On the plate, you can find out everything about the area where you travel. All about tastes and scents, about the people and their way of living, about historical and cultural heritage. The cuisine is varied in Croatia and it is not possible to determine a type of food that is characteristic of the entire country. Various natural and economic conditions and diverse cultural influences have given rise to the development of regional cuisines.
Surrounding states have had an impact on food production in Croatia, and the Italians were responsible for great pizza and pasta, the Greeks and the Turks making wine for meat dishes such as the famous sarma (minced meat in the cabbage leaves or vines).
Istria jealously guards both sides in gastonomiji so sometimes you will experience the Mediterranean side of Istrian cuisine; at other times, its continental side. It always uses the best olive oils and a variety of excellent wines. In winter, the Shellfish Days event is held from February 10 until March 23. During this period one can sample the finest Istrian sea food recipes featuring scallops, mussels, warty venus (a salt-water clam), Noah’s Ark shells, black scallops and oysters. Without any fear of exaggeration it is safe to say that diners will experience the special sea food taste only available from one of the cleanest seas in the world, complemented by superb Istrian wines and the best olive oil to be found anywhere. Also they have Days of Sole Fish and Days of Adriatic Squid and this festivals represents complete gastronomic enjoyment.
If you visit Istria, do not miss to try some of her specialties:
Istrian ham – Its prestigious place among gourmets ham thanks, primarily, strictly following the traditional rules: the rearing of pigs, through special processing pork leg until its drying and unique blend of spices that gives it a distinctive flavor. Pasta-Fazoli That’s the only minestrone which is prepared with pasta. It is best if they are spaghetti.
Istrian truffles – The white Istrian truffle is one of the most highly appraised truffle species in the world. For decades, it has been smuggled out of our country in order to enrich the taste of various European cuisines where its origins have constantly been kept in concealment.
I certainly do not miss the famous Istrian wines and the best olive oil.
The cuisine of Lika and Gorski Kotar is rather spiced and aromatic, full of strong smells and tastes. The reason for this is that it is never gets too hot in these areas as opposed to Mediterranean cuisine which is light due to hot climate. In Lika and Gorski Kotar food is mostly composed of grains, meat and milk. Most common meat specialty in Lika is grilled lamb and in Gorski Kotar people mostly eat game specialties such as cured deer or wild boar meat. Gorski Kotar is also known for frog legs specialties usually fried. It may seem a bit unusual, but give it a try! Let’s not forget mushrooms, very aromatic in these areas, which are put in sauces and sometimes served as main course. For dessert you can try delicious apple strudels. In Gorski Kotar there are also strawberry, blackberry and raspberry strudels. Berries are also used to prepare various sweet liquors.
The culinary tradition of northeast Croatia (Slavonia and Baranja) relies heavily on pork, whether fresh or processed as dried products – sausages, bacon, ham, pork crackling, or the famous kulen and kulenova seka (types of salami). Čobanac is a goulash made with several kinds of meat, served with potatoes or dumplings. River fish are used to make paprikaš. Dishes are seasoned generously with paprika. Lard is used to make lard cakes (salenjaci).
In Croatia, the different types of meat and seafood prepared and baked traditionally in wood-fired ovens. The taste is exceptional because they are made with lots of love.
In taverns which keep the traditional spirit you can taste all of these specialties and softest bread. Wherever you find yourself in Croatia you will have plenty of offers to feel through the food taste and smell of traditions, characteristics of that area.
If you arrive Croatia do not miss to try and shells kamenice, asparagus with eggs, shrimp Kvarner, Pag cheese, beef stew with gnocchi, dumplings with turkey, salami, ham, grilled carp (the fork), and for dessert, select a profession or strudel with walnuts.