France must have won the FIFA World Cup, but Croatia won the hearts of people from all over the world. The passionate team fuelled everybody’s interest in the tiny nation. Many are chalking travel plans to Croatia and if you are one of those, you would love to know, what to eat in Croatia? Here goes.
Croatia’s cuisine varies from region to region, for a physically small country the sheer variety and rich cuisine is indeed astounding. Thanks to its geographical position and events that took place in its history, the influence of the cuisines of other countries has been enriching and has enhanced Croatia’s cuisine. The influence of pasta came from Italy, the art of making wine from Greece and the delicious sarma (mince meat rolled in vine leaves or cabbage) from Turkey. Like us Indians, Croatians too attach a lot of significance to festive food or food related to festivals. And just like us, events from one’s life like birth, marriage or initiation to religion has specific food served. For Christmas Eve and Good Friday it’s cod. New year it’s pork, carnivals and public festivals means doughnuts or krafne and so on. For Croats, irrespective of the occasion, festivities aren’t complete without lamb, squid, fish or pork.
Yet again, just like in India, the traditional Croatian food varies from region to region. In fact, there are dishes you’ll find in one region and it’ll be unheard of in another. Amongst the most popular is the Dalmatian food. It is from the Dalmatian coast of Croatia and the islands. It is primarily seafood with an emphasis on seasonings, greens and olive oil. It’s more of Mediterranean food. Istrian cuisine is similar to Dalmatian cuisine and yet it has its signature dishes and unique cooking ways. Manestra is a typical Istrian dish, it’s basically bean soup flavoured with meat and other seasonings, so is Fuzi, a dish which has Istria’s stamp. Fuzi is hand rolled pasta. Zagreb cuisine is akin to central European cuisines. Meat preparations with an aside of tubers and cabbage. The Slavonian cuisine is essentially pork based with red paprika being the main spice. None of the other regions uses red paprika as Slavonia.
Top 10 Must-Try Dishes
This is a famous Zagreb dish. It’s pastry stuffed with cottage cheese and sour cream. It’s either steamed or baked.
A classic from coastal Croatia, brudet is basically fish stew. It’s made delicious with the addition of tomato sauce, spices and onions. This water-based stew is cooked for hours.
3. Istarski fuzi
A typical Istria dish, fuzi is quill shaped pasta which along with pljukanci a spindle-shaped pasta is the most well-known pasta of Istria. Its served with mushroom, truffles, beef or poultry stew.
4. Skampi na buzaru
Buzaru refers to a way of cooking seafood. This method is prevalent in coastal Croatia, shell fish like shrimps, mussels and clams are cooked with white wine, parsley, garlic and breadcrumbs.
5. Crni rizot
Crni rizot is black risotto. The black in the risotto comes from the ink of the squid. In addition, this seafood risotto contains mussels and clams. It is the topmost must-try dish in Croatia.
Manestra is a soup. Bean soup. Cooked for hours with spices and condiments and meat. It’s also cooked with corn and sauerkraut.
7. Punjene Paprike
Sounds almost Sindhi? This is stuffed bell peppers, a wildly popular summer dish. The stuffing typically is minced meat, rice and spices cooked in tomato paste.
If you are in Croatia and wondering what to get back home, arancini is the answer. It makes the best gifts to get back. Arancini is a traditional sweet, candied orange peel. Try it to know what the fuss is all about!
Rozata has to be well made and if it’s well made it is unbeatable. It’s a custard pudding much like flan.
You will find fritule anywhere in Croatia. Flour balls with raisins and flavoured with schnapps and lemon zest, fritule is deep fried.
Once again, like with Indian cuisine it’s difficult to single out just 10, there are scores of dishes waiting to be tried out. Let us know when you do.