Croatian Gastronomy

February 12, 2018 | Author: Hrvoje Roksandic | Category: Croatia, Bacon, Sausage, Pasta, Potato
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Croatia cannot compete in quantities and yields of fruit, vegetables, fungi, fish, crabs, meat, cheese or honey with the...


Croatian Gastronomy

introduction f

or thousands of years bc the tribal communities centred round Vuèedol used an extremely precise calendar which enabled them to engage effectively and successfully in agriculture. On the island of Vis there are traces of grape vine which have been cultivated from pre-Christian times, right up to the present day. The oldest coin to be found on the island of Hvar bears on the reverse side a depiction of a bunch of grapes, and on the obverse side the image of Homer – the poet who extolled their virtues in verse. Officers of ancient Rome gladly became gourmands once they discovered the riches of the Cetina region bequeathed

to them by the gods: trout, river crabs, frogs, game and fertile land. Instead of the usual temporary camp they created a permanent settlement on the hills along the Cetina River. A thousand years ago, top quality chefs, who were equally expert in Oriental and Western cuisines, were a key element of the crews aboard the ships of Dubrovnik which sailed the Mediterranean and the oceans. From Istria to Konavle, Croats have been safeguarding dozens of centuries-old olive trees which still bear fruit to this day. Roman emperors planted olive groves in Istria because they considered the area as being the best for cultivation of superior olives. Also, recipes from the Viennese court were being prepared

croatian Gastronomy


Each croatian tourist rEGion is a sourcE of hiGh quality cuisinE, rEGardlEss of whEthEr thE offErEd dish is of polEnta madE from whitE maizE or a phEasant patE flavourEd with frEsh istrian trufflEs.

introduction by cooks attending to the gastronomic needs of the nobility and other wealthy households in northern Croatia. Napoleon’s cooks introduced many of their culinary secrets to their Croatian counterparts, and they are still with us today – the mustard and bermet, i.e. vermouth, of Samobor being two of the most famous examples. It has to be pointed out, however, that those French cooks did not find any absence of culinary skills, indeed quite the contrary; in most cases the local population simply added a “French touch” to some of their existing recipes. For instance, mustard is mentioned in Gazophylacium, the famous Latin-Croatian dictionary by Ivan Belostenec, completed in 1674. Italians have managed to convince a good part of the world that hundreds of their regional dishes deserve a place at the peak of world gastronomy. However, at the beginning of the last century they themselves claimed that the best Italian dishes are prepared in Dalmatia, where a great culinary tradition makes use of first-class ingredients. In the course of its travels from Persia, via Turkey to Croatian lands, a journey which took thousands of kilometres and hundreds of years to complete, the recipe for æevap or kebab Cultivation of certain was being constantly improved until it varieties of grape reached absolute perfection. And all that together with many other great dishes on the island of and culinary procedures. Hungarians who came to settle in Vis dates back to Podravina, Meðimurje, Slavonia and pre-Christian times. Baranja are masters of dishes prepared in small cauldrons, delicacies which represent the essence of the identity of Hungarian cuisine. Today’s Croatia, a small Alpine, Pannonian, Danube-basin and Mediterranean country, grows all the same types of grape that are grown in the much larger France! Also, in small Croatia more varieties of the most highly valued truffles can be found than in that same France, including the white Tuber magnatum (pico), which is most sought after. For years now micologists have been trying to compile a definitive list of edible fungi that are autochthonous in Croatia, but the task is so extensive that they have yet to complete it. The Croatian Adriatic is not renowned for its great quantities of fish, crabs, shellfish and molluscs, but it is renowned for its rich variety of seafood. Indeed, it is claimed by many that some of that seafood, such as scampi and oysters from particular localities, are the best in the world. Those are subjective assessments; objective scientific findings have quite definitely shown that the concentration of elements in the Marasca black/sour cherry, grown in the surroundings of Zadar, make it superior to any other type of black/sour cherry in the world - which is more than amply


croatian Gastronomy

local brEEds of shEEp arE rEnownEd for thEir mEat with an ExquisitE tastE, rEsultinG from thE quality of GrazinG - aromatic, and mEdical mEditErranEan hErbs, and thE nEar vicinity of thE sEa which imparts a portion of its salt to thE land. this combination lEnds thE mEat of thEsE animals a vEry spEcial flavour.

proved by Maraschino, the famous liqueur of Zadar. The varieties of small Mediterranean breeds of sheep scattered across the Adriatic islands, throughout the coastal areas and coastal hinterland, are in themselves a source of ultimate culinary pleasures and an excellent paradigm of the peaks of Croatian gastronomy: those breeds are small, some of them even the smallest in the Mediterranean, and their milk yield is equally small due to meagre but exquisitely aromatic grazing. On the other hand, however, their meat, milk and the cheese produced from it are delectable indeed. Croatia cannot compete in quantities and yields of fruit, vegetables, fungi, fish, crabs, meat, cheese or honey with the large world producers. But then, it has no need to. The incredible variety and surprising quality of ingredients, food-stuffs, dishes and processed products offered by these climes and tradition are in themselves a world monument of culture with which one must become familiar with, nurture, preserve, respect and above all savour and enjoy. Hence, the Croatian National Tourist Board will make it an ongoing project to systematically research and present Croatian national gastronomy to the world public in the deeply held belief that, alongside natural attractions and cultural heritage, it is the country’s national gastronomy that represents an outstanding Croatian attraction. It is not enough to learn about it only in its summer version – all four season offer equally exquisite gastronomic experiences. It can be safely said that Croatia is, so to speak, “on the boil”; agricultural experts and strategists of food production are undertaking a comprehensive inventory, and preparing a national strategy for the country’s road to the European Union. All edible treasures must be listed, described and protected as much as possible so as to ensure their survival within the strictly applied European rules. This is a massive task of

istria 6-11

KvarnEr 12-15

dalmatia – 28-31 split

dalmatia – 32-35 dubrovniK

invaluable significance; a high percentage of Croats fear that Brussels bureaucracy would not look kindly upon the ancient habits and customs practiced by thousands of small family producers, the very ones who enable Croats to enjoy hundreds of superb dishes prepared throughout our country. Preservation and advancement of that wonderful heritage of our forefathers is, for Croats and the numerous national minorities who have lived here for a long time, a task which carries with it the very significance of survival. From the holdings of our farmers, from our meadows, forests, streams, rivers and the sea, in every season of the year there arrives to the Croatian markets a myriad of produce and products: fruit, vegetables, wild edible plants, herbs, fungi, fresh and saltwater fish, shellfish, crabs, molluscs, snails, frogs, game, fresh meat, sausages, salamis, hams and proscuittos, breads, rolls and cakes; and they never fail to surprise gourmands and connoisseurs from all over the world. Not by quantity – Croatia is, as we have said, a small country – but with their incredible variety. Amidst this wealth of choice one can select foodstuffs and dishes that stand shoulder to shoulder with the finest in the world, forming the basis of our national gastronomy which the world has yet to discover in its full glory, aroma and flavour. Bearing in mind its real potentials, very little is indeed known in the world about Croatia's gastronomy. This is why we are working on a strategy. Croatia will not amaze anybody with the quantities of food produced here. In the Croatian waters of the Adriatic there are relatively small numbers of fish and other sea creatures. But it is the story of the Adriatic which is typical of Croatia’s gastronomy: neither the sea nor the seabed is overcrowded by massive numbers, but the variety of species living here is quite something. From a culinary standpoint this wealth gains another, yet more distinct quality: the frutti di mare of the Adriatic are deemed to be among the most delectable in the world. Pilchard, sand smelt, anchovy, tuna, dentex, gilthead, John Dory, red mullet, scampi, sea spider, lobster, oyster, scallops, calamari, squid... In the right hands all of them can be transformed into a feast fondly remembered with pleasure even by those who have enjoyed feasts all over the world. Croatia neither can nor should compete with the large food producers. Here, the holdings are fragmented; fields, barns and

liKa - 16-19 Karlovac

slavonia 36-39

dalmatia – 20-23 zadar

dalmatia – 24-27 ŠibEniK

cEntral 40-43 croatia

city of 44-53 zaGrEb

fishing boats are small. This situation, which for decades has been a serious national problem, is now proving to be a first class potential. In Croatia, chickens do indeed peck in courtyards, eating what nature provides; here, sheep do graze aromatic herbs; tuna fish feed on live pilchards in clear seas, and in forests wild strawberries happily grow in the company of mushrooms – until bears discover them and have themselves a feast... Viewed against water resources throughout the world, Croatian waters, fresh and salt, standing and running, surface or underground, are all well preserved. The soil is not contaminated with heavy metals, nor is it exhausted by over-intensive agriculture. The air is considerably cleaner than in the majority of other European countries, and people are being brought up, and are therefore accustomed to, a traditional cuisine of first-rate nutritious properties, not only in the Mediterranean part of the country but in its vales in the north and in the mountain area extending between the coastal region and the Pannonian plain. To savour a pogaèa (round, unleavened bread) made from ancient varieties of grain from Meðimurje, salted by salt harvested on the Dalmatian islands is in itself a gastronomic experience fit to start a culinary feast in Croatia. An experienced connoisseur can follow the intricate paths of Croatian cuisine, and they will lead him from the rural origins, via folk tradition, to the intelligent concepts of brilliant young cooks in their fine restaurants. What a challenge for a palate worthy of its name! With this publication we aim to outline the gastronomic routes through Croatia which are of particular interest, or rather those which lead to singular culinary pleasures. The tourist map of Croatia divides the country into tourist regions. Each is a source of high quality cuisine, regardless of whether the offered dish is a polenta made from white maize, which takes hours of gentle cooking and stirring in a cauldron over an open fire in the old- fashioned hearth of a household that earns its living through agro-tourism, or a pheasant paté flavoured with fresh Istrian truffles made for the exclusive festival of high gastronomy called The Golden Truffle. First rate foodstuffs and ways of preparing them can be found throughout the land, and the charm of getting to know them, from one cluster to another, lies in the rich and colourful varieties found regionally and locally.

croatian Gastronomy


istria 01

The gasTronomy

o f i s T r i a p r e s e n T s i T s e l f as one of complete harmony, characterized first and foremost by traditional folk and urban cuisine offered in numerous pubs, inns and cellars. as a gastronomic entity istria is a phenomenon of world ranking. its folk cuisine is a centuries-old response, on the one hand to economic deprivation, and on the other to the abundant generosity of nature and the great culinary models of the nearby italian provinces.


stria is the first Croatian region which has long been visited by special type of guest: those who regard gastronomy either as the most important, or as one of the very important, reasons for travelling. The consequence of a process in which guests visiting the Istrian coast began to "discover" its interior, completely removed from large tourist complexes and similar urban interventions. Istria’s interior was, in that respect, a virgin land and is, in fact, described in monographs written today as Terra incognita, as the ancient cartographers used to describe an unknown, unexplored land. The coast and the interior of Istria were, indeed are, complementary not only in the magnificent landscapes and a dramatic change of atmosphere, but they also formed and form a unique gastronomic entity combining the sea food provided by the Mediterranean with its hinterland. Frutti di mare of exquisite quality were rounded off by produce from gardens, orchards, vineyards and forests in the peninsula’s interior. As a whole, the gastronomy of Istria presents itself as one of complete harmony, characterized first and foremost by traditional folk and urban cuisine offered in numerous pubs, inns and cellars. Istria was also the area in which the first truly luxurious restaurants in Croatia opened their doors. Tourist guides published by the Tourist Board of the County of Istria were the first to start a systematic and reliable exploration and follow-up, as well as offering encouragement for the development of quality catering establishTourisT Board of The CounTy ments. Concurrently, the well organized Istrian of isTria wine growers began to set up clear criteria for Pionirska 1, 52440 Poreč wine roads, and soon the whole of Istria was crisstel.: +385 52 452 797 crossed with such roads. fax: +385 52 452 796 As a gastronomic entity Istria is a phenomenon E-mail: [email protected] of world ranking. Its folk cuisine is a centuries-old response, on the one hand to economic deprivation, and on the other to the abundant generosity of nature and the great culinary models of the nearby Italian provinces. Simple popular dishes again seem very modern: omelettes (locally known

croatian Gastronomy




as fritaja), practically a trade mark of Istrian cuisine, are a clear demonstration of this. Based first and foremost on good free-range eggs, cooked to perfection, or if you will a point, to use the gastronomic patois. Added to the omelettes is one, or at most two ingredients, whose taste is a dominant one in the dish, and the selection of which is dictated by the season, as is the Oysters from the case in particular with wild asparagus. In a nutshell, Istrian fritaja with wild asparagus Lim channel are is a popular dish which meets all the critea renowned ria of modern-day high cuisine. Maneštra, or as some would say minspecialty of the estrone, is also a part of Istrian culinary Northern Adriatic. tradition. Boiled potatoes and beans, with the addition of seasonal vegetables which give this particular dish its name: maneštra with sweet corn, barley, chick-peas, fennel; when combined with sauerkraut and turnip it is called yota. Specific characteristics of Istrian maneštra is pešt – finely chopped bacon, parsley and garlic. Thus prepared, paste is added at the commencement of cooking in order to ensure that the bacon is thoroughly cooked. Folk, urban and fine cuisines catering in Istria overlap and intertwine, which is no wonder since they are all based on gastronomic icons such as indigenous forms of pasta made from top quality flour; then there are oysters, sea spiders, the best of deep sea fish, white and black truffles and other mushrooms, wild asparagus, Istrian prosciutto, pancetta, a specially cured bacon, sausages and ombolo, spiced and


croatian Gastronomy

owinG to thEir natural bEauty and archaEoloGical localitiEs, thE brijuni archipElaGo, just off thE town of pula, Enjoys thE status of a national parK.

briefly smoke dried boned pork loin, and game both large and small. The interest that everyday Istrian cuisine began to generate in recent decades, not only among guests from other parts of Croatia but also among those beyond our borders, gave rise to the development of agrotourism, a catering industry in rural homesteads based on produce from the homestead itself. Today, agrotourism is the key gastronomic feature of the interior of Istria with a range of dishes no longer restricted to a dozen or so of the most typical. Alongside the standard range on offer many households are now expanding their production of high quality home grown foods, and we now have, for instance, small family game breeding farms. Most usual is the feathered variety, but in Istria it is not surprising to find a wild boar being kept in a pen, as is the case in Pladnjaki. In such cases village tourism can offer such delicacies as ombolo, prosciutto and sausages produced from such game. chEEsE madE from Goat milK is EspEcially dElicious whEn flavourEd with trufflE.

wild asparaGus Grows all ovEr thE northEn part of istria in thE sprinGtimE.

pasta sprinKlEd with GratEd trufflEs, whitE or blacK, form a part of thE mEnu of almost EvEry rEstaurant.

risottos of EvEry imaGinablE Kind - from thE rEd onE madE with radiccio, to thE blacK onE with squid inK - arE anothEr istrian spEcialty not to bE missEd.

