MarsOvca - another skillful branding of the Island of the Moon while raising the quality of gastronomy based on authentic food

Have you heard of Marsovca?

Author  Goran Rihelj

23. April 2024.

One statement that says a lot about all aspects of tourism.

"You must never forget who you are, what you are and where you come from and your skills with local products. I would not want Croatian chefs to make the same mistake as Italian or Spanish chefs, who try to please tourists and forget tradition. It is important that you protect and defend your ancestral recipes, otherwise they will be lost. I understand that you want to survive as a tourist, but you have to speak realistically to tourists"

- Chef said Lionel Levy in 2017 when he held a workshop in Croatia.

He added that although French cuisine has a huge tradition, it was once strongly influenced by foreign cuisines, especially Spanish, but they managed to break away from those influences and return to their roots.

What do we offer our guests in terms of gastronomy? What is Croatia on the plate? Do our guests try it? 

Our biggest advantage is the incredible diversity in culture and way of life, including gastronomy, from region to region. It is our greatest treasure and capital. That's the base we have to play around at the plate. 

And that's why great support for Novalja, which announces a new hedonistic gastronomic event on the island of Pag, Novalja ubed - traditional cuisine in top form with an interesting name Martian Sheep. In the fence at Novaljski Škuncin's flats April 26 from 11 o'clock the story of MarsOvca begins.

Along with top Novalja restaurateurs at noon, the organizers will present to their guests and the media the real "Novalja conviction", made from lamb with biji, rump, entrails and tripe. These are dishes with the chef's original signature, prepared according to an autochthonous, traditional recipe, in the way they used to be prepared.

439677835 10227842475518779 5914640217876437924 n

Pag sheep there is a special animal, a special sheep, we can freely say - the sheep of sheep, MarsOvca, which proved that it is possible to live on bare rock, enjoying salt-seasoned fragrant immortelle and aromatic herbs, and from it create the best cheese in the world - Pag cheese.

The newcomers therefore decided to put their sheep on the throne where it belongs and thank this humble animal for feeding them for centuries. Therefore, with the gastronomic event of MarsOvac, they set out to present their traditional gastronomy, for which the Pag sheep is very much to blame.

As a reminder, Paška lamb and Paški cheese are protected on the common EU market, i.e. they are in the register of protected marks of origin and protected marks of geographical origin at the EU level.

In relation to this story, it should be emphasized that recently in Novalja, the premier presentation of young cheeses from Pag was held along with the gastronomic specialties of the island of Pag. The first En primeur was a gastro show where you could taste the first cheeses of this year: Pag cheese, Gligora cheese, Mih cheese, and three OPGs: Krunoslav Vidas, Branimir Čemeljić and Franjo Zubović.

Along with the lunar landscape, salt and lamb, Paški cheese greatly contributed to branding the island as a tourist destination. A story that is in excellent correlation with MarsOvca, if we are talking about raising the quality of gastronomy to a higher level or to a place where it deserves. Let's not forget that gastronomy is really a reason to come, especially outside the peak season. 

But let's get back to MarsOvac - otherwise, another skillful branding with Moon Island.

The destination is the key - not the individual.

New project 18
Photo: TZ Novalja

Lovers of autochthonous cuisine will be able to taste the dishes that they will prepare even 12 famous restaurants from the area of ​​the city of Novalja. And that is a key element, that more restaurateurs get involved with the same offer on which the base of the sheep is based. Of course, each restaurant will present the dish in its own way. And that's the charm of it all. 

Also, an important element for both branding and positioning is that MarsOvca will be available for the first time this year in restaurants in Novalja. from April 26 to May 26, when it is the freshest and tastiest.

I emphasize, not only as part of one day ie holding the event - than a month. This is how a brand and destination is built. The event is just the icing on the cake, and it should not be the only feature of a destination brand.

No matter how big the event is, it always has a one-time effect, if the destination does not live that story. 

All guests looking for new and ancient flavors on the menus of certain restaurants in Novalja can expect traditional and somewhat forgotten dishes, such as tripe, kopertla, offal with capulon and lamb on gradele, along with homemade foods and side dishes made of greens and potatoes, curd, cheese and whey.

Cover photo: Museum of Taste / TZ Novalja / illustration: hrturism

Author  Goran Rihelj

23. April 2024.