Using up winter supplies
When there were no refrigerators and freezers, all winter food supplies that were not smoked, salted or otherwise preserved had to be used before spring. The Carnival menu consequently includes pork meat and sausages (semi-perishable and non-perishable pork meat products) made in December, such as grilled sausages and blood sausages. They are prepared in a different way from region to region. They are usually served together with sauerkraut or pickled turnip. A variety of sausages were offered to masked persons that visited farms. Meat dishes during Carnival also include ham hock, bacon and pig's head.
Dishes were most often served with cracklings. Cracklings were also used as a filling for potica ocvirkovka (potica with cracklings, locally also called špehovka). It is best when eaten warm. It used to be one of the favourite Carnival delicacies. Houswives knew how not to waste any ingredient. For example, one of the dishes on the Carnival table was also godlja, a special type of soup made of broken blood sausages, and suha juha (dry soup) which was prepared from dried meat.
Carnival is followed by Lent
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent that last 40 days until Easter. During this time, there was no meat on the menu. The purpose of Lent was a type of ancient detoxification, i.e. purification of the body. If the Carnival menu included high-fat dishes, it was quite the opposite during Lent when the menu was dominated by vegetarian dishes, which were only seasoned with oil and butter. The Lent menu mainly included vegetable stews, dairy dishes, cabbage and bean dishes, žganci and other starchy dishes, gruel, potatoes and, in Istria, also codfish and polenta. Pretzels were served as a salty dessert. The most typical fasting dish is aleluja, which is made from dried and lightly smoked turnip peel.