Agrotourism is the key gastronomic feature of the interior of this peninsula. It is based on rural holdings offering quality, homecooked food served in a homely and intimate atmosphere. ombolo- a bonEd porK loin first briEfly smoKEd and thEn GrillEd ovEr hot coals.

The mainstay of Istrian catering, and the guarantee of a good atmosphere, is the range of simple house wines - and wine has for centuries been the medium of socializing. In Istrian pubs people still enjoy the Istrian supa, served in a bukaleta (a ceramic jug): gently warmed red wine, most often teran or borgogna, is poured into a bukaleta, a slice of freshly toasted bread is added, together with few drops of olive oil, a spoon of sugar and a pinch of freshly ground pepper. The jug is passed around the table with wine being drunk, actually sipped, through the bread, which makes it extremely drinkable. Istrian supa is a custom typical of small village and town oštarije, or if you will, pubs. Atmosphere in those establishments is created first and foremost by an open fireplace which, although frequently set into a corner, is the social hub of the place; food is cooked on it, meat sizzles on its metal grids; people really love to gather around, particularly in winter time. Ombolo is the king of a menu prepared in such fireplaces. Slightly smoked pork loin is sliced and grilled over the charcoal. It is often served with sauerkraut, and in combination with Istrian sausage.

pico, a kilo of which can fetch more than 3000 euro, come to the market in the autumn. The truffle season lasts up to the end of the year. The main site of this undoubtedly most expensive foodstuff is the famous Motovun forest, located alongside the Mirna River, at the foot of the mount upon which rises the magnificent little town of Motovun. World experts have still not decided how the famous truffle from Alba came to have a twin of equal quality in Motovun and several other smaller habitats through Istria. But


It is quite usual that mystery stories are spun about truffles before they are accepted as a part of local cuisine. Istria was no different. It was only at the beginning of the last century that Istrians realized what a gastronomic jewel they had at their disposal. Several excellent types of truffles grow in Istria almost the year round, while the most treasured one, the white truffle or Tuber magnatum

croatian Gastronomy


thE woods around thE anciEnt and EnchantinG, tiny towns of motovun and Grožnjan, are rEplEtE with all Kinds of mushrooms which lEnd thEmsElvEs rEadily to a variEty of dElicious dishEs.



the international gatherings of experts and thematic gastronomic presentations entitled Golden truffle held in the Marino restaurant in Kremelje, near Momjan, arrived at a clear conclusion: the white truffle of Istria is in no way inferior to those from Alba! Indeed, an American journalist discovered that many “truffles from Alba” actually originate in Istria. At the special presentation of haute Until very recently cuisine held in the Valsabbion restaurant not far from Pula, Bruno Clement, the white truffle of the renowned French culinary wizard, Istria was unknown also known as the King of Truffles, publicly confirmed that conclusion in by the elite gastrothe autumn of 2003. The largest white nomy of the world. truffle ever found, weighing almost a kilogram-and-a-half, was found in the Motovun forest. Until recently the Istrian white truffle was unknown on the world stage of luxury gastronomy. It was reaching fine restaurants of the world through smuggling, and was served either without its origin being given, or was being falsely presented as Italian. Today, Istrians no longer wish to smuggle, or even export their truffles. But neither do they want to save them for themselves. It’s not that they don’t like them, they want even more to be able to offer them to those true connoisseurs of this magical fungus who come to visit the small corner of the world from which this delicacy originates. Traditional Istrian dishes prepared with truffles are very simple, particularly when the best, the white truffle is being used. Nothing should be allowed to impair its

EvEn thE roman EmpErors who build thE amphithEatrE in pula considErEd that thE arEa of istria was bEst for thE cultivation of supErior olivEs.

majestic gastronomic presence. Right at table, right before the guest, a small amount of truffle is grated over freshly cooked pasta, Istrian fui (somewhat similar in shape to Italian garganeli) or gnocchi, and there you have it! Omelette, or fritaja with truffles is served in a similar way.

istria is onE of thE bEst placEs for olivE GrowinG and for thE production of top quality olivE oil.

fritaja, i.e., an omElEttE with asparaGus, is a dElicacy EnjoyEd in istrian homEs

a widE ranGE of trufflE variEtiEs Grows in istria all yEar round.

The largest truffle ever, weighing almost 1.5 kg, was found in Istria's Motovun woods. i st r i a n pa sta a n d its picturEsquE GarnishinGs

In the course of its journey from Italy towards Istria both names and forms of pasta changed, eventually being transformed into authentic features of Istrian cuisine. Lovers of Italian pasta could probably become confused by the Istrian supa, or istrian soup, sErvEd in a buKalEta: rEd winE with a slicE of toastEd brEad, a pinch of salt and pEppEr, and a fEw drops of olivE oil, is drunK from cEramic juGs.

are a number of small producers who have earned a fine reputation among connoisseurs of good pasta.

Maneštra od bobići (minEstronE with swEEt corn)

The best known of the thick stews in Istria is the famous maneštra od bobiæi, yet another example of how a great dish can be born out of privation. After all, its main ingredient is a prosciutto bone, and tradition has it that it was used more than once, even borrowed from house to house. Young sweet corn, potatoes, red beans, garlic, celery leaf, pepper and panceta (specially cured meaty bacon) or at least its rind – these are the ingredients that go to make this stew, in addition to the prosciutto bone, of course. Maneštra of bobiæi, cooked slowly over a gentle heat, is now once again as popular as it was so long ago when some anonymous genius created it.

lasagna. They are not in fact rectangular sheets of pasta laid one on top of another with sauce in between, but simply wide strip noodles, a shape which makes them suitable for different dishes, including making tasty nests for white truffles. The best known Istrian pasta is fui, small squares of pasta diagonally rolled into tubes. Flour, salt and water are mixed into smooth dough which is rolled into a thin sheet, cut into 4x4cm squares, the opposite corners of which are folded towards the middle and pressed so as to stick together. Suitable for a variety of dishes, fui are most often found as a welcoming starter to gvacet – delectable Istrian goulash, i.e. pieces of meat in a thick gravy - chicken version is very popular and widespread, as well as all kinds of larger game. The favourite pasta in Sveti Vinæent and its surroundings are pljukanci, small, spindle-shaped pieces of dough, most appreciated when served with pieces of prosciutto and wild asparagus, or with gravy made with sausage or of mushroom, locally known as martinèica or, if you will, Clitocybe geotropa. But it is also quite sufficient to sprinkle this excellent pasta with good grated cheese – particularly if it comes from the nearby village of Šikuti. There, one can chance on a very strong cheese, made of a mixture of sheep and goat milk, but which is not easy to find. Home-made pasta is highly appreciated in Istria, but there

croatian Gastronomy


buzEt, a small, old town situatEd inland, cElEbratEs thE bEGinninG of thE trufflE sEason with a GiGantic omElEttE.

kvarner 02

To The Curious

g a s T r o n o m e k v a r n e r is a site of most varied opportunities. from the mountain of Učka in the direction of dalmatia, it is a continuation of istria. the largest croatian islands (cres and Krk) form a part of this cluster, as do the mountain massifs in the regions of Gorski kotar. first class fish, crabs and other frutti di mare are readily available in the markets, side by side with “frutti di forest”: mushrooms, wild fruit, game, and to round if all off here one can savour some of the best cheeses in this country, made from cow, sheep and goat milk from the livestock grazing on mountain, coastal and island meadows.


nd these are only some of the attractions, to which we must add snails, frogs, honey, and for many the highest ace of Croatian gastronomy, lamb in all its delectable variations, from Pag, Cres, Krk, Rab and other areas... This is also the area where the best scampi in the Adriatic are caught and prepared. Among the many compliments given to them is that which claims no other scampi in the world can compare to them! It is therefore logical that with such ingredients it was here in the Kvarner cluster that modern Croatian cuisine was being created in the second half of the 20th century. Today, some of the leading restaurants in our country, given a prominent place in the leading world guides, can be found here.


Growing in the foothills of Uèka, is the famous chestnut tree known as Lovranski marun, that is, the marron of Lovran, whose fruit is most commonly eaten roasted. Come their season sometime in October Lovran holds its traditional festivity, Marunada, when gastronomy is devoted to the sweet chestnut. In the streets they are eaten roasted, but in restaurants a range of dishes both sweet and savoury, including chestnut soup, are prepared. TourisT Board of The CounTy of primorje - gorski koTar n. tesle 2, p.p. 52, 51410 opatija tel.: +385 51 272 988 fax: +385 51 272 909 E-mail: [email protected] for a detailed list of county tourist boards, please refer to page 54.


Although frogs of excellent quality are found in several locations throughout Croatia, the inhabitants of Lokve in Gorski kotar are renowned for their particular fondness for frogs. These are best towards the end of April, during the abarska noæ (Night of Frogs) when the finest frog is “elected” and when some very specific dishes can be savoured, particularly “frogs a la Lokve”: frog legs stewed with snails and local wild mushrooms, served with boiled potatoes or polenta.


Few people outside the Kvarner area know that

croatian Gastronomy




lambs rEarEd on thE islands of thE northErn adriatic, and from thE hintErland of vElEbit, arE spit-roastEd in many rEstaurants found alonGsidE thE road.

the dormouse is the gastro-specialty of this region. Today, the uninitiated tend to look at them askance, but recipes for their preparation can be found as long ago as Apicius’ collection of recipes. Frutti di Nowadays, their flesh is mostly fried or spit-roasted. The most delectable of all mare and is a young dormouse cooked over charfish are a coal, sometimes coated with corn flour. Older ones are prepared in goulash and dominant served with polenta. Dormouse is served feature in in Kastav, Liganj, Lovranska Draga... On Whit Sunday (one week after St. restaurants Michael’s Day, September 29th) when the hunting season opens the dormouse along the becomes a gastronomic delicacy of the shores. first order.


Salted leg of an older lamb or a sheep is hung to dry in the bora (north wind), and sometimes allowed to smoke for a brief period. On Cres, leg of lamb thus prepared is called udiè and is one of the lesser known pearls of Croatian rural gastronomy. The same method is also practised around Dubrovnik, particularly in Konavle.

Grobnički sir

Grobnièki sir, or cheese from the Grobnik range, is produced from milk of sheep which graze on the mountain meadows of Gorski kotar, in the villages above the Grobnik range.


croatian Gastronomy

This large cylinder cheese does not come in any uniform shape since it is shaped by hand, without pressing. It can weigh up to 20 kg. This is a distinctly salty cheese, which is why in Rijeka they call it just that: salty cheese.

chEEsEs of thE KvarnEr islands

Grazing on the north Adriatic islands is very distinct, and it yields a readily identifiable aromatic sheep milk. On the island of Krk, people produce a small cheese weighing less than half a kilo, locally known as formajela. Around Vrbnik it is usually spherical, while above Baška it is square. If not sold in its fresh form it is kept in olive oil for up to a year. On the islands of Cres and Lošinj, cheese is larger and usually with a higher fat content. Sometimes it is coated with the residue of olives which remains after the oil has been pressed out it is in this arEa that thE bEst scampi of thE adriatic arE cauGht and prEparEd.

a dElicacy madE of thin pastry and fruit.

frEshly picKEd bluEbErriEs, rasbErriEs, blacKbErriEs, wild strawbErriEs, currants…

a sEa-bass fillEt in a saucE of rosEmary and whitE winE

First class fish, crabs and other frutti di mare are readily available in the markets, side by side with “frutti di forest”: mushrooms, wild fruit, game... thE huGEly apprEciatEd caKEs and othEr dEsErts madE of thE maroni, or rathEr swEEt chEstnut of lovran

of them, and sometimes, although more rarely, it is smoked. On the island of Rab cheeses are made still larger. These cheeses can weigh over two kg, and are considerably harder than the cheese produced on the more northerly islands of Kvarner.

Mineštra of koroMača

Thick vegetable soups were, to a great degree, born out of poverty, but that is precisely the reason why they are such excellent examples of folk culinary genius, particularly in the areas along the coast and on the islands. The old recipe used on Lošinj is one such example of a dish which once was a pauper’s meal but is today being sought after by knowledgeable connoisseurs. Potato and soaked beans are cooked until the soup reaches the desired thickness; carrots, parsley and garlic are added, followed by finely chopped panceta (meaty

bacon) and finally, young shoots of koromaè, (fennel) to imbue the dish with its wonderful, aromatic fragrance.


