The family estate and farm “Ivica i Marica” is located in the serene and lovely Karanac, half an hour’s drive from Osijek. It came into being about ten years ago when a family from Županja who had been living and working in Osijek decided to get away from the city hustle and bustle and seek refuge in the countryside, which they haven’t managed to do given that in a very soon they succeeded in creating something spectacular - a genuine hedonistic culinary fairy-tale.
Even though “Ivica i Marica” is primarily aimed at overnight stays, pretty soon it became clear that Nada, Marko and their son Luka were able to make fantastic homemade charcuterie, buns, jams, pickled vegetables. Moreover, they realised that they could partner up with food producers in the immediate surroundings to come up with an absolutely perfect day in the countryside. That’s precisely the buzz of conversation in Baranja and beyond.
They don’t admit individual foodies at “Ivica i Marica”, but rather only groups of ten to fifty or more people with a prior notice. You can book on their website where you can also find their phone number. If you’ve ever wanted to find out what life in the countryside is like, far away from civilisation, in the company of locals making čvarci or women rolling sarma, go into the horse stable, go horseback riding, spend the day riding bikes, then this is your place to go zen. Once you park your car, you’ll get in a long courtyard where you’ll first get a chance to pet their lovely little dogs. After that you’ll walk by the kitchen and slowly enjoy wondering around the houses, scents of the countryside and nature all the way to the farm’s edge where the horse stable is located. The dining hall interior is decorated in stone and wood, the carriage wheel “purports” to be a chandelier, you also have old-fashioned cupboards, a stone floor...
To get things going amazed guests look on as cracklings are melted on a open fire in the yard. The pork is home-reared. This is followed by what this region is probably most famous for. Namely, products of corrals and smokehouses in the form of ham, kulenova seka, sausages, cured neck, bacon, various cheeses, kaymak, cheese spreads, homemade bread and flatbread with pickled vegetables (cauliflower, carrot, onion, peppers, green tomatoes). But you have to be extremely careful because you can easily overindulge so you won’t be able to open your mouth afterwards.
Although they produce most of the ingredients themselves, they also get a little “help” from their partners. The welcoming rakia is made by Goldberg, milk and dairy products are made by Mala mljekara Valpovo, while the wines are made by Josić, Kalazić, as well as Iuris and Pinkert. We suggest you stay for at least two days when you can witness a true countryside breakfast with fresh bread, several kinds of jam, homemade butter and cheese, eggs laid by 30 hens that freely roam Karanac - animals here are fed homemade animal food. We have to point out that you can watch as the food is being prepared. The soup has been simmering since morning. There are no superfluous ingredients, just those grown on the estate. Golden beef soup, homemade noodles, carrots and lots of parsley. It soothes the soul and works great as a break between spreads and the platter. Platters are what “Ivica i Marica” is all about, depending on the season and the condition of the ingredients in the smokehouse. Lots of meat in all shapes and sizes come to your table (peka, grilled meat, roasted meat), while rolled pork baked under peka is a standout specialty. Grilled chicken legs in honey, classic white meat, neck and special sausages, which are mildly piquant not fatty at all. We definitely recommend potatoes baked under peka and, if you stop by in spring, baby cabbage salad. Lamb and veal baked under peka, perkelt, čobanac, filled peppers, sataraš, stew soup, everything in season is immediately brought to the table. With the meat platter we got Iuris sauvignon + Welschriesling which worked better with chicken and an Iuris cabernet + merlot coupage which was great with stronger meat.
Traditional cakes are served somewhat polished, orahnjača, makovnjača, mađarica, šnenokle, šaum rolne... They often organise cooking schools as “team building” events. The fire is always on, tambura bands play their music, sausages are prepared on open fire while waiting for the main course: in a nutshell, an extravaganza for those who love enjoying nature and food.
Contact number: 091/137-3793; 091/125-2674
Working hours: MON - SUN: 12:00 - 23:00
Address: Ive Lole Ribara 8A, 31315 Karanac
Price range: 200-300kn