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Photo Essay: Festival of the Bean – Kaštel, Croatia

A broad bean (aka Bob in Croatian) is an ancient ingredient which fed families along the Dalmatian coast and inland for centuries, long before corn was brought there, and recently it was perhaps unfairly forgotten and neglected from daily nutrition. For that reason, this vegetable has a day dedicated to its reintroduction with a modern twist. Perhaps the greatest gourmet event in city of Kaštela, Croatia, the traditional festival of the broad bean – „Fešta o boba“ will give your taste buds something all together different to try.

Each dish is made from a homemade recipe with special preparations and ingredients.

Patiently waiting for the dishes to cook as the teams compete for a variety of symbolic prizes for taste, creativity, and even quantity.

Bean pole.

Beans aren’t the only thing that bring people in. Ice cream, pastries, local wines, and cheeses.

Table decorations.

The festival is held every year in May in the main square (Brce) in Kaštel Kambelovac. The beans are prepared by a number of cooking teams in a number of possible combinations – dry, in soup, with seafood, with meat, or as a dessert (scream for bean ice cream!). All the prepared dishes will be judged by a jury and shall be declared winners of the top three categories most innovative dishes, most creative dishes and traditional dishes with Bob. Visitors of this festival can taste the prepared dishes (for about $2 a bowl – aka 5 dishes for $10!), try a glass of local wine, with a dessert, and have a great time!

Although seemingly the unlikely choice, ice cream made from bob is the most popular by far – in fact, won 1st prize in the past! 

Thick soup made from octopus, scallops, and vegetables – beans have yet to be added. 

Fresh bread.

Grilled pork/beef and even seafood is a complement to the mighty bean on this day.

Dalmatia.

Say cheeze – Om, nom

Dalmatian meal.

Celebrating the region’s heritage by revising forgotten recipes that nourished the people to become the communities they are today.

After the feast (and a few glasses of wine) locals get together and sing traditional folk songs about love, the sea, and what else but food.