Plums and All Things Balkan

25 Sep 2009

The Okusa Festival this weekend in southern Bosnia Herzegovina is bringing together Slow Food Presidia and food communities to celebrate the region’s food culture. For two days, the streets of Ustikolina will come to life with a market of small producers, carefully selected by Slow Food Goražde, as well as a variety of street food stalls, traditional Balkan music and dancing.

Okusa Festival has been organized by Slow Food Goražde and the Slow Food Pozegaca Plum Slatko Presidium to provide an exclusive forum for small-scale, quality producers from across the region.

The Emina Association – a dedicated group of women who have fought for years to preserve and promote their traditions and the region’s rural culture – are the drivers behind the festival. Together with the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, Elmina launched the Pozegaca Plum Slatko Presidium to safeguard the production of the traditional slatko – a preserve produced from the indigenous Pozegaca plum variety.

Producers from other Presidia in the region, such as Sarac Garlic from Ljubitovica (Croatia) and Sack Cheese from Herzegovina (Bosnia), and representatives from Terra Madre food communities from Bosnia, Croatia, and Macedonia will also be attending the event.

Sack Cheese Presidia Coordinator Svitetlana Sakic, who attended Cheese, the international Slow Food event in Italy last week, commented on the value of fairs such as the Okusa Festival: ‘People are becoming more interested in local production and traditions’, she said. ‘As well as big events like Cheese, these smaller local fairs help us to promote our regional specialties’.

The festival will be held today and tomorrow, September 25 and 26, in the streets of central Ustikolina.

Click here
for more information on the Pozegaca Plum Slaeretko Presidium.

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