Usually, the spider crab is one of those delicacies you can find only in Michelin-star restaurants. Luckily, numerous local Croatian restaurants in Istria serve this dish in an authentic manner.
In local restaurants, it is often served grilled or fried, with garlic and lemon, or in a creamy sauce. They can also be prepared in a sauce buzzara or grilled or in some other way. It is up to you to choose the preference…
Crabs are also a delicacy in Istria because they are protected due to excessive commercial exploitation, accidental catch and habitat destruction. For some species like spider crabs, fishing is allowed only to professional fishermen in a particular period of the year, while fishing of certain crabs is permanently banned. Considered a delicacy, each crab yields a limited amount of meat but the delicious taste is very similar to lobster. Istrian fishermen often prepare the crabs by roasting them in fires made from grapevines. When the shells begin to separate from the meat, the dish is ready.
Crab fishing is also an important industry in Istria. The region is a home to several popular crab festivals, where locals and tourists can sample crab dishes and enjoy live music and entertainment. One of those festivals is called “Festa od Grmali” organised by the Tourist Board of the Municipality of Funtana and the Municipality of Funtana. It is a traditional folk festival accompanied by a rich culture & entertainment program and a gastro offer that is organised in Funtana on the third Saturday in September. The goal of the festival is to extend the tourist season and more intensively positioning Funtana as a unique place of gastronomic experiences.
Visitors to Funtana can try crab dishes at local restaurants, and visit some tour companies that offer crab-fishing trips, where visitors can learn about the local fishing industry and try their hand at catching crabs. Whether enjoyed in a restaurant or caught fresh from the sea, crab is a must-try dish for those visiting Istria.
Source: Foto TZ Funtana