My name is kulin, Baranya kulin
The tradition of kulin production takes us back to 1905 when Mr. Geza Borbaš began with the production of Baranya kulin in the village of Karanac. From those days to the present times Baranya kulin has been a local delicacy that has no competition when it comes to favourite local delicacies, due to its special recipe and the usage of domestic ingredients from Baranya. Nowdays, many people make this delicacy, with more or less success.
Although the number of kulin producers is getting bigger every day, kulin produced at family farm of Mr. Petar Dobrovac from Kneževi Vinogradi is still number one in its quality and has no severe competition. From Mr. Dobrovac we tried to find out the secret of successful production.
He pointed out that the recipe has not changed from 1972 when he started with the production. Nowdays, thanks to the cooling refridgerators, the storage of the final product is easier. Primary products, i.e. pigs Mr. Dobrovac buys from loyal contract farmers what guarantees high quality. The breeds he buys are usually Big Yorkshire and German Landras and these pigs, according to him, have to be “ mature“ , meaning between 18 and 24 months old, weighting between 180 and 250 kilograms. Meat used for kulen making is usually from ham, part of the shoulder, muscle part and part of the meat from the pig's neck.
After the process od dividing meat from the bones ( the process is called pandlovanje ), the selected meat is being cut into pieces and minced. Some salt, sugar and pepper are added into the meat and all together is then minced again.
Is there a secret recipe for the kulin mixture? ( We asked a question, although we were aware that we might not get an answer.) But Mr. Dobrovac said that there was no secrecy about it .
In the certain quantity of meat we should add 2,2 % of salt, 0,4 % of sugar, 0,3% of garlic and 1,5 % of pepper. The proportion of sweet and hot pepper is the matter of taste, but Mr. Dobrovac puts 50% of sweet and 50% of hot pepper, because he likes his kulin to be little more spicy. The real masterwork comes later, when kulin needs to be smoked and dried and let the kulin become “ mature“. The meat should be mixed well and the “ kulin jackets“ should be filled with meat, but to make sure there is no air in those “jackets“.
Those filled “jackets“ are then being taken to the chamber called pušnica to be smoked and dried. Mr. Dobrovac does it usually with so called “cold“ smoke and it lasts between 8 and 10 days ( until kulin becomes golden ). Afer that period begins the first phase of drying, in the air, at 14-16 ° C. At the moment when temperature rises above 16° C, kulin goes into the chamber until “mature“ at 10-12° C.
Mr. Dobrovac led us to his chamber. In this half-shaded, cool chamber we found kulin from the last year ...and the perfect smell of dried meat.“ There is no way out, my kulin has to stay in this chamber for a year.“, continues Mr. Dobrovac his story about kulin. “ After a year, the kulin is ready for the market and I sell my complete production to loyal buyers from all around Croatia.“
And when we tried this delicious, amazing kulin, we become aware of everything Mr. Dobrovac said. We had kulin, domestic juicy tomatoes and warm home made bread, sitting outside in the deep grape vine shade....We didn't even need wine this time...