Traditional Foods in Croatia vary with the area you visit, from the Mediterranean coast with it’s delicious fresh fish and seafood to the more hearty fare of Central Europe with it’s influences taken from Austrian and Hungarian foods.
Lunchtime is the major meal of the day to most Croatians with a lighter option in the evening. Along the coastline of Croatia, which is the cleanest of the Mediterranean, you will find an abundance of fresh fish and seafood on offer. There is a tradition of grilling and roasting fish, which has been handed down through generations, which gives the fish tantalising flavours depending on the method chosen and the wood used. The use of wonderful Dalmatian olive oil method of cooking, called Gradelvanje, gives the fish a distinctive taste. Many restaurants along the coast have their own fishing boats so you can be assured that the fish is wonderfully fresh. Further inland meat will dominate the meals, with pork, lamb,veal and beef being transformed into wonderful,mouthwatering dishes. Pršut is a home cured ham which just melts in the mouth and is not to be missed. This is often served alongside various cheeses such as pašk ( a hard cheese,not unlike a strong mature cheddar) or sir sa vrhnjem (a cream cheese), another must try cheese is svjezi sir,a thick white cheeses often eaten with a salad.
Soups, juha, are usually clear and light often served with noodles, or cream soups, krem-juha. The Austrian influence shows in the schnitzels,pork or veal escalopes coated in flour,egg and breadcrumbs, becki odrezak and sometimes stuffed with ham and cheese zagreba?ki odrezak . The Hungarian influence brings Goulash served with stuffed cabbage. Other dishes include baked peppers stuffed with meat and rice punjene paprike or cabbage rolls stuffed with meat and rice sarma. A dish indigenous to Zagreb uses turkey and pasta purica z mlincima. From the lamb producing regions of Cres, Rab, Zadar and Split, spit roast lamb is the speciality, another way of cooking smaller pieces is to bake it slowly over hot embers under a metal cover.
Cakes and strudels are in plentiful supply in Croatia. Cream cakes, nut cakes and honey cakes, the list goes on. Also available are syrup-coated baklava showing the links to the Balkans. Kolaci are small,bite sized mouthwatering cakes that come in an incredible variety.They are made from nuts, fruits, berries, creams, chocolate, coconut, jams, sponges and marzipan and are a traditional feature of any Croatian wedding. Orahnjaca – sweet bread with walnuts, Easter pastry Pinca, Zagorski štrukli – sweet pastry from northern Croatia these are just some of the wonderful array of delicacies on offer.
Beers (Pivo) are excellent and are well worth tasting. Foreign beers are expensive in Croatia so it is better to stick to the local beers.There are also quite a few top quality wines to be had in Croatia, reds such as Postup, Faros, Babic and Dingac and whites such as Posip, Grk, Bogdanusa and the sweet desert wine Prosek. To finish off a good meal take a small glass of schnapps (Rakija) when made from plums it is the famous Slivovica, from grapes it is Loza and from herbs is Travarica, which is a great way to settle your stomach.
The selection of foods and drinks from Croatia has so much to offer and this is just a selection. If you have any favourites then please let us know.
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