It was a turn of the century. It was love for the two of them, and a scandal for the others. Today it is an inspiring story that celebrates freedom and lives fully lived. And the sweetness of their love and freedom we can taste today.
It is condensed in an almost forgotten cake recipe, typical for Rijeka. The sweet cake is made from love, freedom, and courage. It is called Rigojanči.
We don’t know who saw who first. He was an amazingly talented, married, Roma violin player, performing at the Parisian Cafee Paillard. She was visiting, freedom-loving daughter of American-European aristocrat and self-made magnate, married with children to a Belgium prince Chimey.
They were both bestowed by passionate love and craving for exploration of life and freedom. Divorcing their partners was a precondition to get married to one another. Their exciting life as captivating performers and world travelers, described by over the top media reports, gossips, phantasies or straight out lies, made them a legend.
The details of their story one may find in the marvelous exhibition of the Maritime and History Museum of Croatian Littoral in Rijeka which was opened in the Hungarian Balassi Institute in Zagreb.
The exhibition was created by Tea Perinčić from the Maritime Museum, and Svetozar Nilović from Muzej Peek&Poke. It provoked insights from various media which contributed with more details and šperspectives to this sweet story about love and passion.
If you dare – try Rigojanči when visiting Rijeka. Or, prepare it yourself in the safety of your home.
Some say that those who especially enjoy cake Rigojanči may have a particular proclivity to passionate love and quest for freedom.
Probably just like most folks from Rijeka.