Today’s delicacies, Grobnik cheese and potato polenta (“kompirica”), originate from the meagre conditions of the old people of Grobnik.However, since these dishes have nourished generations of Grobnik’s people, the Festival of Polenta and Cheese is organised in their honour at the end of June every year.The event is the result of cooperation between the Čavle Tourist Board and the Jelenje Tourist Board, and we should thank the late Mr Živko Šupak for this delicious idea.In even number years, the festival is held in Jelenje, and in odd years in Čavle.
Little Polenta, the Best Potato Polenta and the Grand Polenta
The beginning of the event is dedicated to children who cook Little Polenta (Mića palenta). All according to the rules: they start with peeling the potatoes and then cooking begins until the big finale of pouring out the polenta.And the reward? A tasty lunch that they made themselves.
After that, the Best Potato Polenta (“Najkompirica”) is chosen, where citizens bring their polentas to be evaluated, however, the central and most attractive event is the cooking of polenta in a 700-litre pot.As many as twenty hardworking cooks mix the polenta with paddle-sized polenta spoons. The finished polenta is poured onto a wooden plate with a diameter of 3 metres. Even a crane is used to handle the pot!The great pouring out of the polenta on the plate takes place in the evening, but we can never know the exact time because “the polenta is ready when it says so.”And that polenta, weighing 500 kilograms, is never the same but is always excellent.
At the same time, a replica of a shepherd’s hut with sheep and the making of cheese in nature are no show nearby, whilst milkmaids “beat the cream, make butter, melt ghee.”The caterers serve polenta according to old recipes: with milk, cheese, butter, bacon, prosciutto, salted fish, onions, etc.A special treat is the so-called “gloda” – the crust of the polenta.Amongst the accompanying events, we’d also like to mention the presentation and sale of special souvenirs, the making of children’s drawings on the theme of the Grand Polenta and the making of a commemorative coin (gromicanus).
Why the Festival of Polenta and Cheese?
In the olden days, life revolved around the raising of livestock and the cultivation of the land.The diet was oriented around what the people themselves could grow.This Festival is a remembrance of the time when Grobnik’s farmers were connected to nature and its fruits in order to feed themselves and their families.Life was difficult, but only physically difficult, because there was never a lack of fun and happiness in Grobnišćina.The people always knew to set aside time and money to feed the soul.This is how we hang out at the Festival of Polenta and Cheese, connect with old customs, but most of all to have fun.
Come and join us
Every year, the event is complemented by cheesemakers, souvenir makers, honey makers, caterers, and live music that entertains everyone long into the night.As long as there are such people in Grobnišćina who enjoy cooking potato polenta, the Festival will carry on. Come and join us, and enjoy the smell of cooked polenta. After you’ve visited one year, you’ll look forward to next.