The cuisine of the farthest eastern county and thus Vukovar as its seat is a reflection of the climate and the people who have lived here for ages, but it also reflects the influences of other nations who have moved here, their cultures, customs, and habits.
Since the town lies in the East of Croatia embraced by Slavonia and Syrmia, the cuisine of this region has certain particularities and characteristics that stem from both areas and are again specific only to Vukovar. The cuisine is as abundant and opulent as the inhabitants of Vukovar are generous and big-hearted, regardless of the complexity or simplicity of the meal. Vukovar offers the best of both Srijem and Slavonia, spiced with a lot, but also spiced with a lot of love.
Gastronomy here does not only mean good food. It represents a lifestyle and so much more than just love of food – it represents passion, desire, imagination, creativity, as well as constantly thinking about new food creations and harmony of taste.
That is something you can see for yourself if you visit Gondola picnic ground in Sotin, a suburb of Vukovar, located in the Srijem region. You will be surprised by its beauty and authenticity because with every detail, even the smallest one, it tells a story of Srijem, its customs and a man’s deep love for this region.
It also remembers the Pannonian Sea, associating it with eternal oak trees that carry the centuries-old Venice on their shoulders. This is how the name Gondola came about, as a picture completed through history. The Venetian gondola carries lovers, and the Srijem Gondola is synonymous with love beauty, a positive atmosphere, and the welcoming spirit of Srijem.
It is impossible to resist the smells and flavors of Srijem and Slavonia!
In the abundance of fine, home-made food, singling out just one dish is no easy task. We hope you will be satisfied with our hostess’s choice of the day. She has opted to cook čobanac (shepherd’s stew), the finest Slavonian-Srijem delicacy. It is a sumptuous dish, made in a cauldron, thick and soupy at the same time, delicious and flavourful. Different experts – different recipes, each with their own secret ingredient. Something they all have in common is plenty of chopped onion and paprika, cooking over an open fire, as well as a certain amount of patience and plenty of love as the most important ingredient.
Today, we bring you the recipe for Gondola’s čobanac.
Gondola’s čobanac (for 10 people)
2 kg onions
1.5 kg beef
1.5 kg pork
1 kg pig’s feet
Paprika powder, black pepper, salt, tomato purée, Vegeta seasoning, bay leaf, 2 dcl wine.
Season to taste.
Sauté the onions in oil until translucent. After that, add pig’s feet, pour some water over them, and let them simmer. Then add beef, hot and sweet paprika powder, tomato purée, Vegeta, salt, black pepper, bay leaf, and diced pork. Finally, add the wine and boil some more. The preparation takes about three hours.
The owner serves čobanac with a type of home-made baked bread called pogača.
The story of food and recipes is the story of life – one that is not always easy, but it is, nevertheless, unforgettable and unique. This recipe, like so many other recipes, and flavors, hides memories and smells of the past, of our childhood. Trying out such recipes makes us remember some distant, important moments that can never be relived again. It lets us go back in time and remember all the loved ones who are no longer here, but were once part of our lives and impacted them deeply.
Enjoy the experience and fill your soul with scents and tastes of Vukovar, with true gastronomic hedonism that hides right here, where Slavonia and Srijem hug, where the Danube kisses the sky!