Croatia travel guide - Information for your holiday in Croatia
Besides sun, beach and the sea, good food makes your holiday perfect. Croatian cuisine stands for an amazing variety of delicious dishes which make the travellers‘ hearts beat faster. Every region offers different gastronomic specialities. All the Croatian regions have, however, one thing in common: wherever you go, you will find fresh, seasonal ingredients of good quality and often organic. Good value for money is an additional advantage in Croatia. Most restaurants and konobas offer moderate prices and there are only a few high-priced places.
Regional specialities vary according to the geographic position of the area. Along the coast you can enjoy fish dishes, lobster, prawns, mussels and other seafood. If you visit Dalmatia you should definitely try a „brodet“ (sometimes called „brodetto“) – a kind of fish stew served with polenta.
In Central Croatia you are often served pasta with meaty sauces or ravioli with different stuffings. Pizza can also be found in Croatia. Whereas the Italian version comes rather thin and crispy, the Croatian pizza is thicker and softer.
Zagreb and the northwest of Croatia stand for tasty meat dishes: Grilled skewers, fried meat or goulash. There is a strong Austrian influence on this region’s cuisine as you clearly see looking at the desserts. Pancakes filled with jam or chocolate, sweet dumplings stuffed with nuts, plum butter or poppy seed – just to mention a few.
You should definitely try some of the domestic wines who have their origin in various Croatian regions. If you prefer beer, you will probably come across Karlovacko which is pretty popular in Croatia. Before dinner Croatians like to drink a glass of Sljivovic (a plum brandy), or a Kruskovac (made of pears). If you do not want to decide which one to try, simply take a Juliska. This is a mix of plum and pear brandy which you should enjoy at room temperature. After dinner, try a typical strong espresso.
- air dried ham (prshut)
- cheese from Krasno made from cow and sheep milk (Velebitski sir)
- Paski sir, a cheese from Pag island (made from sheep milk)
- Livanjski sir, a cheese from Livno made from cow wand sheep milk
- Skripavac (Shkripawaz), a kind of cream cheese similar to Mozzarella
- Kulen – a kind of salami from Slavonia, made from pork and flavoured with paprika
- lamb skewers with homemade bread
- grilled suckling pig
- fish in all varieties
- Pasticada – a Dalmatian speciality
- Istrian truffles
- Fritaja – an Istrian speciality with green asparagus
- plum schnaps (Sljivovica)
- grappa Loza (Losa)
- liqueurs: pear liqueur - Kruskovac, cherry liqueur - Maraskino, walnut liqueur - Orahovac, herbal liqueur - Pelinkovac, Vlahovac – a helpful bitter
- a mix of Kruskovac and Sljivovica is called Julishka
- typical Croatian white wine: Zlahtina - from Krk island, Grasevina – a dry wine from Slavonia, sorts of Riesling from Slavonia (Laski, Daruvarski, Djakovacki), from Istria (Malvazija), from Dalmatia (Kastelet, Posip) and several types of Chardonnay
- typical red wines from southern Croatia are dry and intense: Dingac from the peninsula of Peljesac, Babic from the Sibenik area, Vranac – a full-bodied and dry red wine, Plavac, Postup and many more…
- beer: Croatian beer is brewed according to the German purity law. There are many recommendable sorts such as Karlovacko, Ozujsko, Lasko...
Gastronomy in Croatia
Just like anywhere in Europe, in Croatia you find various types of places where to eat: bistros, cafes, fast-food chains, restaurants, bars etc. The Croatian konoba (= cellar) offers home made specialities in a typical ambience. There are also lots of good fish restaurants offering fresh fish and seafood. In Istria you are served home made Istrian dishes in rural restaurants.
At the weekly market or in the market halls you can by fresh fruit and vegetables, self-made liqueurs, wine, cheese, fresh fish and other delicacies. First come, first serve is the motto. Early birds get the freshest fish, whereas late risers might have to go away empty-handed…Sometimes you can also buy fresh fish directly from the fisher boats in the harbour.