The Cleveland Food Adventurers Passport event in June 2015 was at the Dubrovnik Garden Restaurant in the Croatian Lodge at 34900 Lakeshore Blvd, Eastlake, OH 44095.
People who enjoy trying different foods and learning about different cultures participate in the Food Adventurer's group. The first 50 Passport holders who RSVP'd enjoyed a sumptuous Croatian meal and learned about the country, culture, customs and, of course, food of Croatia.
The menu consisted of Bean Soup followed by a thinly cut Cabbage Slaw. The main course featured Raznicki (kabobs), Cevapcici (sausage), Stuffed Cabbage, Goulash over noodles and Home Style Potatoes. The dessert was Palicinke (polychinka).
Branka Malinar of Cleveland's Croatian community explained how her family left Croatia after World War II and ended up in Cleveland. She told about the Croatian Lodge, the home of Dubrovnik Garden. Dubrovnik is a city in southern Croatia fronting the Adriatic Sea. It's known for its distinctive Old Town, encircled with massive stone walls completed in the 16th century.
The first course was a delicious bean soup that Branka described.
Branka then explained some of the food and eating habits of Croatia and Croatian people. She mentioned the 100 year old Croatian St Paul's Church in Cleveland.
St Paul's Church on East 40th in Cleveland
Branka told about the influence of other European countries on Croatian food and about the Croatian burek (strudel) and the thinly cut slaw salad that was served at the Dubrovnik Garden.
Passport leader Debbie Hanson asked Branka about Croatian food customs. She said for Croatians the most important meal of the day is lunch (rucak). Christmas meal might include Turkey with mlinci (flat, sour dumplings).
Did you know that a Croatian man named Slavoljub Eduard Penkala invented the solid-ink fountain pen and that Croatian mercenaries in France wore kerchiefs which the French called - Crovats which evolved into cravat and the neck tie.
Branka explained some of the entree dishes that were being served at the Dubrovnik Garden Croatian Restaurant. This included kabobs, stuffed cabbage goulash and sausage.
The dessert was polychinka, a fine crepe batter with different fillings.
Being served polychinka for dessert
Dan Hanson of ClevelandPeople.Com explained how Yugoslavia formed after World War 1 and then how it split into 6 countries in 1991 with the independence of Slovenia and Croatia.
August Pust is an expert on Slovenia
Dan then explained how the Slovenian Cultural Garden started in 1934 and became the Yugolsav Garden with the addition of Croatia and Serbia.
Stay informed about the local Croatian community by signing up for the free Croatian eNews mailings. You can select other groups as well. It's easy and free.
Fill out the form for the free Croatian eNews.
After the independence in 1991 the Serbs and Croatians started their own gardens. He told of the Immigrant Mother statue in the Croatian Cultural Garden. The statue of the Immigrant Mother is a tribute to all those immigrant mothers of all ethnicities who suffered such hardship to get their family to the US and to build a new life here.
Tom Turkaly's father sculpted the statue.
Branka read a touching poem about the Immigrant Mother.
Dan then quizzed the group about some famous people of Croatian Heritage such as Bill Belichick, Roger Maris, Governor John Kasich, Dennis Kucinich, Rudy Tomjanovich, Bob Golic, Elvis Grbac, Robert Herjavec and John Havlicek.
Lt Colonel Joe Meissner spoke about the history of Croatia and Yugoslavia (covering Tito and Stalin) at the Dubrovnik Garden.
A great time was had by all. Want to get a Passport and join us on the next adventure? Find out more about the Food Adventurers Passport Program.
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