Traditional Croatian cuisine bears traces of Italian borrowings. Here in restaurants you can often find pizza, pasta and Italian sweets. Proper national cuisine of Croatia consists of fairly simple dishes in the Mediterranean style.
The main rule in the preparation of national dishes of Croatia is that all products must be fresh. Seafood dominates the menu near the coast, and while moving inland, it is gradually replaced by meat dishes.
The main drink of Croatia is certainly wine. Local vintage and home wines are not only worth tasting, but also to take away as gifts for friends. Among strong drinks you will appreciate brandy (cognac): Mlivovica, Travarica, Lozovaca.
Traditional Croatian dishes
- Manistra. This mysterious word in Croatia is the name of stewed vegetables.
- Burek. A traditional Croatian puff pastry with meat and cheese.
- Prsut. Smoked pork ham with dry cheese from the island of Pag.
- Brodet. An assortment of different varieties of fish with rice, especially popular in coastal regions.
- Pasticada. That’s the name of baked beef in Croatia.
- Baked young lamb. This dish is traditionally served in the cities of Central Croatia.
- Turkey with corn dough. Unusually and inexpressibly cooked poultry is popular in the central regions of the country.
In Croatia, you will find many cheeses with a special, unique recipe. And, of course, a variety of sausages, the taste of which you will not find anywhere else outside the country.
A ‘traditional’ breakfast in continental Croatia would typically consist of polenta and cornbread with lard and a sprinkling of paprika and a strong coffee. With time eggs started to get introduced and have become part of the breakfast staple as well as cold cuts and pickles.
On Christmas Day Croatians traditionally prepare turkey, lamb, roasted pig, sarma (minced meat wrapped in cabbage), peppers stuffed with minced meat, salads, freshly baked bread and traditional Christmas deserts such as fritule (pastry resembling doughnuts), strudel, walnut and poppy-seed cakes and many, many more
Rakija. In Croatia, national drink rakija is shared with other Balkan countries, but the Croatian way is to drink a herbal rakija – known as travarica – at the start of a meal with some dried figs.