Croatia has some of its food products protected at both a national and European level, their status designated by their unique place of origin. Slavonia kulen (Slavonski kulen) is just one of them.
Other Croatian regions might bask in the international recognition of their pršut (prosciutto) but, make no mistake, Slavonians are true masters of the pig. Wild boar and regular pork can be used to make one of the region's best dishes, čobanac, a rustic meat stew coloured red by paprika. Smoked pork sausages, kobasice, and češnjovke (a version flavoured with extra garlic) are Slavonian specialities, as is čvarci, fried pork rind (known in the UK as pork scratchings). There's an authentic regional breed whose meat is prized particularly highly and some say this Slavonian black pig produces the best bacon (slanina) money can buy.
The king of all Croatian sausages, kulen is a richly-red smoked pork sausage, prepared in Slavonia and neighbouring Baranja using only the finest cuts of the pig. The sausage is quite lean, moist and slightly piquant from the paprika and garlic which are used to flavour it. Traditionally, the home-reared pig only contained enough premium meat to make just one kulen, so this is a real treat. As such, it's never cooked or used as an ingredient, but savoured in thin strips, paired with good bread, cheese and a sharp Slavonian white wine like Traminac or Graševina.
Click here to find out what European recognition does for Croatian produce and see all of Croatia's best delicacies which are protected