What is Istrian Supa and how you drink it
Perhaps it happened to you too to have something in an old tavern, or as they call it here in Istria, konoba, and to see a group of cheerful people chatting happily or maybe singing some songs in dialect accompanied by the accordion and drinking all together from a single ceramic jug. If you have carefully observed them, you have also seen them extracting small pieces of bread from a jug and eating them. Well, what you've seen is a piece of history and tradition. A convivial way of being together, telling stories, singing and having fun. A way to share bread and wine form a single jug by making it pass from hand to hand among all the people present. What you have seen here is the way we drink Istarska Supa.
But what is Istrian supa (Istarska supa)? Where can I find it? Can I do it at home?
If I have intrigued you and you still have a little patience, I will answer all of your questions.
Istrian Supa is an alcoholic drink obtained by mixing red wine (Teran is a must here), few drops of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of pepper (if you wish) and some sugar., Home made hard bread cut into slices and toasted is drenched inside this drink. The name Supa derives from the verb "posupati", to soak, as the basic ingredient, the main actor in past times was not wine but bread which was never thrown away but reused by children in milk and by old people in wine.
If I have intrigued you enough and you would like to try it, you can ask for it in a konoba, typical tavern in Istria, or you can visit Festival Antonja, the festival of Istrian Supa in Rovinjsko Selo ( a small village close to Rovinj) which is held on the third weekend of January or you can do it by yourself at home with your friends. I went to the Supa Festival Antonja to taste both the traditional Supa and the latest modern variants. At the festival there were some competitors, the Hotel Schools of Porec and Rovinj, some restaurants and some local wine cellars, who competed in preparing the best supa.
Clearly I could not resist and I asked for the recipes used by the various competitors and obviously I could not resist tasting the supas. I realized that even in this case the traditional recipe does not exist, or rather the idea exists, but then there are countless variations. From those who do not want to use pepper, to those who prefer wine at room temperature, to those who warm it a little, to those who bring it just right at 25 degrees. There are also customizations in the choice of wine. Some use only Teran, some instead say that Teran should be mixed with a less full-bodied red wine, such as Borgonja. Then of course every village, if not every family, has its own idea about quantities of sugar, oil, bread and spices, if any.
Here I report what for me is the basic recipe with which more or less everyone agrees. The quantities of the ingredients, the temperature of wine, spices used can change. If you wish you can let me know your variants and opinions and I wish you... Živili! (cheers)
• 750 cl of Istarski Teran (but another full-bodied and fragrant red wine is fine)
• 100 g. of homemade bread (tradition requires old and dry bread)
• 30 g. sugar (if you like)
• 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
• Pepper (if you like)
Slice bread into slices about one centimetre thick and toast them, put the slices of toasted bread, sugar, pepper and oil in the bukaleta and add wine you have previously warmed.
It is drunk directly from the bukaleta and with a spoon you can eat the soaked bread. Do not forget to wish Živili to all the guests and maybe to sing a song in Istrian dialect!