Amazing Croatian Meals You Need to Try
If you go to Croatia and all you eat is hamburgers and salads, you are missing out on one of the most praised cuisines in this part of Europe. The mixture of Mediterranean style with locally available seafood and produce, paired with some local wines and spirits will definitely please your senses.
So let’s start.
What to eat if you like seafood?
We would definitely recommend this spicy fish and paprika stew dish from Baranja. Fiš Paprikaš is usually made with fresh-water fish such as catfish, pike, carp or starlet in a cast-iron kettle over a wood fire. Yummy.
Gregada fish stew originates from Hvar and is a wonderful concoction of white fish with white wine, olive oil and garlic. The mode of preparation is very particular. It is cooked slowly, for several hours in a pot, only shaken – not stirred, so the fish would remain succulent and whole.
If you like crustaceans, then Buzara is definitely for you. By tossing the crustaceans in a mixture of olive oil, parsley, breadcrumbs and white wine in a sizzling pan you will get an amazingly tasty finger-licking dish. This is the original, basic version, which many prefer to the “luxury” version with tomato sauce.
What to eat if you like desserts?
For most of the recipes, we can say that they were inspired by other dishes, but Zagorski Strukli is truly a Croatian dish, being even proclaimed a cultural icon by the ministry of Culture. They originated from Zagreb and Zagorje region. It is a combination of baked cheese, cream, eggs, and butter which will definitely become a perfect end to every meal.
What to eat if you like pasta?
This dish originated from the Istrian peninsula where the forests of Motovun are known for the highly sought-after culinary delight, the truffle. Whether white or black, this luxurious ingredient is used in local dishes without spare, combined with fuzi, the peninsula’s very own homemade pasta, or another local pasta, pljukanci. If you are there for a summer holiday, you will most probably eat fuzi with black truffle, which peaks from May until October which makes this rare mushroom relatively easy to find on the menus of Istrian restaurants. The white truffle, however, is harder to locate as it grows in the winter months and is a bit expensive. Whether if you eat it with fuži or pljukanci, if you are in Istria, don’t miss it.
What to eat if you like meat?
Pasticada is a Dalmatian beef dish. The beef is left to soak overnight in a mouthwatering sauce made of pancetta, onion, celery, garlic laurel and many other Mediterranean herbs, topped off with unavoidable red wine. When ready, it is slowly cooked until tender (some even add dried figs into the mix) and served with mashed potatoes or gnocchi.
The island of Brač is famed for its lamb, and it is there where this rare dish originated. Vitalac is an ancient dish of lamb’s offal fired on a spit and then wrapped in caul to be further grilled. Give it a try and you will get a bacon-crispy texture revealing a tender stuffing.
What to eat if you’re brave?
Doesn’t sound very appetising, you would say, but give it a try. This spiced broth is usually served with polenta to soak off the juices, and can be found in Vid, along the Neretva river.
What to eat for appetisers?
Dalmatian prosciutto is a delicacy made locally from Dalmatian pigs with local ingredients: Adriatic salt, ground spicy paprika (Aleva paprika), and dried with Bura wind. The end result is so tasty that you simply can’t stop eating it, especially when paired with sheep cheese from the island of Pag. This salty cheese is made of sheep milk and is not additionally salted because the rare pastures located near the seaside usually have saltier grass, which in turn, produces saltier milk.
What to eat if you like soup?
Croatia’s largest peninsula, Istrian peninsula is the home of Manestra stew which is a very popular dish available almost everywhere but prepared with various ingredients which depend on the season and availability. For example, in winter, it will typically include potatoes, sausages, and sauerkraut. The base of this lovely dish is beans, corn and olive oil which is the “summer” version, and when served with homemade bread, it’s simply irresistible.
Feeling hungry? Just visit Croatia. Here’s a website where you can reach the owners of the accommodation and perhaps even negotiate a discount. Feel free to visit. Enjoy.