Croatian dishes are diverse and regional due to the country’s stark gastronomic contrasts. These are especially notable when comparing coastal traditions to inland ones.
While in the first case the influence of Mediterranean gastronomy is clear, in the second the Viennese, Turkish and Hungarian imprint is notorious. Fish, shellfish, cold cuts, white truffles and wines are common in coastal areas. Inside, beef or lamb, vegetables and breads predominate.
Thanks to its geographical heterogeneity, the country has a great variety of products that enrich the recipes that are made there. Cultures such as French , Italian and Roman have passed through Croatia, among others, and each one has left a mark that is reflected in its gastronomy.
Although Croatian cuisine does not have international recognition, it certainly does not have to envy other European countries. If you want to know more about Croatian gastronomy, prepare your senses and discover what follows next.
1. Croatian dishes: Pašticada s njokima (meat stew)
This is one of the most appreciated and popular Croatian dishes. Although it is native to the Split area, it is consumed throughout the country. Its traditional preparation takes several days, so its price is high. Usually this dish is accompanied with some type of homemade pasta or potato gnocchi.
For processing meat requires beef, which should marinate from the previous day with bacon, cloves, garlic, pepper, salt and vinegar. Then wheat flour is sprinkled and fried with olive oil in a frying pan.
In a pot, place chopped onion, parsley, carrot and tomato, plus water, pepper and salt until boiling. Subsequently, the precooked meat with prunes and dry wine is added and cooked for three hours.
2. Brudet (fish stew)
It is one of the Croatian dishes that are most consumed in the coastal regions. It is originally from Italy, in fact, the term ‘brudet’ comes from ‘brodeto’, which translates as broth in Italian. It forms a healthy meal that stands out for its high protein and mineral content, as well as an exquisite flavor.
To make brudet it is necessary to fry chopped onion with olive oil and then add pieces of different types of fish (at least three). Sliced potatoes are placed in a pot, along with skinless chopped tomatoes. Add garlic, pepper, parsley, salt, olive oil, more water and dry wine and cook for at least 30 minutes.
3. Ostrea edulis (European oysters)
The Ostrea edulis , European oyster or Kamenice, is one of the Croatian dishes that has the longest tradition. The cultivation of this species, characteristic of the Mali Ston area, dates from the Roman period. Gourmet experts classify them as the most delicious oysters in the world.
There are many different ways of preparing oysters, for example in soups, sauteed, risotto and battered, among others. However, the most common way to consume them is to eat them natural, that is, raw together with a little lemon juice. They are delicious and very nutritious.
5. Ćevapi (roast)
Of the Croatian dishes, this is the most appropriate to share with family or friends. In essence, it is a barbecue in which the sausages are the center of interest. This dish is originally from Serbia, Herzegovina and Bosnia and was widely accepted in Croatian cuisine. It is exquisite.
For its preparation , minced pork, lamb and beef are required, which are mixed with garlic, onion, baking soda and a splash of water. The next day small sausages are made and grilled. They are served with somun or lepinja bread , finely chopped onion and the drink of choice.
5. Rožata (Dubrovnik flan)
Dubrovnik flan is typical of the Adriatic coast, unlike most Croatian desserts, which are traditionally produced in the interior. The flavor of this dessert stands out for the balance of its ingredients and its unique aroma. Its origin dates from the 12th century, when Venice was an independent state.
To make the cream, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla essence are mixed in hot milk. In another container, beat eggs, add the previous mixture and put it in the oven. The caramel sauce is made from water and brown sugar to a transparent amber hue. Finally, remove the flan from the mold and pour the caramel sauce on the surface.