Croatia’s Yummy Food

Hi Wonderers,

My first introduction to Croatian food-and Croatia in general- was via a coworker. He was born and raised in Croatia and told me of its beauty.

One say we had a team potluck. He brought in goulash, cabbage salad and a layered cream cake. It was so good, especially that purple cabbage salad. I finished the leftovers.

When I came to Croatia, I expected a lot of good food due to my first feast. I came with that urge to just try- be open to everything. I did a little bit of research and learned a few things. If I had to generalize the cuisine: stews, seafood, coffee and baked goods.

Croatian food is regional, meaning dishes are specific to a region. The dishes though will be offered in the major cities, but they may have originated from another region. Mr. Lumberjack and I were in the following regions:

  1. Dalmatia Region (Split & Dubrovnik)
  2. Croatia Proper Region (Zagreb)

Below are things I tried and liked. Side note here before anyone comments on hypocrisy; I pause my vegetarian diet when I am on vacation, so I don’t miss out on anything. I don’t know much about the history or influences. However, good food is good food and that’s why food is a great way to connect us all. Let’s take a look.

Spinach & Cheese Burek

Burek is a spiral shaped phyllo filled with a number of things. I have tried it with Spinach & Cheese and Beef & Onions. Both are delicious, but I prefer the Spinach & Cheese. The phyllo dough is already buttery, so the spinach helps lighten the pastry.

Crni Rizot (Black Risotto)

It is definitely a standout dish in Croatia. I can’t have something like that every day, only because it is really buttery. But the color and cuttlefish brings an oceanic taste to the risotto. I truly think this is a unique dish. I like it is a lot better than the plain risotto.

Octopus Salad

This salad looks simple to throw together, but what stood out to me is the combination of citrus and seafood. Besides a lemon, I would havr never thought of adding any other citrus with octopus. This salad was so good with oranges, octopus, olive oil and more.

Olive Oil

A main ingredient to many dishes, Croatian olive oil is really special. Why wouldn’t it be? Everywhere I walked, I saw olive trees because Croatia has the ideal climate for them. The olive oil is smooth with a bitter after taste. It is really good paired with balsamic vinegar and soaked with bread.

Grilled Sea Bass

I had the hardest time finding plain old grilled seas bass in Split and Dubronik. It could be due to the restaurants catering to tourists. I had to walk on the outskirts of Old Town to get food at its simplest. It was so good. At this point, I was feeling lethargic from all the heavy foods, so I just wanted something healthy. This meal made me so happy.

Kremsnita (Cream Cake)

Oh my. I am just drooling as I think of that Cream Cake. Mr. Lumberjack and I often would have a large lunch and small dinner. It often left a hankering for dessert. I saw this in a Bobis (bakery) and I had to have it. Although not the same, the cake reminded me of my first Croatian cake my coworker made. This one I got was so silky smooth and not too sweet. It stole my heart.

Fresh Fruits

I saw this in all three cities, so I am going to make the assumption fresh markets are a thing in Croatia. We needed something fresh and healthy in our diet. Mr. Lumberjack and I perused our options, and oranges and pomegranates must have been in season. We saw plenty and picked a vendor to purchase some of Earth’s natural nectar. It must be from the sun.

Cevapi

Before we start, I believe this dish is rooted in Bosnia, Croatia’s neighbor. It makes sense then that the food is readily available here, just like the taco is in the USA. Cevapi is a meet kebab. It comes with rice or in a sandwich. I got mine in a sandwich and it was spiced and meaty. I see cevapi as affordable “street food” (not many street food stalls here).

Candied Figs

When I went to the market, I couldn’t figure out what this was. Only when the vendor said, “Figs,” did it click these were candied. I have never seen white figs before. The ones I am used to are the black ones. These were sweet, a little Chewy and my favorite surprise in Croatia.

Alright, so those were my most memorable foods. I definitely tried a lot more food here. It was all good, but the above stuck out to me the most. Honorable mentions below:

  • Fish Soup
  • Roasted Chestnuts
  • Lijena Pita s Jabukama (Apple Pie Bar)
  • Dalmatia Smoked Ham
  • Hrenova u lis Trjestu (Sausage Rolls)
  • Plain Olives
Hrenova u lis Trjestu (Sausage Rolls)

May this inspire you to be adventurous. I give Croatian food two, giant thumbs up.

Ciao,

Amy

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