Croatian Delicacies

by Saron Lease, Croatia Gems Company Founder & Director, 14th May 2018,

For those of you who are lucky to come to Croatia this year, and are a little confused about what the local cuisine is like, prepare for a feast. Obviously having such a history that encompasses dishes from the Ottoman empire, Italian /Mediterranean cuisine, not to mention a bit of Hungarian etc., it can and does vary considerably from region to region.  Reach out to the traditional dishes when you can and you won’t be disappointed.  Usure of where to eat? Ask a local they will always know the best place to go, might be a farm off the beaten track or a tiny beach restaurant; it will be sure to be one of the best you have eaten in a while.

Here are some of our favourite meals:

BUZARA – mussels cooked in a wine broth with garlic breadcrumbs and fresh parsley.

(Very similar to Moules Mariniere)

BOSKARIN – produced from the Istrian Ox, it’s usually cured and served as a salami or carpaccio, but it can also be found as a steak and in meat sauces.

BLACK RISOTTO – found all along the coast of Croatia , everyone has their own recipe usually made with cuttlefish or squid , garlic, wine ,and olive oil and squid ink for the full on black effect, delicious.

BRODET/BRUDET  – Croatian fish stew very much like the Italian fish stew , ingredients change with the season and what the catch of the day is, tomato based and usually served with Polenta.

PRSUT I SIR  – The rough translation of  ham & cheese doesn’t really do this dish justice , again different tastes  for each region  the Prŝut is made from local pork leg – seasoned with local spices  herbs, etc.

Dalmatia tends to smoke its Prsut, while Istria likes to cure it with sea salt and air dry it . It is aged for anything between 12 & 18 years.

The cheese – Croatia has a good variety from award winning Pag cheese Paski sir  – world cheese awards 2016-2017 awarded best cheese in central & Eastern Europe.

In Dubrovnik you will see jars of little round cheeses, produced from sheep milk and stored in olive oil – very popular.

VISKA POGACA – a speciality of the island of Vis – salted sardine filled foccacia.

PEKA  – a Croatian speciality – basically a stew cooked over wood embers and covered by a bell ( iron or terracotta lid  until tender – usually lamb, but can also be veal octopus or chicken traditionally accompanied by potatoes which are cooked with it and soak up all the juices (usually requiring 24 hours notice).

PASTICADA – very Dalmatian dish, a very slow and long cooking process  produces this tender and very rich beef stew – often includes figs plums cider as well as local herbs  and vegetables , every family has it’s own recipe all of them delicious – wonderful served with pasta or gnocchi.

FUZI – Istrian pasta ( pronounced fuu shee) these are hand rolled look a bit like penne but usually served with some kind of truffle sauce or just grated fresh truffle – head up to the mountains near Motovan – where fresh truffles are everywhere stronger smelling than the Italian ones and half the price .

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