The inhabitants of the island of Krk take great pride in their indigenous type of pasta, šurlice. It is not unlike the Istrian fui, but more elongated and thinner, and is most often served with thick meat gravies or frutti di mare sauces. When a dish is prepared with lamb, as in Baška or, for special occasions, with game, a palatable everyday meal becomes a memorable gastronomic experience. The custom of preparing šurlice in catering establishments has also been preserved in Dobrinj, a charming small town in the interior of the island of Krk.

thE maroni, or rathEr, swEEt chEstnuts, arE bEst EatEn roastEd.

croatian Gastronomy


brodEtto prEparEd with anGlEr, is a spEcialty madE from fish, onions, tomatoEs, carrots and winE, and is a vEry popular dish up and down thE coast.

lika — karlovac


The ConsTruCTion

o f n e w , m o d e r n r o a d s in croatia has brought to the forth the mountainous region of lika which has been neglected for many years. and while the new roads opened up new and impressive vistas, the old ones – the traffic loads and traffic jams now out of their way – were presented with the opportunity to provide services in tune with their unpolluted natural surroundings.


ountaineering, recreational tourism linked to mountain streams, rivers and lakes (notably, rafting, canoeing and canyoning), mountain cycling, numerous paths through the protected environments of national parks and nature parks – which include the world renown Plitvice Lakes – have made Lika a delightfull discovery even for Croatian tourists. The centuries of neglect are now proving themselves to have been the guardians of an exceptional comparative advantage that the wide expanse of pristine nature has to offer. Among other things, the appreciation for the local gastronomy is growing at a pace. The selection of rustic tradition is presenting itself in the new light, indeed, it is being seen in the new light. Aimed at a true connoisseur – its recipes not being the result of the chef’s tricks of the trade but of the top quality food-stuffs that meet the highest of ecological standards – this gastronomy is based on indigenous, wild growing plants, particularly mushrooms and fruit of the forest. Up to now the vast majority of mushrooms – boletus of Lika and chanterelle – were exported, for instance to Italy, and sold there as the best Italian mushrooms. New collection stations and drying facilities have enabled the forest mushrooms of Lika to become an appreciated brand among the connoisseurs. Milk and dairy products, made primarily from cow and sheep milk, bring all the qualities of the TourisT Board of The first class grazing, at times superior even to grazCounTy of karlovaC ing offered by the Alpine meadows. The same Karlovac, a. vraniczanya 6, can safely be said about the fish and crabs, be 47000 Karlovac they from streams or lakes. The fishing grounds tel.: +385 47 615 320 for trout and some other fresh water fish are fax: +385 47 601 415, regarded as one of the most favoured destinaE-mail: [email protected]; tions at the global level, and within that context for a detailed list of county tourist boards, please refer to page 54. Gacka is a trully mythical name. Roe obtained from the Lika trout has been recognized as the new delicacy which attracts both gourmands and gourmets with its appearance and its golden coppery colour, not to say anything about its flavour. Dried and briefly smoke-cured fillets of the Lika

croatian Gastronomy



lika—karlovac frittErs: vEry simplE and tasty, traditional dElicacy of liKa

GacKa rivEr

trout are now being vacuum-packed and are becoming available at the wider market. The very water in which these fish and crabs find their habitat is itself a first rate gastronomic attraction. Almost all water flowing through Lika are not only potable, but are also rated among mineral and spring waters of superb quality. More and more of it is now being bottled and offered at local and foreign markets. And more and more chefs are now using water of such fine quality to prepare all stews and soupy dishes, such as the famous Lièki lonac (or rather the Lika Stew) which will, it has to be said, be at its best when prepared with meat from cattle grazed on the local meadows, with vegetables grown in the local


croatian Gastronomy

ŠKripavac, or as somE would say, “squEaKy” chEEsE madE of cow milK, saltEd and driEd.

soil and under the local climate conditions, and of course, cooked in the waters of Lika. The return to the roots of gastronomy in Lika sends a special message: quench your thirst with fresh spring water, stay your hunger with a flat-bread made from wheat freshly ground in a water-mill, fortify yourself with plum-brandy „baked“ and nurtured from home-grown plums. And all

brEad: brEad baKEd undEr a pEKa – a hEavy mEtal or cEramic lid – on an opEn hEarth.

basa, frEsh chEEsE - madE from cow or shEEp milK - is a spEcialty of liKa.

mushrooms from GorsKi Kotar and liKa arE a sourcE of GrEat plEasurE for connoissEurs and ExpErts aliKE.

The selection of rustic tradition is presenting itself in the new light. soured sheep milk or semi-hard cheese locally known as škripavac (squeaky).

t h E l i K a f r E s h - wat E r fish soup

lamb and potato baKEd undEr a pEKa – a hEavy mEtal or cEramic lid – Known spEcialty of liKa.

those are experiences of fundamental quality not easily forgotten by a gastronome worthy of the name.

An excellent example of a new and modern dish that blends well with the local culinary tradition is the cream fresh-water fish soup. The Lika trout is filleted, and meat is taken from the tails of river crabs. Heads, bones, shells and pincers, with the addition of onion and a whole potato, are covered with water and allowed to boil to a stock. The soup is then strained and puréed with the potato. The trout fillets and crab meat are placed into the soup and boiled briefly, a dash of butter and a sprig or two of fresh wildgrowing herb like wild chives or bear’s garlic are added. The soup can also be made with trout only.

t h E l i K a p otato

The protection of the geographic origin of the Lika potato is a good example of the validation of culinary skills. The optimum quality of unpolluted soil, the altitude, the climatic conditions and the variety selection, result in a readily identifiable, superb quality potato which has now, finally, been branded in an appropriate manner. This has been a salvation from oblivion for some of the simple dishes of the region, such as the Lièke pole, or as some would say “potato halves”. Potatoes of larger and medium size are washed and sliced in half, unpeeled. Each half is hollowed out, a cube of bacon is placed into the potato, and potatoes are then baked – best results are achieved if they are baked in a bread oven or under a peka (a domed, cast iron lid that is placed over food and covered with live coal). They go particularly well with

croatian Gastronomy


sauErKraut and smoKE-driEd mEat, a traditional dish in liKa, prEparEd mostly in thE wintEr months.


dalmatia 04

norThern dalmaTia

l i e s i n T h e C e n T r e of the croatian part of the adriatic. islands, coastal areas and the hinterland provide everything that goes to make mediterranean cuisine one of the most popular in the world. it is just as highly regarded by doctors who research healthy diets, and among the most reputable gastro-critics in search of strong, perfectly balanced flavours.


he two opposites of the Mediterranean clime are found in the Zadar region: bare rocky countryside where only the most sturdy of medicinal plants of the Kornati islands will grow and on which only the hardiest livestock, sheep, goats, donkeys, game and even bees can live, and the rich, fertile land of Ravni kotari, from where the most sought after fruit and vegetables arrive to the markets of Croatia. And it is in this unique area that the best black sour cherry, the famous maraska, grows. A natural environment of such generosity was bound to inspire gastronomic geniuses to create top quality recipes, ranked among which is undoubtedly the world renowned Maraschino liqueur. It has many surrogates, but only in Zadar is the liqueur produced from the indigenous Maraska black/sour cherry, in strict observance of an original process devised three centuries ago.


TourisT Board of The CounTy of Zadar sv. Leopolda b. Mandića 1 23000 zadar; tel.: +385 23 315 107 fax: +385 23 315 316 E-mail: [email protected]

The largest fishing village on the Croatian Adriatic is Kali, on the island of Ugljan. Kali fishermen catch all types of fish but the basis of both their trade and of fishing in general on the Croatian Adriatic is the sardine. It ranks among the most inexpensive of fish, but often also among the most highly rated. For most fishermen, and other connoisseurs, there is no better fish dish than the modest sardine, but only if the sardine meets a crucial criterion: that it is prepared and eaten for elevenses in the morning after the night it is caught. Due to its cyclic movement, the sardine is most difficult to catch during summer months, but according to experts it is in that very same period that this little fish is at its most delicious. In addition to being grilled fresh there are two other ways most frequently used to prepare sardines: salt-pickled or marinated. Of late, however, young Croatian chefs have demonstrated that sardines can be a part of a meal served to the most fastidious customers. Usually,

croatian Gastronomy





swiss chard, toGEthEr with miŠanca - a mixturE of wild-Grown GrEEn plants - is thE bEst sidE dish for fish.

the spine is removed from a fresh sardine, which is then dipped into a variety of breaded mixtures with aromatic herbs, briefly fried and served with freshly-made light vegetable sauces.

thE chEEsE of paG

The most highly acclaimed cheese in Croatia is Paški sir, the cheese from the island of Pag. Sheep bred on this island are among the smallest in the whole of the Mediterranean and therefore their milk yield is low, but it is the result of the meagre grazing abounding with medicinal herbs. The fierce bora swoops down from Velebit, whipping up the salty waters of the sea and blowing them across these meadows, which at times become white with salt, as if snow covered. Consequently, the milk that these sheep give is naturally salty and needs no additional salt. Cheese produced on this island, particularly in the cheese dairy in Kolan, has in recent years won the highest awards at prestiMarachino liqueur gious exhibitions in the Mediterranean. It is in such demand that it is sold after a is prepared from the maturing period of only a few months. On finest variety of black rare occasions is it allowed to mature for a year or more and it is undoubtedly one cherry - the famous of the finest sheep cheeses in the world. Maraska of Zadar. The quality of sheep milk from Pag is such that its curd is also regarded as a first class specialty. The whey remaining after curdled fresh cheese has been removed is heated and gently cooked, bringing to the surface a product resembling fresh clotted cheese, locally known as puina. It is excellent when served with home-cooked polenta or pasta, and makes a delicious dessert when mixed with Pag honey, and when used as filling for pancakes.


Brudet, brujet, brodet or, if you will, brodetto, is the most common dish on the Croatian Adriatic, but it is especially loved throughout Dalmatia. In the Zadar, Šibenik and Split clusters culinary skills are measured against one’s ability to excel in the preparation of brudet. The magic of a good brudet is that it makes the types of fish normally regarded as nothing spe-


croatian Gastronomy

cial reveal their hidden, unexpected qualities when combined with others in a finely balanced blend. The criterion of a fisherman’s brudet is the most practical one: it is made from the fish caught on the day, or night. It is difficult, indeed practically impossible, to list all the variations of this dish. The basis of the recipe is onion fried in olive oil, to which small fish are added whole, while larger ones are cut into pieces, followed by vegetables, spices, herbs, wine, prosecco, wine vinegar, and even sea water. The key condition for a good brudet is that it is made of several types of fish. The sequence in which individual types of fish are added is also important; indeed, bearing in mind the texture of their meat it can be crucial to the final brudEt, brujEt, brodEt or as somE would say, brodEtto, is thE most popular fish dish on thE croatian adriatic, and is particularly apprEciatEd in dalmatia. thE numbEr of its variations arE many.

thE adriatic sEa abounds in many typEs of shEllfish: mussEls, arK shEll, oystErs...

soup prEparEd with lEntils, chicK-pEas and frEsh vEGEtablEs is a nourishinG and tasty introduction to any midday mEal

fish roastEd ovEr hot coals is a Gastronomic dElicacy par ExcEllEncE.

For most fishermen and the true connoisseur, there is no better fish than the popular pilchard. result, i.e. its flavour. In order to improve the flavour still further, many cooks like to add an occasional crab, or at least some shellfish. In the past the island of Zlarin was famous for its lobster brudet; in Skradin it is made from eels. Undoubtedly, though, the most curious is the brudet known as falši, which contains no fish, no crabs and no shellfish – only vegetables and spices, and a stone taken from the sea!

ljutiKa, a particular typE of onion, mild and rich in flavour, is oftEn picKlEd in rEd winE vinEGar.


Among connoisseurs, ljutika, a particular type of onion, is highly prized for its rich, full flavoured taste, while at the same time being less heavy on one’s stomach than other types of onion. In some areas of the Zadar, Šibenik and Split clusters, as well as in some other parts of the coastal region, ljutika is pickled in wine vinegar, the onion being unpeeled because it retains its true flavour much better and

they last longer, but peeled when they need to be pickled faster. In these parts of Croatia ljutika is of exceptional quality and really comes into its own in a brudet. srdEla, or pilchards, thE chEapEst of fish, is frEquEntly most apprEciatEd - and whEn prEparEd by ExpErts it is a top ranGE dElicacy.

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dalmatia 05

The landsCape

o f T h e Š i B e n i k r e g i o n is described as a unique monument of nature within which man has created superb monuments of culture that are ranked among the top of the list of world heritage: like Šibenik cathedral, a work by the master builder juraj dalmatinac (Georgius dalmaticus).


xtending from the canyon, waterfalls and the mouth of the River Krka to the Kornati archipelago are areas which constitute the most beautiful and most lovingly preserved national parks of Croatia. If one were to be pressed to sum up the description and experience of the magic of the Croatian landscape in one single place, then Skradin is a good choice. Skradin is a town nestling beneath the Krka waterfalls, where the river meets the sea. Mystics come here to meditate on the power of nature, while some of the world’s wealthiest people come here seeking hidden berths for their yachts, as Bill Gates has been doing for years. The art of the gastronomy of these parts is just as obsessive and links some of the oldest traditions not only of this area but of food preparation in general, with dishes that are found on the most popular menus of luxury restaurants in the world. Here, one can still find mišni sir, whose preparation dates back to the very beginnings of cooking: milk which has curdled naturally in a sheepskin. Or wild oysters enjoyed by man today in the same way as his predecessors, of long, long ago. Pick them from the sea, open them and swallow them with a sigh of unadulterated pleasure. Grilled fish, prepared simply but with great care, are offered in the same restaurants where one can savour the unique Skradin risotto which, almost like an alchemist’s ritual, takes 12 hours to prepare, and in which meat fibres TourisT Board of The are gently transformed into quite new gastroCounTy of ŠiBenik - knin nomic substances. fra n.ružića bb; 22000 šibenik tel.: +385 22 219 072 fax: +385 22 212 346 sir iz miŠinE / E-mail: [email protected] miŠni sir In the mountainous hinterland of the Zadar, Šibenik, Split and Dubrovnik clusters, cheese made from sheep milk is produced following the ancient method: it is allowed to age in a sheepskin. It is not shaped into any particular form, but comes in small grainy lumps and is delivered to markets in the sheepskins in which it has

croatian Gastronomy





GrillEd fish will rElEasE its full flavour only if wE bastE it usinG a twiG of rosEmary dippEd in olivE oil.

matured, which lends it a strong, distinct and memorable flavour. It is best when enjoyed as a part of a simple meal: with flatbread or bread baked under peka (an earthenware or metal lid, covered with live coals) accompanied by strong, red Dalmatian wine.


