Traditional cuisine in our region has been shaped through history under the strong influence of Central European (mostly Hungarian and Austrian), but also Oriental cuisine. As much as these influences have intertwined in this area for centuries, local cuisine has retained its personality which is primarily due to the use of foods that are grown in fields or forests, glades and hills of the Kalnik Mountains. The local cuisine gives preference to cow’s milk products, pasta and meat dishes, a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits and cereals (porridges) with the use of sprays in cooking soups and stews, lard and cream as a universal spice for sweet and savory dishes. Dishes such as the almost cult fresh cow’s cheese with cream and boiled pork buncek, homemade corn bread, štrukli and ponakliči, beans with sauerkraut or beets and dried pork are just some of the specialties of traditional cuisine of this area.

An area where delicious and truly good food is always served. Part of this richness of flavors and aromas of tradition will introduce you to a visit to one of the restaurants holding the standard Tastes of Croatian Tradition – Tastes of Prigorje.

Enjoy, and good luck!

Ponakliči or pociglenjki

While Zagorje štrukli have long become a trademark of the gastronomic offer, in Križevci and Kalnički prigorje you can enjoy a dish with an interesting name: ponaklíči or pociglánjki. The name pociglánjki comes from the way of baking because in the past this dish was baked on glowing bricks in bread ovens where only embers and ashes were spread and pociglánjke would be lowered from the spatula to be baked. Today, they are baked in modern ovens in a baking dish, or protvan. There is no record of the origin of the word for the name ponaklíč, but it is considered to come from the word ponakle, ie on the ground. Another name for this dish is vankuš, which comes from the word vanjkuš, which means pillow, which the finished dish resembles when it is done.

In Kalničko prigorje, they have been prepared for the last 150 years, and the recipe has been passed down orally from generation to generation, so there is almost no written information about this dish. Today’s housewives have learned to prepare from their mothers and grandmothers. The beginning of the preparation is enhanced by its appearance and ingredients reminiscent of štruklji because they are made from rolled dough, but there is a difference in the filling in which, in addition to cow’s cheese and eggs, corn flour goes. They were the food of the poor, and were prepared during feasts and special occasions. They are best when eaten hot because when the dough cools, it becomes tougher and is no longer so fine. It is interesting that they are served as a warm appetizer but also as a dessert.

RECIPE: Ingredients for the drawn dough: 1 kg of smooth wheat flour, 2 eggs, a little salt, a little oil or melted lard; Filling ingredients: 1 kg of fresh cow’s cheese, 400 g of corn grits pour boiling water and cool, 3-4 eggs, salt, 2 dl cream

Preparation: Knead the dough from flour, eggs, salt and a little oil or fat and water as needed. Leave the dough to rest for 15-20 minutes, then roll it out with a rolling pin and roll it out with your hands to the desired thickness, 2-3 mm. Sprinkle with melted lard and spread the filling over the entire dough. Cut the dough lengthwise into 4-5 strips about 10 cm wide and roll it in half on both sides so that a strip of stuffing remains in the middle. Cut to 10 cm length, place in a baking dish coated with oil or melted lard and pour over the cream. Bake in an oven preheated to 180 ° C for about 20 minutes so that they turn slightly brown.

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