Beans: Slasticarnica Cukar (Komiža, Vis Otok, Croatia)

Firstly, the coffee at Slasticarnica Cukar is perfect every time. The staff are friendly, quick and helpful, and the location, a few metres from Komiža’s waterfront, is the best location on the planet. The tables are next to a lavender garden and beneath a leafy vine. But that’s not even a fraction of why this might well be my favourite café… on Earth.

The owner’s mother was a dedicated cook and recorder of handwritten recipes, some of which are framed and hanging on the walls. The made-on-site pastries and cakes combine locally-grown ingredients such as carob, orange, lemon, lavender, rosemary, and figs. Slasticarnica Cukar is a culinary artist’s studio and a sweet-addict’s den.

There are small carrot cakes: moist and dense and packed with rich dark sugar, further sweetened by the carrots and walnuts and the not-overpowering cream cheese topping. 

There is a cake with an alluring, deep purple topping named after a local red wine, with a layer of dark chocolate biscuit separated by layers of chocolate cream. 

There is a moist, walnutty cake with a luxurious caramel layer just below the charred-meringue topping.

There is a heavy and dark carob cake. And I almost forgot to mention the dripping with honey, walnut-filled baklava. 

There is a light lavender-flavoured cream encased in a shell of white-chocolate on a biscuit base. 

And there is a not-so-sweet slice topped with a layer of hib (a densely compressed layer of dried figs – an absolute treasure from the island) and there is a small variation of this, made only of the compressed hib with almonds.

Every one of these little pieces of heaven goes best with a Julius Meinl double ‘Schwarzer’ (a large double espresso) because of its full, floral flavours.

Slasticarnica Cukar is in Komiza, a small fishing town on Vis Otok, a two and something hour ferry ride followed by a 15 minute bus ride from Split on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast. It’s a journey with a a heavenly destination.

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