Kumbasice are what the folk in Skradin call their sausages. Coarsely minced pork meat is combined with minced beef; the mixture is seasoned with nutmeg and specially prepared garlic: white Dalmatian wine is spiced with garlic and added to the mince. The sausages are gently smoked and then hung out to dry in the bora. They are an essential part of many dishes, but can also be grilled while being basted with olive oil.


This is a popular folk dish which hails from northern parts of the Šibenik and Split regions. Thin strudel pastry is stuffed with a mixture of Swiss chard, olives, figs and olive oil, rolled and baked (most often in a baker’s oven) and normally eaten cold. A campaign is now under way by the


croatian Gastronomy

restaurants of Šibenik and its surroundings to save this excellent dish from oblivion. anothEr spEcialty is food - such as mEat or fish, or EvEn brEad - prEparEd undEr a pEKa - a spEcial lid madE EithEr of cast iron or clay and covErEd with livE coals, which is also found in dalmatia.

in dalmatia almonds arE usEd not only for caKEs but also for savoury dishEs.

frEsh tuna fish cauGht in thE sEas around thE Kornati archipElaGo is idEal for GrillinG or for carpaccio.

thE local population Enjoys thEir shEllfish just as much as did thEir forEfathErs down thE cEnturiEs.

In the hinterland of Šibenik sir iz mišine, produced in the traditional way - allowing sheep milk to cure in sheep skin sacks - is still a treasured specialty. harmony of tradition and thE modErn way of lifE: sandwichEs with homEcurEd prosciutto, chEEsE and tomatoEs.


iula, Zizyphus jujube, or jujube, growing wild and requiring no special care, is greatly appreciated by people living in the Zadar and Šibenik areas. It would probably be just as popular among tourists, except for the fact that it arrives on the markets after the summer season, and almost the entire

crop is consumed fresh, thus giving diligent housewives no opportunity to turn them into a more permanent preserve, such as jam. In Istria the fruit are immersed in rakia, with the addition of a small amount of sugar, and left for two weeks in the sun, a process which transforms the rakia into a delicious liqueur.

croatian Gastronomy


fiGs - a fruit of southErn climEs, dElicious both frEsh and driEd.


dalmatia 06

The people of spliT

h a v e a v e r y s i m p l e but very convincing argument when claiming superiority for the beauties of their city and its surroundings: Emperor diocletian had the whole of the roman Empire from which to choose a place for his magnificent palace. the location he chose is today’s split, its very heart, and the source of its urban character, the palace, remains to this day.


ising behind Split are the mountain massifs of Mosor and Biokovo, their peaks often snow-swept, which nevertheless blunt the most fierce onslaughts of the bora. Lying in front of it are the islands of Braè, Šolta, Èiovo and, in the distance, Hvar and Vis, the sunniest of all the islands. A wise man was the Emperor. Nature presents itself here in all its splendour and generosity. Before him, the Greeks cultivated the grapevine and olives on the Dalmatian islands, while those who did not wish to work the land turned to hunting, gathering and fishing: fresh and sea water crabs and fish, frogs and shellfish, mushrooms, blackberries and a variety of other berries, wild-growing edible plants... The continuity of Dalmatian gastronomy is impressive even by the criteria of the demanding Mediterranean cuisine. And what Emperor Diocletian enjoyed in his time has been preserved for us to enjoy, except that this bounty has been still further enhanced by the best ideas of generations of chefs. Principles of what is known as Dalmatian minimalism are being strictly observed: top quality ingredients, first and foremost the best types of fish, are prepared in the shortest and the simplest of ways – boiled, grilled or fried – so as not to impair in any way the perfection of the natural flavours of dory, dentex, gilthead or red mullet. At the same time recipes were created, and endlessly modified and perfected, which required a slow process of preparation over several days, with TourisT Board of The complex mixtures of spices, such as, for instance, CounTy of spliT - dalmaTia pašticada. Prilaz braće kaliterna 10/i, p.p. 430, 21000 split tel.: +385 21 490 032; 490 033 paŠticada fax: +385 21 490 032; 490 033 In the hand-written cookery books of individual E-mail: [email protected] families in Split, which are handed down and added to from generation to generation, there can be found as many as 20 or so different recipes for one dish: pašticada. This is a meat dish the preparation of which takes, in accordance with old recipes, days of patient preparation even before it comes close to the stove. In the first phase, meat is marinated in wine vinegar flavoured with

croatian Gastronomy





Viška PoGača (fLat bread froM Vis) is a traditionaL dElicacy from thE island of vis: brEad stuffEd with tomatoEs and onion, and somEtimEs with picKlEd pilchards.

ing islets, reefs and rocks in search of seagull eggs. An omelette made from seagull eggs is a quite unique dish; it is actually regarded as a fish meal, although no fish is added to it. The bird practically lives on a diet of small fish, which lends a specific flavour to its eggs. The omelette matches perfectly with capers.


Luganige are the famous sausages from the Sinj area, but also known in Split and Šibenik, where they are an obligatory part of Christmas holiday festive feasts. Luganige are made from a mixture of pork and lamb stuffed into lamb or sheep intestines, but what makes them special are the spicings: lemon juice and grated rind, pepper, coriander, cinnamon and garlic juice. The traditional way in which these sausages are served in Sinj is somewhat curious: fried with rice cooked in chicken stock. In Šibenik they are cooked in beef stock, and the mouth-watering aroma of luganige being prepared heralds a festive lunch.


different herbs. Pašticada is prepared from beef or yearling beef, mostly the muscle locally known as orah (walnut), although horse meat and large game are also used with equal success. In the second phase, the meat is well browned on all sides, and in the third phase it is gently stewed in gravy containing dried fruit, predominantly prunes, and a number of spices such as cloves, nutmeg, laurel leaf, pepper, with the addition of a little wine and prosecco being added from time to time. Old recipes insist that the dish not be eaten immediately after it is cooked, however long and over however gentle a heat it had been cooked. Pašticada, the old masters will tell us, must be allowed to cool slowly, be cut into chunks, browned again and only then served in its own strained juices. Gnocchi, normally served with pašticada, must be cooked just prior to being served. Although traditional pašticadas have a very strong, full bodied flavour, it is not uncommon to grate some hard sheep cheese over the gnocchi.

Vis is the island of capers - they seem to grow on almost every stone by the sea.

sEaGull EGGs

Come springtime, the people of Lastovo visit the surround-


croatian Gastronomy

Reaching us from ancient times, possibly even from the pre-Slavic era, is the method of souring milk with wine and wine vinegar still practiced on some Dalmatian islands, Braè and Hvar in particular, which has developed into a very specific drink. A sheep and a nanny goat are milked directly into a glass half-filled with red wine, the result being a foamy beverage locally known as smutica, bikla or ðonkata. This is a favourite elixir of life which restores strength and good mood to the tired and the weary. inhabitants of vis picKlE motar (crythmum maritimum l., family of fEnnEl), or rocK samphirE, a mEditErranEan plant with succulEnt lEavEs, in winE vinEGar, just as thEy do with capErs.

hvarsKa GrEGada, a sort of brudEt a spEciality of thE island of hvar.

octopus inK lEnds not only an unusual colour to a risotto, but also a vEry spEcial tastE.

just as in thE oldEn days: shEllfish GrillEd ovEr pinE nEEdlEs.

The continuity of Dalmatian gastronomy is quite something, even when compared to the demanding Mediterranean cuisine. Gastronomy of thE cEtina

prosciutto, particularly that curEd in istria and dalmatia, stands shouldEr to shouldEr with its italian EquivalEnt.

The business people of the world have discovered the beauty of the canyons of the Cetina. They come to enjoy, through them and around them, rafting, canoeing, riding, running, cycling, even parachuting. All those together combined make for a perfect team spirit-building exercise involving extreme effort. The base for this unique exercise of body and soul is Trilj, and its catering establishments are more than prepared to restore exhausted businessmen with a range of first class culinary attractions. The sparklingly clear waters of the Cetina River are a perfect habitat for fresh crayfish, trout and frogs. Trout, larger crabs and frog legs are grilled; smaller varieties usually being set aside for buzara or brudet. But there are also special recipes, such as fried frog legs wrapped in slices of prosciutto, flavoured with rosemary and then slightly cooked with the addition of red wine. Similar natural and gastronomic attractions are provided by the River Zrmanja.

dalmatian cuisinE is inconcEivablE without brodEtto, a soupy Kind of dish prEparEd with fish, carrots, tomatoEs and winE, and most frEquEntly sErvEd with polEnta.

croatian Gastronomy



dalmatia 07

survey polls and

e x p e r i e n C e h a v e s h o w n that there are large numbers of people in the world who have not heard of croatia, but have heard of dubrovnik. when people catch their first sight of the city, be it from a plane, car or ship, the view etches itself into their memory.


he incredible feeling for urban harmony, the power of creation which enabled man to complete its construction, begun by the fierce geomorphology of the Mediterranean, possesses the same power to amaze as it did centuries ago, combined with the miracle of survival that has survived wars, earthquakes, fires and epidemics. The genius of the people of Dubrovnik has manifested itself in all fields of human endeavour, including gastronomy. The mighty, redoubtable walls of Dubrovnik and the Republic had their counterpoint in the high mobility, investigative, mercantile and adventurous spirit of the mariners of Dubrovnik and their fascinating fleet of elegant sailing ships, at times unrivalled anywhere in the world. Notwithstanding all the benefits of the clime and the soil around Dubrovnik, on the Pelješac peninsula and the nearby islands, the Republic’s mariners never returned from their voyages without seeds, plants, spices and, yes, culinary ideas, from distant exotic lands. It can therefore come as no surprise to learn that culinary multiculturalism has been practiced in Dubrovnik for centuries. In the contemporary catering of this particular area, this wonderful tradition is reflected in a wide range, from the popular cuisine prepared over an open fire or on a grill, found in the villages of Konavle, to the most luxurious dishes served in the finest restaurants where meals are enhanced by the view of the city walls. TourisT Board of The CounTy of duBrovnik - nereTva Cvijete Zuzorić 1/i, p.p. 259, chEEsE of dubrovniK 20000 dubrovnik In the surroundings of Dubrovnik there is a traditel.: +385 20 324 999 tion of producing hard sheep milk cheese formed fax: +385 20 324 224 into small, flat cakes. During the maturing period E-mail: [email protected] it is regularly doused with olive oil. Indeed, many Dubrovnik restaurants keep on their shelves large glass containers in which these little cheeses are stored in olive oil.

t h E n E r E t va E st ua ry

The wild, striking features of the Neretva River are so

croatian Gastronomy





amazing that the visitor, cruising through the labyrinth of its backwaters, would undoubtedly be prepared to settle for a modest sandwich just to be able to concentrate on the constant changes of landscape around him. But it has to be made quite clear that the estuary of this river is just as much a paradise on Earth for gastronomes, for its land and its subterranean region, its waters and its air are replete with species simply made for an incredible culinary pleasure. The first attraction undoubtedly is the eel, the enjoyment of which dates as far back as the times of the Roman emperors, Vespasian in particular, as the archaeological finds in the village of Vid tell us. Its flavour is Paradižet, a guaranteed first and foremost by the waters in which it lives; visitors are not a little Dubrovnik variation surprised to see a fisherman reaching down of "floating islands" to drink the water on which he is sailing and fishing. Eels being snakelike, swift, slippery - that famous dessert and crafty, qualities they amply prove by the fact of their incredible survival, from of Viennese cuisine. their spawning grounds in the Sargasso Sea to their habitat in the Neretva estuary, catching them takes a great deal of skill and experience. The largest examples are always the females, males usually being half their size. Throughout the autumn eels are bigger and fatter, and for most connoisseurs those caught in spring are more appreciated. However, it is the very fat of the eel that guarantees the juicy texture of meat when prepared by a master. Probably the best way of preparing eels is on a small spit with 5-10 cm-long pieces skewered onto it. The fat melts slowly, soaking into muscles, and the surplus drains off. Eels can also be grilled, or prepared in a brodetto. In this red-coloured dish eels are often accompanied by frogs, which are another great gastronomic attraction of the estuary. Wild ducks and coots round off this list. rožata, othErwisE Known as crEmE caramEl, is a traditional dEssErt of dubrovniK, madE from EGGs and caramEl.

thE oystErs of ston

Debates on which are the best oysters in the world are endless – it is difficult to establish a final set of criteria. Among the candidates are certainly the oysters of Ston. And while the final appraisal is subjective, there are, nevertheless, some objective


croatian Gastronomy

criteria that set the oysters of Ston apart from the competition and make them distinct. The sea currents in its environment carry large quantities of minerals, the traces of which impart a very elegant and unique flavour. On the other, northern, end of the Croatian Adriatic the oysters of the Lim canal have made a name for themselves. Connoisseurs, for their part, do their best to, along with the cultivated ones, acquire wild oysters. Especially attractive are the oysters from the mouth of the Krka River where it flows into the Adriatic Sea. In Croatia, along with the treat of eating raw oysters, the younger generation of chefs is serving them batter-fried, grilled, in soups and as an oyster risotto. in thE surroundinGs of dubrovniK shEEp milK has bEEn usEd for thE production of chEEsE for cEnturiEs.

raisin, driEd GrapE – a tastE of...

thE nErEtva rivEr rEGion is a truE hEavEn for any connoissEur of finE food.

frutti di marE risotto is a must on thE mEnus of rEstaurants and tavErns.

