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Adriatic Squid Days, now a traditional gourmet event, is returning to Northwestern Istria. From 1 December to 7 January, visitors to the Croatian capital of wine and outstanding culinary tradition will be able to enjoy a number of traditional and unconventional Adriatic squid dishes.This gourmet event, in addition to being an additional motive for visiting northwestern Istria during the Christmas holidays, seeks to valorize extraordinary squid from the Adriatic Sea which is hunted precisely in the winter. It aims to raise awareness of their value in the kitchen and encourages caterers to devise new, creative recipes based on this seafood.With emphasis on Adriatic squid, not the one from Patagonia, which in combination with modern cuisine are presented in an attractive way. And that is exactly the key to success and the very essence of tourism. Selling an authentic story. “Never forget who you are, what you are and where you come from, nor forget your knowledge of local products. I would not want Croatian chefs to make the same mistake as Italian or Spanish, who try to satisfy tourists and forget the tradition”Said French chef Lionel Levy with a Michelin star in Osijek after the workshop organized by the CNTB, where he literally opened the eyes of the audience and showed how local food can make a top presentation of dishes that belong to the very top of world cuisine. You just need to add innovation, presentation creation and respect local ingredients. The combination of tradition and modernity, that is the main message, and that it is certainly possible, he presented in a practical way – perk from the fish in an innovative and different way.”It is important to protect and defend the recipes of your ancestors, otherwise they will get lost. Defend the recipes of your ancestors!Levy concluded. A strong message from chef Lionel Levy that can certainly be interpreted as the philosophy of the whole tourism because that is exactly the very meaning of tourism. People travel to get to know new ways and culture of living, and authenticity is the very essence of tourism. We seem to be ashamed of our history, traditions, identity, way of life, etc.… we have to start respecting ourselves, so that others can respect us, and the tourism workers who create our tourism product are not aware that this is our biggest advantage, our incredible diversity. and authenticity. We constantly strive to be some copies, and figuratively we sell French wine to the French.Days of Adriatic squid in IstriaThat is why the Days of Adriatic Squid, as well as all other gastronomic events and tourist stories, were small or large, which respect the tradition of extremely important, long-term sustainable and a real signpost in which direction our tourism must develop. It must be our main tourist product – our authentic story. We can learn so many lessons from this example, and the most important one is to stimulate the local economy, which is the meaning of tourism, to increase tourist spending and disperse to as many participants as possible at the local level, not to finance imported products. It is insane to import tomatoes, lettuce, etc.… We are thus destroying our economy and our resource, and we are only dealing with form through rental tourism, not content. And that is not sustainable in the long run, which we can see day by day in any of our tourist destinations. Everyone loses, and even hotels in the end because the motive for coming is not accommodation, but diverse, quality and authentic content.Because I wonder why someone from Zagreb would come to Istria to eat a Zagreb steak? Of course not. This is exactly what they are aware of in Istria, and the most important interest of the guests goes in favor of that, so from year to year the event attracts more and more guests from the entire region. “Istria is a destination that has a rich offer for the whole year, and with this event we confirm that the season in our country never really ends. Everyone who decides to visit Istria before Christmas will be able to enjoy our rich tourist offer in which the Days of Adriatic Squid are the icing on the cake. Last year’s experiences have shown that such events are extremely popular, because they are rich and interesting, and at the same time Istria at this time of year provides an opportunity for a true vacation for everyone who needs it.”, Said Michelle Babić, director of the office of the Tourist Board of the Municipality of Brtonigla.Delicious dishes of this prominent delicacy whose quality surpasses squid from other seas, this year will be prepared by as many as ten local restaurants that have prepared promotional prices for this occasion. Top chefs have also designed new creative recipes for their visitors in order to offer dishes for everyone’s taste. The squid is thus composed in several sequences, in more spicy and lighter variants and in combination with interesting side dishes. Exactly what chef Levy said, a combination of tradition and modern interpretation of food. “Our goal is to show visitors that squid, with a little imagination and creativity, can find a place on a plate for any occasion. I believe that our visitors will know how to recognize this and that they will be happy to return to us in the future, but also that they will dare to experiment in their own kitchen based on our creations.”, Said Anton Kernjus from the tavern Astarea. Inspirational squid dishes as part of this event are prepared in taverns and restaurants Astarea from Brtonigla, Rondo and Lux Casino Hotel Mulino from Buje, Giovanni and San Bendetto from Novigrad, Buščina, Melon and Nono from Umag and Toni and Vila Vilola from Savudrija. See a list and locations of all restaurants here.During the year, northwestern Istria hosts as many as four different gourmet events in which it brings visitors closer to Istrian specialties, such as shellfish, asparagus and fish leaf. Although these events are held outside the summer months, from year to year there is an increase in attendance, which further confirms that Istria has positioned itself as a year-round destination that offers its visitors a rich culture and customs that guests are always happy to meet.Some will say that it is easy for Istrians and they again, but they see only the tip of the iceberg and forgetting how tourism in Istria has been developing strategically for years, and how they have successfully combined what is imperative – local tradition and culture and authentic tourist product . We all have the same opportunities, and it is only a question of our will and proactivity, and the answer to the main question: Do we want tourism or not?If the answer is yes, then we must start dealing with tourism strategically and sustainably.