There is always something new at the Antique Market, it’s always best to get there early in the morning. This will give you a chance to see everything before the crowds and buses arrive. Tvrda one of the oldest places in Osijek and every 1st Saturday of the month is the Antique Market. This time around was a hidden gem of delicious treats called Susi’s cakes.
At this table were some great desserts on display from Dobosica, and Krempita to Ice Cream Cones wafers filled with vanilla cream. This was just a small sample of some great things to try from traditional Croatian favorites to some modern western food that North Americans enjoy. I had a chance to talk with the expert Susi who really knows her stuff. She is the proud owner of Susi’s cakes. She was telling this was the first time this year at the Antique market in Tvrda. The treats were quickly disappearing from her table and I bet by the time I write the story it will all be sold out.
About her cakes that she makes from scratch.
Talking to her was a lot of fun as she has the true spirit of being an entrepreneur in Croatia. Her charm and charisma really pops out. When asking about the cakes she explained: “all her desserts were made from scratch with local ingredients in her town of Aljmaš. At certain time of the years, she uses cherries from her own trees for making the filling in the desserts. It takes time and patients to make, as there is no short cuts in baking. It is all done by hand and is not mass produced so you know it’s freshly made.”
Every Croatian talks about Krempita which has become a completion in some areas as who makes the best. This time around its about the world famous “Chocolate Brownies” (North Americans really like to have with their coffee.). To describe how she made it is priceless as this is her own style recipe. There is often a thin line in balancing the ingredient to make it sweet but not overly sweet. The texture of brownies was very moist and soft which is difficult to do.
To talk about all of the cakes in detail would take too long as I had a great conversation with her She even brought a small photo album of the cakes she had been commissioned to make for various functions. When looking through her album of cakes that she has made for various people it really demonstrates her love and talent.
Each cake has a personality of its own for each occasion. The use of Fondant on cakes takes it to the next level. She is the master of fondant using it to sculpture, when looking closely at the faces she has created it demonstrates a great deal of emotions that brings her cake to life. The use of comic humour and wit stands out creating a memorable impression. No two cakes are the same each one tells a story that reflects the events in life celebrations. Whether it be for retirement, new job, birthdays, anniversary or starting a new career.
Entrepreneur Spirit in Croatia
The entrepreneur spirit shines at the Antique market this weekend as she brought her daughter along to help with sales. She has been making these treats for more than 14 years but to really find out how it started is even more incredible. Susi and her family has never looked back as business continues to grow with great success.
When asked how it all started one would never guess how?
Susi said “It was from reading in a local paper that Tours were coming to Croatia and they were looking for some local people who could speak a bit of English.” Coming from Germany she knew some English and was learning Croatian at the time. She had a passion for cooking and said why not try it.
They had started from cooking small authentic meals for various tour groups that have come to her town Aljmaš. Soon after they opened a bed and breakfast allowing for visitors to stay and enjoy a quite stay in the country side. The business grew and opened another business called Susi’s Cakes and the rest is history.
Coffee and cake why Croatians go crazy for it.
There is no reason it just remains a mystery to some. By just mentioning to your neighbours that you have some freshly bought Torta (cakes). They will be over in seconds after hanging up the phone. (It’s best to have coffee made before you call.) The cakes that Croatian’s go crazy for Dobosica, and Krempita just to name a few.
It is good to note: “Always have treats when family or guest visit and coffee its tradition. If you forget they will talk for months to come that they visited your house and there were no desserts.” (Just ask any Boca and they will explain to you why.)
To find out more you can visit Sui’s cakes on facebook.