The ingenious folk of Dubrovnik have demonstrated their abilities in many fields, including gastronomy. EvEry Kind of fish, prEparEd by an ExpErt, providEs a tastE to rEmEmbEr.

b u ta rG a

Butarga is a fish extract, a powerful concentrate of proteins and hormones prepared by drying the roe of the grey mullet. It is highly valued not only because it is scarce, but

because its consumption, even in small quantities, boosts life’s energies and vitality, and it is therefore attributed with powerful aphrodisiac properties. At the beginning of August, mullet from the Neretva estuary start out on their course for the Pelješac peninsula, always on the same day and always along the same route. On Pelješac, buterga is savoured in one way only: thinly sliced, and accompanied by bread and wine. Buterga slices resemble ducats, and that is how they are valued too! Alongside the oysters of Ston, butarga is the most outstanding specialty of Pelješac and the Bay of Ston. Butarga slowly melts in the mouth, releasing waves of powerful flavour and providing a unique experience not readily forgotten.

thE old marKEt in thE cEntrE of town.

slavonia 08

ThroughouT hisTory

T h e r o l e o f s l a v o n i a has always been to feed croatia. the fertile pannonian plain, with its unparalleled agricultural potentials, has attracted civilizations since prehistory. Generous land yielded riches, riches gave rise to the development of culture, and an environment of high culture was an ideal place for gastronomy to flourish, as it has done for thousands of years. powerful influences from the East and the west were resolved through confrontations on the battlefield, but also through cohabitation in the kitchen.


combination of Austro-Hungarian, Oriental and indigenous Croatian gastronomic ideas amid strongly based agriculture has resulted in a readily recognizable Slavonian cuisine based on top quality ingredients. In addition to all the previously mentioned influences, which can be accurately determined from the historical aspect, significant traces were also left by the manner in which food was prepared back in nomadic times and during the great migrations. Cooking in the open is still the most popular form of Slavonian gastronomy, and it engenders a great deal of passion, emotion and nostalgia. Sitting around a fire over which a cauldron gently bubbles away, around barbecues and spits, with horses and carriages not far away, on the banks of the Rivers Drava and Danube, in the wetlands of Baranja, to the strains of violins and tambouritzas: now that spells an atmosphere of some considerable power! All of the brightest amongst the stars of Slavonian gastronomy are the masters of dishes prepared in a cauldron, a variety of fish and meat paprikash, but they are just as good at preparing dishes cooked on the spit, from the small, forked spit used to cook a carp over hot coals, to the more majestic, where oxen are slowly turned and roasted throughout the night. Slavonia is indeed a cornucopia, which is equally generous in its hospitality and where dishes are rarely cooked TourisT Board of The CounTy for less than ten or more diners. The Slavonians of osijek - Baranja are a jolly lot; they enjoy company and their Kapucinska 40, 31000 osijek gastronomy is simply tailored to that end. tel.: +385 31 214 852 fax: +385 31 214 853 E-mail: [email protected] KulEn and KulEnova sEKa Kulen, or kulin, is the most prestigious, most for a detailed list of county tourist boards, please refer to page 54. appreciated and yes, the most expensive sausagetype product, not only in Slavonia but across Croatia. The recipe to which it is made seems very simple: the best parts of pork cleaned of all fatty and connective tissue, ground paprika, garlic and salt are the ingredients used to fill a meticulously cleaned intestine. But as they say,

croatian Gastronomy




it is not what but how something is made; every nuance is important in the making of kulen and can be a crucial factor at the Kuleniada – a national competition of the grand masters of the makers of kulen. The pig must not be too young, but rather large, weighing over 180 kg. The In Croatia the penny breeds most sought after are Mangulica and the black Slavonian pig. Its diet is bun has always been the key to the quality of meat, the best the most treasured being from pigs allowed to freely roam the forests and copses of Slavonia and feeding among mushrooms, on, among other things, acorn of the and the local populafamous Slavonian oak. It is believed, and for quite a few it is the normal practice, tion is skilled in that the best results are achieved if meat recognizing it. is chopped by hand rather than minced, but there is also a school of compromise: the best parts of meat are chopped by hand for taste, while the rest is minced in order to achieve the consistency that kulen should possess. Garlic is usually strained into the mixture. Of particular importance is the right choice of top quality ground paprika, and the ratio of sweet and hot paprika used, since it is this spice which ultimately gives the product a sharpness that is mild, noble and in no way aggressive. The quantity of salt requires a precision that allows for not the minutest mistake. The prepared mixture is stuffed into different natural casings, but the best for kulen is a meticulously cleaned and treated blind gut of a pig. The secondary choices are the bladder and the small intestine of a pig, or a large bovine’s intestine. When the kulen mixture is stuffed into smaller intestines it is known as kulenova seka (kulen’s sister). Kulen being a thick sausage, and kulenova seka also never

all croatian flour oriGinatEs from slavonia.


croatian Gastronomy

being a thin one, special care is required when filling the casing; this has to proceed slowly and carefully, since a single small air bubble can prove disastrous during the curing period. Once the filling is completed the casing is additionally salted in brine for up to five days; then, the casing is rinsed well and tied in order to retain the traditional shape even after a curing period of several moths. If the winter is cold and dry kulen is smoked every third day, if it is warm and damp, smoking is carried out every day. The smoking period takes a month, or longer, until it acquires a dark brown colour. The optimum curing period in cold, airy premises, primarily attics, is about half a year, but it is a longstanding tradition in Slavonia that kulen is eaten at Easter. When the curing is completed, the kulen is stored, and the best way of storing it is in cereal grain or in bran. Discussions and squabbles extend from the optimal methods of preparation, making, curing, storage to serving; they are vigorous and never ending. While most connoisseurs claim that kulen should be cut into finger-thick slices, there are those who believe this to be sacrilege and that this, the best of Croatian sausages, can be fully savoured only if cut thinly and served on a wooden platter.

vinEyard Gastronomy

In recent years the famous wine producers of Slavonia have won world acclaim, which has resulted in an increased number of visits by gastronomes. Organized groups arriving for wine tasting are also offered a corresponding culinary array. This growing interest has prompted the wine makers of Slavonia to launch their own catering establishments.

f r E s h wat E r f i s h a n d fish papriKash Carp and trout are the most common freshwater fish

Good fish-papriKash must contain as many typEs of fish as possiblE.

frEshly Ground rEd papriKa as an addition to frEsh cottaGE chEEsE - a simply irrEsistiblE combination.

intEnsE, hot flavours arE a synonym of slavonian Gastronomy.

Cooking in the open is just as popular in Slavonia as it has always been, involving a great deal of passion, emotions and even nostalgia. slavonia is also Known for its many typEs of GrapE.


Today, cakes made with pork fat seem like some distant example of gastro-archaeology, but when those who today are old were young, salenjaci were one of the most common desserts in many parts of the Slavonian and Zagreb clusters. Flaky pastry was made with minced fat, and stuffed with apricot or plum jam, or with walnut filling, prior to baking.

podEranE Gaće (rippEd pants)

available on Croatian markets, since they are bred in a number of fish farms. However, there are those who know that the range of fish on offer is far more varied: catfish and horned pout (liked for practical reasons because it has no small bones, just the spine) can often be found in continental fishmongers. Somewhat rarer is the very tasty pike perch and pike. Rarely, one can chance upon tench, a rather fatty but exquisitely flavoursome fish. Lately, in Zagreb’s Dolac market it has been possible to obtain, at more than reasonable prices, smoked common bream, an extremely tasty fish but best appreciated by the more patient connoisseur, as it is full of tiny bones. Eels cannot be bred in captivity but they do appear in fishmongers’ shops. Among other types of fish found in clear and cold rivers, which are of interest to gastronomes, is the grayling, but one has to go out and catch it as it almost never appears on the markets. There is a fish dish known as paprikash, logically named fish paprikash, regarded as one of the most outstanding Slavonian specialties, but which can also be found in Zagreb, particularly on Fridays. A good fish paprikas demands as many types of fish as possible. It is prepared in a small (or sometimes not so small) cauldron and cooked over an open fire. Its main spice is paprika, hot and sweet. Hungarians in Croatia are renowned producers of top quality paprika, both ground and crushed. In the vicinity of Vukovar, especially in the village of Èakovci (not to be confused with the town of Èakovec), hot and sweet paprika of the highest world quality is grown, dried, crushed and ground.

Quite apart from their taste of traditional popular cakes, poderane gaæe owe their survival in no small measure to their highly memorable name. Rectangular-shaped cakes, the main ingredients of which are flour, sugar and eggs, with a touch of rum for a fulsome aroma, are nicked in two or three places before being fried in hot oil, the finished article resembling a ripped piece of cloth. KulEn or Kulin thE most hiGhly valuEd salami-typE product of slavonia.

croatian Gastronomy


central croatia 09

CenTral CroaTia

B o r d e r s w i T h h u n g a r y in the north, slovenia to the west, with bosnia and herzegovina in the east, and in the south it approaches fairly close to the adriatic sea. Geographical maps reflect an intricate combination of ethnic influences out of which issued the culinary patterns of small regions: Zagorje, Prigorje, Međimurje, banovina and at the southern edge of lika and Gorski kotar.


roatian language dialects spoken in these areas sometimes differ one from another to such an extent that a foreigner is often led to believe that they are in fact different languages. The same applies to the recipes which include all the wealth of middle class, popular and rural cuisines. In the livestock breeding areas to the south of the cluster cuisine is based on simple dishes such as polenta (localy known as pura) cooked slowly in the hearth for hours and, when done, soured milk, fresh cottage cheese or butter is poured over it. Until recently regarded as pauper’s fare, these dishes are today highly regarded as rustic examples of the culinary arts. Moving northwards, this pastoral atmosphere at the south of this cluster undergoes a complete change, as for instance in Varadin. This Baroque town still preserves and maintains its tradition TourisT Board of The of following the recipes of upper middle CounTy of krapina - Zagorje class cuisine of the age of Baroque, clearly Zagrebačka 6, 49217 krapinske toplice evidenced in the way that game is prepared tel.: +385 49 233 653; fax: +385 49 233 653 and served with meticulously prepared E-mail: [email protected] sauces. Castles and shepherd’s huts are the dividing line, both the opposites and the unity of cultural heritage, but also places TourisT Board of The where today, picturesque restaurants have CounTy of sisak-moslavina opened their doors. s. i a. radića 28/ii; 44000 sisak; tel.: +385 44 540 163 fax: +385 44 540 164 prGa E-mail: [email protected] The traditional cheese of Podravina, which has recently been rescued from oblivion and is now ever more frequently found for a detailed list of county tourist boards, please refer to page 54. in town markets, is called prga, or prgica. Several variations of its production are known, the most common method being as follows: strained fresh cottage cheese is mixed with cream; salt and ground red paprika are added, and sometimes garlic.

croatian Gastronomy



central croatia The mixture is shaped into small cones which are left to air dry, but it can also be smoked.

s i r i v r h n j E (or as somE would say, cottaGE chEEsE and smEtana) Fresh cottage cheese and smetana are so popular among Croats that this edible syntagm has even appeared on jumbo posters used in political election campaigns! He who cherishes sir i vrhnje most can usually be assured of a great empathy among voters. The cheese in question is freshly curdled, gently strained cow milk cheese, formed into round cakes of ½ kg or so, the quality of which greatly depends on the quality of grazing, which in this particular case is excellent. Although the Zagreb cluster is the centre of the sir i vrhnje tradition, this type of cheese is produced in many locations of this cluster, as well as in certain parts of Slavonia. It is sold exclusively in the markets. Cottage cheese and smetana are eaten primarily completely fresh, and serving is simplicity itself: smetana is poured over cheese – one measure (a measure being an old one, amounting to c 1.5 dcl) of cheese to one or two measures of smetana, with a little salt and red paprika sprinkled over it. It is also traditional that the bread which is served with this simple dish is made from maize, with unleavened dough, and baked to produce a thick, crunchy crust. The bread is baked in large, round forms, sometimes weighing as much as 10 kg. The most usual side dishes for cottage cheese and smetana are radishes and spring onions. The mixture is also used to make a variety of spreads, the taste depending on the ingred i e n t s : chopped spring onion and ground red paprika, sometimes garlic - especially when young, chives – particularly the wild-growing variety, dill, crab grass, thyme or marjoram. Well mixed fresh cheese and smetana make a delicious topping for broad, homemade noodles, often accompanied by a sprinkling of small pieces of fried bacon, and, according to taste, with garlic. In some parts of continental Croatia, in particular the Slavonian region, pasta prepared in this way is placed in a very hot oven in order to obtain a nice golden, crisp crust.

Ground red paprika, hot or sweet, is the main condiment of these parts, one which Croats adopted from the Hungarians.


The large number of fish farms worldwide has made carp an inexpensive if undervalued fish. Sadly, it is often bred in poor quality water and fed a poor quality diet. In complete contrast are the carp bred in Vransko jezero (Vrana lake) near Biograd, regarded as among the best in Europe. Although locally it is grilled, some methods used in Slavonia seem much better


croatian Gastronomy

warm hEartEd and hospitablE, thE winE producErs of slavonia arE always happy to invitE visitors to thEir cEllars to tastE thEir winEs.

suited. Gutted and salted it is affixed to a forked branch which is then stuck into the ground close to live coals, thus allowing the fish to slowly “melt”. Larger specimens, cut into slightly thicker slices, are fried in pork fat. Carp from a fish farm can also be top of the range fish if both water and food are of good quality – as is the case at the fish farm in Crna Mlaka.


