Beside its cultural significance, Karanac, a place widely known as ethno village, offers plenty of food and wine treasures. When you add off-road rides, canoes and walking tours, you get a great getaway package.
For visiting Tri mudraca (The Tree Wise Men) you should call in advance, because it’s not actually a restaurant, they work by appointment. The menu can depend on the daily catch (if you order fish or game), but it’s still focused on classic Baranja dishes.
The owners welcomed us warmly. Richard Apel, his wife and their playful daughter gave us a short tour of their estate. Rustically decorated eating hall with old photos from all around the area plus vintage gadgets complement the atmosphere. Quads, amphicars and off-road vehicles in the backyard are used for muddy Baranja adventures.
Bacon pie baked in pork fat with sesame on top was crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, with a beautiful aroma of smoked bacon. A simple cold potato salad that followed had a great twist – a Prussian carp, shortly smoked and then cooked à la confit for a few hours. A finger-licking treat! Homemade soup with grits dumplings was just what we needed after the salad. It filled our bellies with that familiar calmness.
Just after we finished the soup, a long forgotten smell engulfed our table. Memories of childhood pond, fishing and hanging out with your buddies. Yes, it was deep-fried Prussian carp. Its crispness, thousands of tiny bones and eating with fingers… A blast from the past. It should have been more salty and fried for a couple of minutes longer. Yet, a simple and effective meal.
The next challenge came in the form of pork loin in šlafrok (a coating made of grated potato mixed with cream) “supported” with homegrown vegetable casserole and delicious zucchini and muscat sauce. Then everything went silent. The star of the night appeared on our table – freshly caught starlet*! Tender meat with unique aromas that no other fish can give. Potatoes baked with baby carrots complemented this meal perfectly. We finished with a cherry strudel, a great end of this flavour adventure.
All the way we drank Belje Graševina (again). The owners said they have planned a wine cellar, but their first attempt failed because of the indifferent winemakers. True or false, it seems to be a burning issue around Baranja.
If you’re searching for a place with unpretentious but delicious food, you should call and visit Tri mudraca. They have the potential to become a great spot for everyone eager to taste traditional Baranja food with a twist.