap person), it is located right at the centre of the events of the festival, and most Škrlet producers from the association will be presenting their wines in Ivanić-Grad this weekend: Mikša, Florijanović, Kezele, Illovčak, Jaram, Trdenić and Voštinić-Klasnić. On Friday night, when the festival and Škrlet Corner were opened the Oridano Gypsy Jazz Band performed.
Photo from the Bučijada Facebook Page
Those who prefer beer to wine will also have something interesting to look for on the pumpkin festival, as Crafter’s Brewery will be offering their Pumpker Ale, a beer brewed using – yes, you guessed it right – pumpkin. With the addition of various spices usual for North American pumpkin deserts such as nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon and with almost no hops present, it is an interesting experiment with unexpected results, and if you like pumpkin (and why else would you be at the pumpkin festival?) you should give Pumpker a try!
The festival is being held this weekend, October 13th to 15th, so you still have the chance to hop onto the Bučko Express train leaving tomorrow morning from Zagreb Main Station around 9 am, or visit Ivanić-Grad by any other means of transportation, enjoy pumpkin-based delicacies at the festival and in most restaurants around the town, have some great pumpkin beer and, of course, enjoy some of the best Škrlet wines available.