Some people can’t have a meal if it doesn’t have at least minimum level of spiciness. Quite a lot of them are actively searching for new hot tastes and are more than ready to invest in exotic goods of this nature. In visiting Croatia, these people will certainly find treasure on the shelves of Juta Spiza brand from the town of Kastel Stari. Belonging to what can be described as a craft culture of hot sauces, this small company makes its customers literally cry- from joy, of course.
“It all began with my own home-made spices, which received positive feedback from friends,” said Branko Bocina, the lead of Juta Spiza and the prime author of its products. “Soon, local restaurants sent inquiries on whether I’d like to sell them my sauces, which I couldn’t do legally since I didn’t have the required papers. But popularity didn’t cease, so I invested in my work and soon became a small company.”
Branko harvests his own peppers, which usually belong to the so-called cayenne species. Despite increasing obligations, the young CEO claims that he actually finds enjoyment in his job and doesn’t feel stress at all. “Our work is still largely a labor of love, not a pursuit of finances. I believe that our products still have that note of being ‘home-made in their taste, which customers easily recognize.”
The name of the brand actually means “Hot Meal” in Dalmatian dialect. The recipes are based on local cuisine, but the peppers may have come from distant lands. “In addition to cayenne, we also have anaheim, habanero, bhut jolokia, seven pot douglah chocolate, moruga and some other peppers on our farm. Every year, we acquire a few new species and observe how they like Croatian climate.”
Products of Juta Spiza can be found in Croatian stores, but they also sell them over official website. At this moment, it is only available in local language, but hopefully that might change in the future. If your tongue likes hot challenges, consider buying some of these top-class spices of Kastel Stari.
Photo: Dobra Hrana Magazine