One of the main reasons why visitors fell in love with Croatia is its cuisine. Along with all-natural beauties, the kitchen gives a unique flavor and joy for everyone who visits this beautiful country.
Cuisine and geography are mutually intertwined and connected in Croatia. Mediterranean ingredients and the way of preparing the food are appreciated as one of the healthiest and tastiest in the world, while the cuisine of the continental part of Croatia consists of a more caloric and fattier, meat-based food. Numerous Croatian festivities and all significant events are connected with and accompanied by the food.
Regarding the cuisine of Istra and Kvarner, it’s mostly based on fish and seafood, and it’s abundant with herbs and aromatic herbs, as well as high-quality olive oil. The most valuable species that can be found here are the Lim bay shrimps, squids, and clams. Also, we have to mention excellent prosciutto usually served with cheese and olives, fish soup, boiled shrimps, white and black risotto. The special place in Istrian cuisine is reserved for truffles – highly valued and expensive wild mushroom. It also has the appreciation days called „Natura tartufi.“ Lovran (maroon) chestnuts, the best chestnuts in Croatia have their appreciation days as well. These chestnuts are the essence of numerous delicious specialties. A nice drink is required along all that delicious food, so it’s no wonder that this region offers excellent wines. We’ll mention a few. Istrian malmsey is the best to match for the fish menu, while the red meat should be followed with the Teran wine. The Muscat is best served with desserts.
The cuisine in Dalmatia and on the islands is based on light cooking process, mainly on water or grilled. It mostly consists of fish, olive oil, vegetables, and wild herbs. Because of those ingredients, this cuisine is considered super healthy. Dalmatian wines, olive oil, and salty olives are valued since old ages.
The distinctive features of this are fresh sea fish (common dentex, sea bass, mackerel, sardines, etc.), mollusks (squids, cuttlefish, and octopus), crabs and clams, prepared in various ways, grilled, in a soup or as a risotto. When it comes to meat, the prosciutto takes a top place spot on, especially Drniš prosciutto.
It’s mostly served with goat cheese and olives. The lamb is also highly valued here, especially boiled or roasted. Dalmatian stew or pašticada (beef stew) with gnocchi are also must try specialties. From the vegetable dishes, the most famous one is chives with potatoes, roasted vegetables, and tomato sauce. Neretva valley, Triki and Cetina basin are also abundant with river fish, frogs, eels and river crabs. Dalmatian deserts are, and their simplicity is the exact reason why it wins hearts of so many people, and they’re mostly made out of Mediterranean fruits, dried figs, raisins, almonds, and honey.
Mountain region of Croatia (Gorski Kotar) and Lika are characterized by the foods distinctive to the mountain, forest and pasture lifestyles. In most cases, the food is boiled or roasted on an open fire. The everyday dishes mostly contain continental products, such as polenta, boiled or cooked potato, sauerkraut, beans, and extraordinary cheeses and milk. Like lamb, mutton and venison are world famous meats. This area is abundant with mushrooms and wild herbs. Most famous drinks are rakija (brandy-like drink), plum rakija and other rakijas made from fruits or ones mixed with honey. Numerous tasty meals characterize northwestern part of Croatia. It mostly consists of pasta, dairy products, and vegetables. The bread is baked using corn and barley, and cookies are very similar to the bread itself (buhtla, walnut loaf, and donuts…). In Međimurje, you should try polenta with blood sausages, in the Zagorje, you should try turkey with mlinci and in Posdravina and Moslavina – roasted carp.
Some of the images that our guests have sent us