Cereals and flours - Croatia
Skoric corn is an old variety known to be one of the last varieties left in Croatia that has not become hybridized. This variety of corn is well adapted to the local surroundings and succeeds in higher altitudes. It takes 3-4 months to be ready for harvest. It has a triangular or pyramid shape with a bright white cob and almost perfectly round kernels. The kernels are reddish-yellow, a more intense and darker yellow then hybrid corns. It is a hardy corn that is resilient to aflatoxin molds. Skoric corn can be ground into a flour that is also darker in color than usual corn flour. This is used for baking breads and pastries, but always in combination with flour from some other grain. It is also used to feed animals, especially pigs in order to obtain a specific taste in the local cured ham. Traders and seafarers brought the corn to the area approximately 300 years ago in time of the Dubrovnik Republic. At the time, the corn was primarily used for feeding cattle and pigs, although soon enough the community discovered the nutritional value of this product for humans and broadened its use. Today, Skoric corn can be found south of Dubrovnik, in the Konavle Valley and parts of Herzegovina in the proximity to the Croatian border. Currently this variety of corn is grown only in a few remaining households for personal use, as agricultural traditions in general are slowly disappearing from southern Croatia. There are hopes that an increase in Skoric corn production would revive the old mills in Konavle Valley that could process it. The mills are currently not operated due to government food sanitation laws, but modern machinery does not produce the same type of corn flour as the traditional mills. An increase in the amount of Skoric corn raised in the area could also stimulate local pig raising and ham production.