The tradeshow displays in the large white tent were absolutely fascinating, not to mention delicious! There were large haunches of prsut (the delectable Croatian version of prosciutto ham) being sliced paper thin with a practiced hand to release its full flavour. Each selection had a unique aromatic artisan taste, depending on the method and place of curing, and the heirloom recipe, handed down through many generations.
Tables were stocked with local wines, jam, acacia honey, freshly pressed olive oil, and numerous other traditional treats, as well as handcrafted items. The piece de resistance, however, was this lavender seller. I was admiring her products and the labeling when I realized that her products came from Sveti Lovrec, the village I had been so seduced by earlier. When she revealed to me that her products were all handmade from the very lavender fields we had been exclaiming over, I was sold. Thrilled and gushing volubly about my purchases, the vendor invited me to pick her lavender if I were in the area next summer.
"When is that? July?" I inquired.
"No, no. Yoo-lee," she replied. Never had 'July' sounded so good...
When I think about that day, the richness of the experience, the tasty Croatian delicacies I sampled, what I learned and saw and smelled and lived - I am again reminded of why the land of Croatia has become so near and dear to my heart.