Californian trout have spread throughout the fresh waters of Europe, Croatia included. But in certain locations the indigenous Croatian brown trout (Salmo trutta morpha fario) has survived, and it is indeed a specialty of the first order. It is identifiable by its red spots, its meat being significantly more reddish, juicer and flavoursome than Californian trout. The brown trout is preserved in the Gacka River – a cult fishing ground for trout lovers from all over the world, and it can also be found in the Rivers Slunjèica and Èabranka. The locally preferred method of preparing it is to douse it in corn meal and to fry it (the miller’s way). There is a company called “Leko” which produces excellent smoked trout, which can be found on Zagreb’s Dolac Market.

f r E s h wat E r f i s h a n d fish papriKash

Carp and trout are the most common fresh water fish found on Croatian markets, since they are bred in a number of fish farms. Those in the know, however, are aware that the range of fish this rEGion is Known for its whitE variEtiEs of GrapE.

cEntral croatia is rEnownEd as an arEa for its widE ranGE and wEalth of vEGEtablEs.

hErE, thE pEnny bun is most oftEn EatEn in combination with EGGs, a bit of bacon and onion.

a loaf of ovEn-baKEd brEad, madE from homE-Grown corn mEal, can wEiGh up to 10 KG.

A good fish paprikash demands as many types of fish as possible and it is cooked in a small cauldron over an open fire. on offer is far more varied: catfish and horned pout (liked for practical reasons because it has no small bones, just the spine) can often be found in continental fishmongers. Somewhat rarer is the very tasty pike perch and pike. Rarely, one can chance upon tench, somewhat fatty but with an exquisite flavour. At Zagreb’s Dolac Market, it has recently been possible to purchase, at a more than reasonable price, smoked common bream – very tasty but best appreciated by the very patient connoisseur, as it is full of tiny bones. Eels cannot be bred in captivity but they do appear in fishmongers’ shops. Among other types of fish found in clear and cold rivers and which are of interest to gastronomes, is the grayling, but one has to catch it oneself, since it almost never appears in the markets. A dish known as paprikash made from fish and therefore logically known as fish paprikash, is regarded as one of the most outstanding specialties of Slavonia, which can also be found in Zagreb, particularly on Fridays. A good fish paprikas demands as many types of fish as possible and it is cooked in a small (or sometimes not so small) cauldron over an open fire. Its main spice is paprika, both hot and sweet.

fish-papriKash cooKEd in a cauldron ovEr an opEn firE, madE ExclusivEly from frEshwatEr fish.

trout coatEd in brEad flour and GrillEd arE a spEcialty of this arEa.

croatian Gastronomy



city of 10

aBove everyThing

e l s e , Z a g r e B i s T h e C o n v e r g i n g point as well as being the intersection of all the regional gastronomies of croatia, and more often than not offers a selection of the best from each of them. this is clearly visible on the city markets – 13 larger and 10 smaller ones, but most of all at the central market known as dolac, ideally located only meters from the central square, on an elevation at the same level as the cathedral. in every respect this is the most prestigious market in croatia.


ts activities precede its very existence, since back in the 19th century lively, often acrimonious discussions raged over the location of Zagreb’s central marketplace, what it should look like, who should build it, maintain it and, of course, who should use it. For centuries, Zagreb has been trading in the open and in accordance with strict rules. Records dating from 1425 tell us that trading in fresh fish was defined with far more precision than it is today: should they happen upon fresh fish that had been on display for too long, the unforgiving market inspectors of the day would cut off the tails of such fish, thus reducing them to second class goods. The history of Dolac, from the first initiative for its construction to its opening day, provides excellent material for a chronicle of scandals, one which did nevertheless have a happy ending. Today, this is a market with an open-air section and a covered area on two levels, logically organized, well laid out and free flowing. The supply primarily reflects seasonal food production by regions. The most interesting in this wide selection of produce are products by small, family agricultural holdings. Although economic logic dictates that small producers should work together in order to survive the onslaught of cheap goods from the world markets, the logic of gastronomy shows us that small producers provide a fantastic impetus to quality produce and, in particular, to a high standard of gastronomy. Goods are sometimes more expensive on Dolac than on other Croatian markets, but that is logical: regional markets are mostly supplied by TourisT Board of local producers; to Zagreb markets they bring the The CiTy of ZagreB best that they can offer. Kaptol 5; 10000 zagreb; Dolac is therefore a daily meeting place for the tel.: +385 1 4898 555 culinary stars of Zagreb, known and unknown. In fax: +385 1 4814 340 their own words, this is where they start cooking. E-mail: [email protected] According to Ana Ugasrkoviæ, the rising star of the Zagreb gastronomic stage, good cuisine consists of 90% of good buys. The ability to select the best ingredients at the optimal time in the season is the basic art of a good gastronome, one upon which top quality cuisine is based all over the world.

croatian Gastronomy



city of zagreb capital of croatian Gastronomic dEliGhts

on dolac, cEntral marKEt placE of zaGrEb, small producErs of all croatian rEGions brinG thE bEst thEy can offEr

From Dolac, chefs return to their respective restaurants in which they offer their guests regional specialties, first and foremost those from Dalmatia, but also from Istria, Slavonia, Prigorje, Zagorje, the best dishes from Lika and Gorski kotar, but also from some Croatian communities outside Croatia – in particular Herzegovinian and Bosnian specialties. Fish is often equally fresh in the restaurants of Zagreb as it is on the coast; the season of lamb from the islands begins in Zagreb; the first white truffles are just as impatiently awaited in Zagreb as they are in Istria; selections of top of the range kulens regularly arrive to chosen locations in Zagreb; a special gastronomic week is dedicated to oysters from the Bay of Ston and the Lim channel in spring, on the feast day of St. Joseph, when they are in their seasonal peak. But Zagreb also nurtures its own, authentic dishes known as “burghers’ cuisine”. This cuisine is the historical sediment of Austro-Hungarian cultural heritage. Some names and expressions are of German origin, some are Austrian and Hungarian, and they are still in use today. Grenadir marš (Grenadier March – pasta with onion and potato), kajzeršmarn (Kaiserschmarn, a dessert made from pancake batter) appear from time to time on the menus of Zagreb’s restaurants which delight in sailing the nostalgic waves of the purger cuisine.

samoborsKa Kotlovina

Large pans with wide rims, sometimes as much as 2 m in diameter, are Kotlovina - thE sEcrEt of a Good flavour liEs in GEntlE, slow cooKinG, as opposEd to thE fast GrilinG.


croatian Gastronomy

placed on specially designed stoves – usually cleverly adapted metal barrels. In Zagorje, Prigorje, Zagreb, but above all in Samobor, these kitchen contraptions, which go by the name of kotlovina, as does the dish prepared in them, are the symbol of merrymaking, good times and good food. Every gathering of people in the open is an excellent opportunity for a kotlovina. The basic recipe is simple and very rustic. Pigs’ legs are fried, or rather melted, in the pan, invariably with chopped onion. They are doused first with water and then with wine. Once this basic stock is prepared, pieces of meat are added, usually pork cutlets. The secret of a good flavour lies in gentle, slow cooking, as opposed to the fast grilling technique. Recipes for kotlovina are varied and, in contrast to the recipe for the basic stock, can be very complex. The meat used can come in the form of sausages; but it can be chicken, veal, yearling beef, even game. All root vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, even young beans and mushrooms find their way into a kotlovina in order to make the flavour as rich as possible.

pumpKins from thE vEGEtablE GardEns of zaGorjE arE EatEn ovEn-roastEd or as an addition to bio-caKEs.

plums untrEatEd with pEsticidE maKE supErb homE-madE jam.

quality vEGEtablEs and fruit from small producErs providE ExcEllEnt EncouraGEmEnt for quality Gastronomy.

The Dolac central market is a daily meeting place for the culinary stars of Zagreb, known and unknown. In their own words, this is where they start cooking. Potato is served to soak up the juices. When the abundance of ingredients becomes too much, the true connoisseurs return to the puritan Samobor version

p a p r E n j a c i (or pEppEr biscuits) The pepper biscuit is an old recipe that could be found from the eastern borders of Slavonian cluster to the southern border of the Split region. Its main ingredients are flour, eggs and pepper, and its variations several. And since they symbolize the old, popular cuisine, the national airline company serves them on its flights as small, sweet refreshment. Today, it is produced, packaged and distributed by a pastry shop on the island of Hvar, and from one in Zagreb – which has resulted in the biscuit becoming a Zagreb souvenir. paprEnjaK, a pEppEr biscuit madE from flour, honEy, EGGs and a Good pinch of pEppEr, is a symbol of thE old popular cuisinE and an official zaGrEb souvEnir.


Picking, gathering or catching only what nature herself provides us, without any effort by the growers and breeders, would be enough to experience endless culinary delights. Frequently, such dishes are underappreciated since the ingredients grow in abundance across meadows, clearings and woods, and as a consequence do not fetch particularly good prices. And ideal example of this kind is mišanca, that is, a “mixture” of wild or semi-wild plants gathered in spring or early summer, particularly in the Mediterranean regions of Croatia. Formerly, it consisted of some 20 or more plants,

while today its basis is various types of wild and semi-wild onion, certain grasses, edible flowers, and herbs. The method of preparing a mišanca is from a combination of popular culinary concepts and skills. At the start of the season, in early spring, mišanca can be eaten fresh, as a salad, dressed with wine vinegar and olive oil. It is quite delicious with the addition of salt-pickled Mišanca is a mixture anchovies, olives, capers and hard boiled eggs. Mišanca can also be briefly cooked of wild-grown, mostly in boiling water and again served with a Mediterranean plants number of additions, but which now extend to boiled potatoes, chick-peas, broad beans, - sometimes as many beans, lentils. Fish laid on a bed of mišanca as 20 different kinds and baked in the oven in an earthenware dish, ranked at the peak of gastronomy, is - used fresh as salad becoming ever more inviting to the young dressed with olive oil stars of the culinary arts in Croatia. The richness of genuine Mediterranean aromas and wine vinegar or, offered by mišanca, the power of essenbriefly cooked, as a tial oils contained in wild-grown plants, opens up new avenues into delightful culiside dish to fish and nary interpretations: mišanca in fritajas, or rather omelettes and pancakes, made into meat, but also to a sauce and served over home-made pasta, other vegetables. cooked together with lamb or kid over a gentle heat, cooked with dried mutton or proscuitto bone and potatoes, combined with olives and mixed into flat cakes... This wonderful mixture should be sought out, albeit under its different names, in all the regions of the Croatian Adriatic, but also on the markets of Zagreb. The wider the variety of plants included, the more appreciated mišanca is, and the touch for deciding on the correct ratio of individual plants, as per the recipe, is a sign of a chef extraordinaire.

m u s h r o o m s i n c r o at i a

Some twenty years ago Ivan Focht, philosopher, aesthetic of music, biologist and a passionate mushroom expert, wrote to his friend: “music and mushrooms came to us from the heav-

croatian Gastronomy



city of zagreb capital of croatian Gastronomic dEliGhts

vrGanj, or thE pEnny bun, is thE most valuEd mushroom in thEsE parts, and is most commonly prEparEd slicEd, sautEEd with onion, with EGGs addEd at thE End of thE cooKinG procEss.

Ancient tradition has it that should you ever chance upon a lone cep, you should ask it quietly, “where is your brother?”, since they invariably grow in pairs. There are several methods used in their preparation. In Zagorje they are best served with eggs: a spot of pork fat, some sliced onion, sliced cep added and gently cooked. Eggs are then blended into it and the mixture fried to a soft texture. Another highly popular, delicious recipe is Penny Bun soup, always with the addition of smetana and vinegar. Mushrooms of all types are often grilled over live coals, but it is the Penny Bun which is by far the best when cooked in this way: simply dipped into melted butter and placed on a grill. When done they are sprinkled with salt and a few drops of a fine alcoholic beverage and served with rye bread and a slice or two of prosciutto or ham gently fried over the fire. It may be widespread, and indeed common, but the Penny Bun still remains one of the best and most highly regarded of mushrooms. In the region of Gorski kotar there is a place called Ravna Gora, where a “Day of mushrooms” is organized on an annual basis: mushroom hunters spend a day together looking for Penny Buns which, needless to say, are consumed with great relish at the end of the day.

chantErEllE ens.” Back then this was a romantic confession of a scientist at the end of the road; today, it sounds more like a touristic slogan. In the forests of Gorski kotar and Slavonia, alongside rivers, in the meadows of Lika, on islands, in Istria, in short, everywhere, there exists the mysterious world of mushrooms which is an inexhaustible source of discussion and pleasures to both mushroom experts and gastronomes. At a time when Over the last decade mushrooms in Europe are being threatened the Zagreb region by the destruction of their habitat, and when some species have long disappeared, has nurtured and Croatia seems more like a botanical garden, developed free-range a protected oasis which everybody can enjoy. Everybody, from tourists and mushstrawberries, due to room experts to scientists and ecologists. the beneficial climatic And long my this remain so.

conditions of the area


c E p (pEnny bun) When one makes mention of the mushrooms in Croatia, most people will automatically think “Penny Bun.” The cep is a mushroom that comes to everybody’s mind with its shape, divine fragrance, majestic cap and charming plumpness. It has always been a most cherished mushroom in Croatia, one that anybody can recognize despite the fact that there are some 30 similar varieties in the same family, some of which are listed as protected plants.

croatian Gastronomy

Should you chance to meet a peasant on the edge of a forest and were to ask him if there are any mushrooms there, you will make a mistake. Not because the man is secretive about his find, but because for him the word “mushroom” carries a different meaning. Only an edible mushroom with which he is familiar is a real mushroom, and this is limited to about ten varieties that form a part of traditional popular cuisine.

in rEcEnt yEars thE numbEr of rEstaurants in croatia KEEpinG pacE with GrEat achiEvEmEnts of hautE cuisinE has bEEn constantly GrowinG.

carpet. The Swiss call it “poor man’s truffle”, to the English it is “Horn of plenty”, while Germans see it as a “deadly trumpet”. Regardless of its name, however mythical or bizarre it may be, it still smells divinely and is perfect when pickled, eaten cold as salad, and is at its best when dried and ground into a powder. This magic powder is then used as a spice, as that secret ingredient that every mushroom expert and mushroom lover simply must have in his or her kitchen.

