Family stories based on real events from the long history of the Gavrilović family.
Gavrilović’s Legendary Pate
Small in shape and size but long-lasting in flavour and shelf-life, pates with their secret ingredients bring together gourmet lovers of all ages. On one hand, they are people who savour their food slowly; on the other, hungry mouths who eat in haste, but remember tastes and smells very well. This preserved delicacy is packaged in an easy-to-open tin, spelling out the words YUMMY all over it. One Internet blog reveals: “Pates are always yummy for me, but Gavrilović’s liver pate is a double yummy!”
Speaking of the Internet, let us continue to surf on Google…
“…It is the tastiest pate I have ever eaten and I was only sixteen when I first tried it. Now I’m sixty. I drop by our Dalmatino Store in Berlin and buy the pate, plus the Luncheon Meat, which is unique in taste, just like the irresistible pate.”
“…The store finally got a large can of it and the shop-keeper would take some out with a ladle and put 10 decagrams of it onto a piece of paper… Oh how wonderful it smelled!”
‘’My two-year-old son falls asleep every night to a lullaby I made up, dedicated to Gavrilović’s Tea Pate and Tea Sausages: ‘Grandpa, grandpa, grandpa dear, when you come and visit here, please bring along some Tea Pate and Tea Sausages my way…’ and so on, every night.”
“There is nothing better than bringing a pate with you to the beach. When you get hungry, you open it – and it’s slightly liquid… Just add some fresh white bread, a tomato and salt.”
But who is actually to be accredited for the invention of this masterpiece? Napoleon, of course; or at least someone close to him with a taste for such novelties in preserved tins, but someone not showy enough to have his name associated with the idea. During Napoleon’s military ventures, apart from his predominantly successful strategies, he never failed to omit military logistics – which were of equal importance as strategy in his military operations. He always saw to it that his soldiers were fed, even in the most difficult situations. His famous quote says: ‘’…An army marches on its stomach!’’
To win a war, soldiers needed to be fed. A regular supply of fresh food was required, but this, unfortunately, was rarely the case. Goods from faraway lands that were packed in tins were more practical for shipping to the battlefields. Canned foods were thus a fresh and healthy vacuum-packed meal for a hungry soldier. Besides Napoleon’s troupes, canned foods saved many an explorer on their escapades, like the cowboys we see in Westerns who conquered the Wild West.
During World War I, enormous armies of soldiers needed to be fed. Gavrilović’s the businessmen take on the challenge and invest in the development of canned foods in their factory in Petrinja. Production is intensified again in the late 1930s, when Europe is stirring with warnings of a new war on the horizon. Of the canned meats, various types of ham were packaged in tin boxes of different size and weight. Liver pate is introduced for the first time, costing 22-32 dinars per kilogram. For the sake of comparison, we must mention that a kilogram of Gavrilović’s very best Zimska Salami went for 42 dinars!
In an old order-form from September of 1938, we see that customers outside of Petrinja are informed that ‘’…the delivery of requested goods will be shipped via rail or post from Petrinja. Customers need to stress whether they would like their goods delivered through the postal service or through the rail.’’ The list of specialties included first-class cold cuts and top-quality Gavrilović salamis such as the Gavrilović Salami, Hikers’ Salami and the Milanese Salami. During those years there was a great demand for pure pork lard, which was exported from Petrinja in barrels of 200, 100 and 50 kilograms, as well as cases of 25 kilograms, and tins of 5 to 25 kilograms.
Gavrilović remains at the top of the list for the next thirty years in terms of the variety of goods and high quality of their famous cured meat products, as well as preserved meats and pates. At the Zagreb Fair of 1968, Gavrilović is rewarded with a gold medal for the following products: Gavrilović Salami, Budjola, Petrinja Sausages, Frankfurters, Gavrilović Beef Stew and pate. The biggest ovation went to the already-famous Gavrilović liver pate. As the Internet blog would say – it deserves a double yummy!