The 21st kulen competition held in Osijek and organized by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, County Chamber Osijek, saw the submission of 24 of the best samples of kulen produced by registered producers from all over Slavonia and Baranja.
Goran Kušec, D.Sc., President of the Panel of Judges at this year’s competition, noted the exceptional quality of kulen. “There is a great difference between the products available in the market that bear the generic name ‘kulen’, as a kind of durable salami-like products, and the traditional kulen that we judge here. Considering that this is a premium food product, we insist on a professional approach, which entails traditional preparation and maturing. In this context, participants in the competition are family farms and companies primarily active in production and placement of kulen on the market. As a panel of judges, we can truly say that we are satisfied with the high and uniform quality of all the samples submitted to us this year. We have had the opportunity of tasting and judging traditional kulen produced by the most renowned producers of this premium cured meat delicacy, the best ones of whom have already won gold medals.”
Belje’s Baranja kulen is produced according to strictly defined specifications of the Baranja Kulen Producers’ Association and bears the protected geographical indication of the European Union. The protected geographical indication on the packaging guarantees customers that they are purchasing an authentic and controlled product of recognised quality and production method, characteristic for the territory of Baranja.
“The specificity of Baranja kulen is a consistent granulation achieved during mincing of the meat (8mm) and the use of pepper as one of the spices added during production. The entire production process, from preparing the filling and stuffing it into a natural casing to smoking, is done by hand, using the traditional methods. The maturing of Baranja kulen lasts several months and that enables it to achieve its recognisable, highly-regarded appearance and flavour – as well as its exceptional quality, which has been confirmed by the latest gold medal”, said Miodrag Komlenić, Director of Baranja kulen production in Belje and President of the Baranja Kulen Association.