MoreL (or sMrčak)

sMrčak, or MoreL - tradition has it that in the villaGEs whErE folK Eat a lot of this blEssEd mushroom, bachElors arE fEw and far bEtwEEn and womEn arE always jolly.

Those mushrooms that rural folk do not know, or which are not edible, are simply not regarded as mushrooms.


A common and tasty mushroom, curious for the fact that it is eaten on the islands. Islanders have always been oriented to the sea and meagre soil, putting their faith in their boats and their hoes. Mushrooms, however, seem to have escaped their attention, rujnica, or agaric, being an exception. (Indeed, on the island of Korèula the agaric is in fact called a “mushroom”, since members of that family which are not eaten are not regarded as mushrooms!). They are eaten on the islands of Lastovo, Korèula and Mljet. This is a firm-fleshed mushroom and is therefore suitable for a longer period of cooking. The traditional dish on Korèula is mushrooms in sauce: onion, tomato concentrate, potato, red wine, sugar and olive oil, cloves, salt and pepper; and there you have a delicious sauce. Fish is and was prepared in a similar way.

horn of plEnty

No mushroom hunting adventure is more exciting than the hunt for morels, and he who hunts the morel, this magnificent mushroom, is a very special person. In order to be successful he is prepared to do what other mushroom gatherers do not do. This is a strange mushroom which likes those places that other members of its family do not like, and is gathered with great passion and with a certain inexplicable feeling verging on sensuality. Every gatherer has his own secret hunting grounds which he guards jealously. Spring is the season which makes the hunter feel restless, and as soon as he feels the time has come, off he goes, for if he is only a few days too late there will be nothing to find. It is a true pleasure to join the mushroom gatherers of Meðimurje or Gorski kotar, who organize traditional events and compete for the “Golden morel”, i.e. the largest and most beautiful specimen. Last year, the first prize was won by a 43cm-high, nEw olivE GrovEs arE sprinGinG up alonG thE coastlinE EvEry yEar, and olivE oils producEd by younG olivE GrowErs arE winninG intErnational rEcoGnition.

(Crna trUbača) The Horn of plenty is a mushroom which practically cannot be mistaken for any other. Difficult to find, but when it is found you realize you are surrounded by them, as if on a large, black

croatian Gastronomy



city of zagreb capital of croatian Gastronomic dEliGhts

younG culinary stars of croatia arE promotinG thE usE of local foodstuffs of supErb quality in thE liGht of contEmporary world Gastronomic trEnds.

600g morel found in the area around Delnice. One of the ways of conserving mushrooms is drying.

olivEs and olivE oil

a croatian lunch is inconcEivablE without a soup, liKE this onE madE with phEasant.

Among the most successful revivals of ancient agricultures is the regeneration of olive production. There are olive groves extending from the westernmost areas of Istria, down the length of the coastline, including islands large and small, down to eastern borders of the Dubrovnik region, with new groves being planted every year. Young experts are winning prestigious acclaims both at home and abroad, for their oils, like that produced by multiple prize-winner, Sandi Chiavalone from Vodnjan, being at very peak of the

Mediterranean olive growing industry. And it has been proved that the best olives oils in Croatia come from relatively small olive groves, where literally every tree receives special attention and care. Certain customs and practices, like washing the olives in the sea, make Croatian olive oils even more special. The most common and widespread varieties in Croatia are indigenous: bua and oblica. Although the practice of mixing different varieties is common, domestic olive growers recently began supplying a variety of oils, and this is where the indigenous varieties come into their own. The best oils are often on offer in prestigious wine boutiques. Among purist connoisseurs an increasingly favoured hors d’oeuvre is fine olive oil, freshly baked top quality bread and salt, nowadays becoming ever more popular even in exclusive restaurants. Possible additions to this magnificent simplicity could be capers and highly appreciated fillets of salt-pickled fish in olive oil, with few drops of good wine vinegar and a few slices of onion. Marinades made with raw fish in top quality olive oil, in particular anchovies, sprinkled with the juice of home grown lemons, are especially popular in the Split and Zadar clusters. Baking is the old, traditional way of releasing the bitter elements from olives. The baked olives are then kept in olive oil and aromatized with Mediterranean herbs, primarily rosemary, which is also the best way of enjoying them. Another old custom is being revived, this time among bakers: pieces of olive are mixed into bread dough, the result being deliciously piquant bread. Green and black olives are used to produce a spread, usually for bread, but smart chefs use it as a condiment for filleted fish and a variety of meat escalopes.

GablEc and marEnda

(mid-morninG snacK) The meal taken between breakfast and lunch is a very


croatian Gastronomy

Garlic, EspEcially whEn younG, is a much favourEd flavourinG.

barbEcuE - thErE is practically no food that croats would not prEparE on a Grill.

thErE arE many variations of this simplE, finE caKE, baKEd in oil, Known as ustipci in thE north and fritulE in thE south.

Small producers provide a fantastic impetus to quality produce and, in particular, to a high standard gastronomy small producErs offEr thEir chEEsEs in Each of thE 23 marKEts in thE croatian capital

important and much cherished Croatian custom. In the Zagreb region and in some parts of the central region this meal is called gablec, along the Adriatic coast – from the Istrian peninsula to the Dubrovnik region – this vital social institution is known as marenda. And since this mid-morning meal is a widespread custom, the dishes served are also the most popular and mostly cheaper ones, eaten with a spoon

and fresh bread which is usually dunked, and when food is especially tasty the plate is finally cleaned off with a piece of bread. Popular restaurants and inns frequently have special menus for marenda and gablec, and these dishes are only cooked and served in late morning hours: bean soup with pieces of bacon, off-cuts of prosciutto left on the bone, sausages (somewhat less common is dried mutton). This is a classic dish which comes in countless variations and is just as popular as gablec as it is as marenda. The second on the list of popularity is tripice, or fileki, or as some would call it, tripe. Lamb tripe, which spread to continental parts from the coastal areas, is more infrequently met but more highly regarded than tripe from yearling cattle. Kid tripe is a real rarity and a cult dish. Paprikash and goulash occupy the third place in popularity. Although cod is not dried in Croatia it also enjoys a cult status among Croats, literally a must for meals on Christmas Eve. As far as marenda is concerned, it is served mostly on Fridays, usually as a thick soup with spit-roastinG, an anciEnt way of cooKinG food, arrivEd in this country from thE East.

croatian Gastronomy



city of zagreb capital of croatian Gastronomic dEliGhts

fancy combination of potato and chEEsE maKEs this ordinary mEal fully dElicious.

masters collect veritable boutiques of different dry woods, which are then further enhanced through the addition of aromatic plants, such as rosemary sprigs. Generally speaking, grilling is best when done over plenty of live coals which produce a gentle heat, whereas grilling over a fire is regarded as barbaric, or at least demonstrating a certain lack of good taste and manners.

potatoes, spiced with garlic, a la white or a la red – the difference being the addition of tomato. Marenda is normally accompanied with bevanda – wine diluted with water so as to be able to continue one’s labours to the end of the working day. Inland, white table wines with a higher content of acidity are diluted with mineral water and known as gemišt, and if soda water is added then it is called a špricer.

roŠtilj and GradElE

(Grill roastinG) There is practically no good food which Croats would not prepare on a grill (roštilj) in the continental part of the country, or rather on a gradele - its counterpart along the coast. And preparation is equally varied everywhere. All the better parts of meat are grilled, the meat coming from practically all kinds of animals: poultry, pig, yearling beef, beef, lamb, kid, game small and large, snails, frogs, fish, crabs, shellfish, molluscs, and even vegetables and cheese. Bread itself is improved on the grill to keep hunger at bay until the main attractions are ready. Traditionally, the grill is tended by men who like to boast of their skills in this department, everyone having some special nuance or personal method which sometimes goes into meticulous detail, like the selection of the right kind of wood and, of course, the heat of the live coals. Highly sought after is dry grape vine, while some grill for many foods, bEinG prEparEd undEr a pEKa is thE pinnaclE of Gastronomic ExcEllEncE.


croatian Gastronomy

r a ž a n j (spit roastinG) Although somewhat less varied than grilling, the spit also allows for the preparation of many dishes: from small ones for poultry to massive ones for oxen. Spit roasting is common all over the country and is the main feature of catering establishments along the arterial roads, where spits function as a form of live advertising. Most commonly spit roasted are suckling pigs, lambs and, less frequently, kids. This is a very ancient method of preparing food, being imported to these parts from the East. But in the good old days it was not young animals that were spit roasted, because the scarcity of meat dictated that an animal should reach its full adult size before being slaughtered. Traces of this ancient tradition are still seen in Croatia in the custom of spit roasting oxen, particularly for popular festivities. Central parts of the Slavonian region are renowned for their masters of spit roasting an ox. However, folks from certain large villages in Slavonia, such as Gundinci, prefer a heifer since they know from much enjoyed experience that its meat is considerably juicier. Gentle heat and good meat are the keys to every successful spit roast. Bearing in mind that there are practically no spices involved, the genuine quality of meat is necessarily a major factor. Spit roasting is always a slow process, its rotation being slow and steady. It takes an experienced cook to salt an animal for the spit, while during roasting it is basted only with oil, or melted pork fat, and sometimes with stock, wine or beer. pEKa

(baKinG lid) The majority of gourmands regard food prepared under a peka as the ultimate in grilled dishes. This simple accessory – a simple domed lid – can be made of metal, thinner or thicker, often of cast iron, but true connoisseurs are particularly appre-

zaGorsKi ŠtruKli, thinly rollEd pastry fillEd with a mixturE of frEsh cottaGE and smEtana - savoury as an hors-d'oEuvrE, swEEt as a dEssErt.

fish is oftEn Equally frEsh on thE marKEts of zaGrEb as it is on thE coast.

bEans, chicKpEas and lEntils form thE basis of many ordinary dishEs.

All root vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, even young beans find their way into a kotlovina in order to make the flavour as rich as possible. ciative of the earthenware peka. Food cooked under a peka, be it in a fireproof pot or directly on a stone slab, comprises meat with vegetables, usually veal, lamb and yearling beef, covered with potatoes and other vegetables. Larger poultry is also prepared in this way, and in the mountainous part of the Kvarner region. Even if catering establishments provide only bread baked in this way, their ratings are usually elevated.

trditional fancy brEad sprinKlEd wth salt.

blit va

(swiss chard) The entire Adriatic area is peopled by folk who find it hard to imagine life without Swiss chard, so much so, in fact, that some have suggested (not entirely tongue in cheek) that this plant is of such importance for Croats, particularly those living by the sea, that it should form part of the new Croatian coat of arms. Blitva is best when young, when its leaves are thin and soft, of a bright green colour, and only some 10 cm long. Preparation of this much revered plant is simplicity itself: immersed in boiling water and allowed to cook for a brief spell, carefully drained and sprinkled with olive oil. It is often served with boiled potatoes, and sometimes they are cooked together, particularly when chard is no longer quite so young and tender. Thus prepared, it is most commonly eaten with fish. New generations of Croatian gastronomes are using chard in new, more imaginative ways, often inspired by old and almost forgotten recipes. Savoury strudels and pies prepared with Swiss chard and fresh cheese; sauces for pasta made from boiled chard and basil; minced meat rolled into large leaves of chard and cooked gently in an oven; larger fish stuffed with chard and herbs...

framEworK: nEw G E n E r at i o n s o f c r oat i a n c h E f s

Today, however, there is in Croatia a veritable pleiad of new culinary stars from the younger and middle generations. Their number is directly related to the very dynamic national gastronomic stage which permits them a wide scope of research and experimentation. It also prompts them to reassess the culinary heritage of these parts, to seek new ways of revitalizing traditions and to test methods of utilizing top quality local ingredients in the contemporary gastronomic trends prevailing in the world. In other words, what we

have here is a deep understanding of the genesis of local gastronomy: it has always been a place of fruitful meetings between different cultural patterns. It has to be underlined, however, that this new generation of Croatian chefs is facing a task greater than any of its predecessors: their aim to demonstrate to the world that one of the greatest national assets of Croatia is her gastronomy.

c r oat i a n m a r K E t s

Every town of any size in Croatia has at least one marketplace to which the rural homesteads from the surrounding areas bring their fresh produce. As recently as the end of last century it seemed that cheap food of dubious quality, arriving from the world markets, would spell curtains for the small producers of quality products. Instead, it has become apparent that the number of people willing to pay more for fresh local products is steadily growing. Alongside enduring treasures, like fresh cottage cheese and cream, free-range eggs, or grincajg (from the German Grünzeug) - bunches of root vegetables and greens for traditionally prepared soup, ever increasing numbers of customers are seeking indigenous types of fruit and vegetables, wild edible plants, forest mushrooms and many other foodstuffs, the high quality of which can be ensured only by small breeders and grower-gatherers. One of the permanent tasks of the nationwide care for our gastronomy is the need to preserve such markets, to safeguard small grower-gatherers and breeders, as well as the country’s traditional dishes.

