Belje wins two gold medals for kulen quality

19. May 2023.

The first national kulen competition, which was held in Baranja, brought together the major kulen producers from all over Croatia. Their samples were rated by an expert committee led by Krešimir Mastanjević, PhD, from the Faculty of Food Technology Osijek.

The prerequisite for participation in the 1st national kulen competition was having registered production complying with all legal requirements, which resulted in the event bringing together the major global experts in kulen production, since kulen is an authentic Croatian cured meat product.

Belje sent its Baranjski kulen and Black Slavonian kulen to be rated, and they were given gold medals for quality. These are unique products, since Baranjski kulen bears the protected geographical indication of the European Union, while Black Slavonian kulen is produced using meat from Black Slavonian pigs bred locally in the Kopački Rit Nature Park, which gives this kulen special value.

Tomislav Radišić, member of the Board of Belje, gave the following statement after the awards were presented: “We are the largest producer of traditional kulen in Croatia, with more than 50 years of tradition concerning such production, which includes manual stuffing of kulen, smoking on beech wood and several months’ maturation. These gold medals once again serve as confirmation of our dedication to quality and authenticity of the product which is a culinary symbol of Slavonia and Baranja.”

Rating the quality of kulen is part of a new project entitled “Festival kulena” (“Festival of Kulen”), which was launched by the Association of Kulen Producers “Baranjski Kulen”, the Tourist Board of Baranja and the Town of Beli Manastir. Representatives of the “Baranjski Kulen” Association see this event as an opportunity for networking and exchange of experiences between kulen producers and for promotion of kulen as a unique product in Croatia and the region. For products winning champion titles and gold medals, the “Baranjski Kulen” Association and the Tourist Board of Baranja created a special label of the Festival of Kulen, which may be added to the packaging of the best kulens and used in all promotional activities.

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