croatian Gastronomy


general information general informaTion We extend our warm welcome to you and we are pleased and proud that you have decided to visit our country. The Croats call their country “Our Beautiful Homeland” – the starting verse of the Croatian national anthem. The Republic of Croatia is a European parliamentary state and a part of European political and cultural history. By size it is classified among the medium size European countries such as Denmark, Ireland, the Slovak Republic or Switzerland. Croatia is a land of open frontiers and clear cut customs regulations. It is also a land of concord and one that is respectful towards its guests. We Croats strive to make Our beautiful homeland equally beautiful to all who visit it, and we do our best to ensure that they take with them only beautiful memories. Travel doCumenTs: a valid passport or some other identification document recognised by international agreement; for certain countries a personal identity card is sufficient (i.e. a document which testifies to the identity and citizenship of the bearer). information: diplomatic missions and consular offices of the republic of croatia abroad or the ministry of foreign affairs and European integration of the republic of croatia. tel: +385 1 4569 964; E-mail: [email protected]; CusToms regulaTions: customs regulations in the republic of croatia are almost completely harmonised with the regulations and standards of Eu member states, but the value of objects of non-commercial character for personal use allowed to be brought into the country without tax duty or pdv (vat) is limited to 300 hrK (kuna). foreign and local currency and cheques are freely taken in and out of the country by foreign and croatian citizens with residence abroad, but the transfer of an amount exceeding 40,000 kuna must be declared to a customs official. valuable professional equipment and technical devices must also be declared to a customs official at the border crossing. pdv (vat) is refunded to foreign nationals when leaving the country for individual goods purchased in croatia, for amounts in excess of 500 hrK, upon the presentation of a pdv-p, or rather a “tax-cheque” form verified exclusively by a customs official. for additional information please contact the customs administration ( information regarding the conditions of import of products of animal origin in the personal luggage can be obtained from the ministry of agriculture, fishing and rural development – administration for veterinary medicine (tel.: + 385 1 610 9749, 610 6703 and 610 6669). CurrenCy: the kuna (1 kuna = 100 lipa). foreign curren-


croatian Gastronomy

cy can be exchanged in banks, exchange offices, post offices travel agencies and hotels. posT and TeleCommuniCaTions post offices are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, in smaller centres from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.; some offices work a split shift. in most towns and tourist centres, on-duty post offices are open on saturdays and sundays. phone cards are used in all public telephones and may be purchased from post offices and from newspaper and tobacco kiosks. international calls may be made directly from public telephones. shops and public services working hours most shops are open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. on weekdays, on saturday and sundays until 2 p.m.; in the season longer. public services and business offices work from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., mondays to fridays. healTh serviCes there are hospitals and clinics located in all the larger towns and cities, while smaller centres have dispensaries and pharmacies. foreign visitors who are covered by health insurance in their own country do not have to pay for services of emergency health care during their private stay in the republic of croatia if a convention on social security has been signed between the country they come from and croatia, i.e. if they have in their possession a certificate stipulated by such a convention confirming their right to health care. health care (including transport) is used for emergency cases in the manner and according to regulations valid for croatian citizens covered by social security, with identical participation in health care costs (participation and administrative duties). persons coming from countries with which no such convention has been signed shall personally bear the costs of health services rendered. power supply: 220 v, frequency 50 hz tap water is potable in all parts of croatia. puBliC holidays 1 january - new year’s day 6 january - Epiphany Easter sunday & Easter monday 1 may - labour day corpus christi 22 june - anti-fascist resistance day 25 june - statehood day 5 august - victory day and national thanksgiving day 15 august - the assumption 8 october - independence day 1 november - all saints’ day 25-26 december - christmas holidays fuel sTaTions: open from 7 a.m. until 7 or 8 p.m. every day; in the summer season, until 10 p.m. on-duty fuel stations in the larger cities and

on main international routes are open 24 hours a day. all fuel stations sell Eurosuper 95, super 95, super 98, super plus 98, Euro diesel and diesel, and gas (lpG) is also available in major cities, and at fuel stations along motorways. for information on fuel prices and a list of centres selling lpG gas go to:;;; www. imporTanT Telephone numBers: international country code for croatia: +385 police: 92 fire brigade: 93 ambulance: 94 roadside vehicle assistance: 987 (when calling from abroad or by mobile phone, call +385 1 987) national centre for search and rescue at sea: 9155 the countrywide number for all emergency situations: 112 General information: 981 information on local and intercity numbers: 988 information on international numbers: 902 weather forecast and road conditions: 060 520 520 croatian automobile club (haK): +385 1 46 40 800, internet:; E-mail: [email protected] dear guesTs, in order to ensure both your pleasant stay in our country and the observance of its laws, we respectfully request that you check whether you have been correctly registered for the whole period of your stay, from the day you arrive to the day of your departure. this is an important and necessary procedure, particularly if you are staying in private accommodation, both for the sake of guaranteeing you a quality service and in order to prevent illegal operations of those who are not registered for the provision of accommodation service. CounTy TourisT offiCes bjelovar-bilogora, trg Eugena Kvaternika 4, 43 000 bjelovar tel.: +385 43 243 944 fax: +385 43 241 229 E-mail: [email protected]; brod-posavina, petra Krešimira iv br. 2, 35000 slavonski brod tel.: +385 35 408 393; fax: +385 35 408 392 E-mail: [email protected] dubrovnik-neretva Cvijete Zuzorić 1/i, 20000 dubrovnik tel.: +385 20 324 999; fax: +385 20 324 224 E-mail: [email protected] istria, Pionirska 1, 52440 Poreč; tel.: +385 52 452 797; fax: +385 52 452 796 E-mail: [email protected]; Karlovac, a. vraniczanya 6, 47000 Karlovac tel.: +385 47 615 320 fax: +385 47 601 415, E-mail: [email protected]; koprivnica-križevci, antuna nemčića 5,


puBlisher: croatian national tourist board for The puBlisher: niko bULić, *thE publishEr cannot GuarantEE thE complEtE accuracy of thE information containEd hErEin, nor bE hEld rEsponsiblE for any Errors as may bE containEd in futurE amEndmEnts or chanGEs to such information.

48000 Koprivnica tel.: +385 48 624 408 fax: +385 48 624 407 E-mail: [email protected] krapina-Zagorje, Zagrebačka 6, 49217 Krapinske toplice; tel./fax: +385 49 233 653, E-mail: [email protected]; Lika-senj, budačka 12, 53000 Gospić; tel.: +385 053 574 687; fax: +385 53 574 687; E-mail: [email protected] Međimurje, ruđer boškovića 3, 40000 čakovec tel./fax: +385 40 390 191 E-mail: [email protected]; osijek-baranja, Kapucinska 40/ii, 31000 osijek tel.: +385 31 214 852 fax: +385 31 214 853; E-mail: [email protected] Požega-slavonia, trg sv. trojstva 1, 34000 Požega; tel.: +385 34 274 900 fax: +385 34 274 901, E-mail: [email protected] primorje-Gorje, n. tesle 2, 51410 opatija; tel.: +385 51 272 988, 51 272 665; fax: +385 51 272 909 E-mail: [email protected]; sisak-Moslavina, s. i a. radića 28/ii, 44000 sisak; tel.: +385 44 540 163 fax: +385 44 540 164; E-mail: [email protected] split-dalmatia, Prilaz braće kaliterna 10/i, 21001 split; tel./fax: +385 1 490 032, 21 490 033, 21 490 036; E-mail: [email protected]; šibenik-knin, fra n. ružića bb, 22000 Šibenik; tel.: +385 22 219 072 fax: +385 22 212 346; E-mail: [email protected] Varaždin, franjevački trg 7, 42000 Varaždin; tel./fax: +385 42 301 036 E-mail: [email protected] virovitica-podravina, trg kralja tomislava 1, 33000 virovitica; tel.: +385 33 726 069 fax: +385 33 721 241 E-mail: [email protected]; vukovar-srijem Glagoljaška 27, 32100 vinkovci tel./fax: +385 32 344 034, E-mail: [email protected] Zadar, sv. Leopolda b. Mandića 1, 23000 zadar; tel.: +385 23 315 107 fax: +385 23 315 316 E-mail: [email protected]; Zagreb County, Preradovićeva 42, 10000 zagreb tel: +385 1 4873 665 fax: +385 1 4873 670 E-mail: [email protected], zagreb city, Kaptol 5, 10000 zagreb; tel.: +385 1 4898 555; fax: +385 1 4814 340 E-mail: [email protected]

ediTors: sLaVija jačan obratoV, rene bakaLoVić, mirjana brabEc TexT: rene bakaLoVić

TranslaTed By: volGa vuKElja-dawE language ediTing: anthony j. dawE, volGa vuKElja-dawE design: mEdia KoncEpt phoTography: ivo pErvan, daMir fabijanić, saša Pjanić, roMeo ibrišeVić,

MiLan babić, daMiL kaLoGjera, jasminKa juG, miljEnKo kLePaC, stiPe sUrać, daG oršić, Marko erCeGoVić, zaGrEb tourist board archivE, tz liKa-sEnj, tz Kastav, tz ravna Gora, tz lovran prinTed By: rotooffsEt tiskara Meić zaGrEb, 2009

tourist offices hrvaTska TurisTiČka ZajedniCa iblerov trg 10/iv, p.p. 251; 10000 zaGrEb, hrvatsKa; tel: +385 1 46 99 333; fax: +385 1 45 57 827; E-mail: [email protected] kroaTisChe ZenTrale für Tourismus 1010 wien, am hof 13, Österreich tel: +43 1 585 38 84 fax: +43 1 585 38 84 20 E-mail: [email protected] kroaTisChe ZenTrale für Tourismus 60311 frankfurt, Kaiserstrasse 23, deutschland tel: +49 69 23 85 350 fax: +49 69 23 85 35 20 E-mail: [email protected] kroaTisChe ZenTrale für Tourismus 80469 münchen, rumfordstrasse 7, deutschland tel: +49 89 22 33 44 fax: +49 89 22 33 77 E-mail: [email protected] enTe naZionale CroaTo per il Turismo 20122 milano, piazzetta pattari 1/3, italia tel: +39 02 86 45 44 97 fax: +39 02 86 45 45 74 E-mail: [email protected] enTe naZionale CroaTo per il Turismo 00186 roma, via dell’oca 48, italia tel: +39 06 32 11 0396 fax: +39 06 32 11 1462 E-mail: [email protected] ChorvaTské TurisTiCké sdružení 110 00 praha 1, Krakovská 25 česká republika tel: +420 2 2221 1812 fax: +420 2 2221 0793 E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected] ChorváTske TurisTiCké Združenie 821 09 bratislava, trenčianska 5 , slovakia tel: +421 2 55 562 054 fax: +421 2 55 422 619 E-mail: [email protected] horváT idegenforgalmi köZösség 1053 budapest, magyar u. 36, magyarország tel./fax: +36 1 266 65 05, +36 1 266 65 33 E-mail: [email protected] offiCe naTional CroaTe de Tourisme 75116 paris, 48, avenue victor hugo, france tel: +33 1 45 00 99 55 fax: +33 1 45 00 99 56 E-mail: [email protected] CroaTian naTional TourisT offiCe london w6 9Er, 2 lanchesters, 162-164 fulham palace road, united Kingdom; tel: +44 208 563 79 79 fax: +44 208 563 26 16 E-mail: [email protected] CroaTian naTional TourisT offiCe new york 10118, 350 fifth avenue, suite 4003, u.s.a. tel: +1 212 279 8672

fax: +1 212 279 8683 E-mail: [email protected] narodowy ośrodek informaCji TurysTyCZnej, repuBliki ChorwaCji ipc business center, ul. Koszykowa 54 00-675 warszawa, poland tel: +48 22 828 51 93 fax: +48 22 828 51 90 E-mail: [email protected] kroaTiska TurisTByrån 11135 stockholm, Kungsgatan 24, sverige tel: +46 853 482 080; fax: +46 820 24 60 E-mail: [email protected] kroaTisCh naTionaal Bureau voor Toerisme 1081 GG amsterdam, nijenburg 2f, netherlands tel: +31 20 661 64 22 fax: +31 20 661 64 27 E-mail: [email protected] offiCe naTional CroaTe du Tourisme 1000 bruxelles,vieille halle aux bles 38, belgium tel: +32 255 018 88; fax: +32 251 381 60 E-mail: [email protected] ХорвaтCkoe туристическое соовщество Krasnopresnenskaya nab. 12, 123610 moscow, 1502, russia tel: +7 495 258 15 07 fax: +7 495 258 15 07 E-mail: [email protected] hrvaŠka TurisTiČna skupnosT 1000 ljubljana, Gosposvetska 2, slovenija tel: +386 1 23 07 400 fax: +386 1 230 74 04 E-mail: [email protected] kroaTisChe ZenTrale für Tourismus badenerstr. 332, 8004 zürich, switzerland tel: +41 43 336 2030 fax: +41 43 336 2039 E-mail: [email protected] ofiCina de Turismo de CroaCia Calle Claudio Coello 22, esc.b,1˚C 28001 madrid tel. 003491 781 5514 fax: 003491 431 8443 E-mail: [email protected] denmark 3460 birkerod activities performed by the vaGabond agency, bregenrodvej 132 tel: +45 70 266 860; fax: +45 48 131 507 E-mail: [email protected] japan ark hills Executive tower n 613 akasaka 1-14-5, minato-ku tokyo 107-0052 tel: +81 (0)3 6234 0711 fax: +81 (0)3 6234 0712 E-mail: [email protected]

croatian Gastronomy


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