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.
The cuisine of Cyprus itself is a bright attraction of the island. Throughout the island’s long history, conquests, liberations, colonizations, relocations, it has absorbed, like a true gourmet, all the best from the cuisines of Greece, Turkey, Italy, Syria, England.
The features of Cypriot cooking, borrowed primarily from the Greek and Turkish cuisine, are apparent simplicity, grilling, lots of vegetables, herbs, pickles and sauces. Unlike the good Arabic and Turkish cuisines, the dishes are not as spicy, less zira and hot peppers are used. Spicy herbs such as arugula, mint, basil, cardamom, and tarragon are borrowed from Italian cuisine.
From English: a good English breakfast – eggs and bacon, and Indian spices curry and ginger. Simple Cypriot sweet dishes are oriental sweets of rahat-lukkum and baklava, like the implications of Turkey, and a good English apple pie.
People here love to eat nice and big, so get ready for huge portions and enjoy. Luckily, there’s no need to put on extra pounds to enjoy it: fresh, lean meat or fish, grilled, with lemon and fresh herbs and vegetables, is a feast for the palate.
The level of quality of local products
It should be noted separately: in the local cuisine only fresh local products are used. Only chilled meat comes from small farms scattered all over the island. Fresh seafood and fish are brought every morning by fishermen to the fish markets. And fresh fruits and vegetables delight islanders and tourists all year round. Beautiful wines complete the picture perfectly.
Olive – the oldest fruit tree, even in the primitive society its healing raisins were used. In Cyprus, olives have been cultivated since the 12th century BC. In the Middle Ages, it was the most widespread crop on the island. And in the early twentieth century, the British established a couple of nurseries, which soon increased the yield of olives – now harvested about 10 million kilograms of olives a year. The olive tree is so ingrained in the history and culture of the country that in addition to this got on its flag.
Olive trees grow long, some specimens celebrate their 2-thousandth anniversary. The oldest tree in Cyprus is 1700 years old, it is located on the road from Nicosia to Mount Troodos, and its diameter reaches 10 meters.
Olives are a necessary snack on the table. Stores and markets in Cyprus offer a large selection of olives in bulk – salty, pickled, large and small, with different fillings… Start your own “culinary journey” with the most uncomplicated – chopped olives with garlic and coriander.
We also recommend trying olive bread – you can find baked goods with olives in any bakery.
Halumi is a semi-mature, semi-solid brine cheese made of goat or sheep milk, possibly mixed with some cow’s milk and sometimes mint.
The main specialty of halloumi – it is equally delicious raw and grilled. Due to the heat treatment at the production stage, it has a higher melting point.
Haloumi is eaten with different products, as part of sweet, hot dishes and snacks: raw with honey, with fruit – a very popular combination of raw haloumi with watermelon; pies with haloumi; salads of fresh vegetables and herbs with haloumi; cold and hot sandwiches – try pita with a piece of haloumi in.
The trademark haloumi is owned by Cyprus, without regard to the fact that similar cheese is made in Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and other Mediterranean countries.
The carob tree (lat. Cerat?nia sil?qua) is one of the signs of Cyprus. An evergreen tree up to 10-12 meters tall, the fruits are brown beans 10-25 cm long and 2-4 cm wide. An unusual feature of the beans is the polysaccharide polygalactomannan, which determines the mass and consistency of the seed density (0.2 grams). This peculiarity has been noticed since the era of the Roman Empire, and beans were widely used as a measure of weight – carat (from the Latin keratonia).
Beans are used in the confectionery industry. Inexpensive oriental sweets based on beans you have the opportunity to bring from the island as a sweet souvenir. In dietary products as a substitute for cocoa powder (does not contain caffeine). Included in medicines to treat coughs, gastrointestinal disorders, increase immunity.
Very popular in Cyprus, the fruit of the carob tree have become very popular because of their another feature – the beans are an excellent aphrodisiac. In stores and stores one can find a wide range of liqueurs, tinctures and syrups based on beans.
Citrus fruits grow all year round in Cyprus: oranges, lemons, tangerines, grapefruits, and pomelos. And despite the fact that compared to the imported fruit, they may seem unassuming, they are quite properly sweet and delicious. It is possible to buy them in the market for 0,5-1 euros, and we recommend to take more, you won’t tear yourself away.
Right in the streets of Cyprus resorts grow mandarin and orange trees. But nobody collects their fruits – they are feral, sour and bitter fruit.
Separately want to say about lemons, which accompany all meat and fish dishes. They are served cut into quarters. Lemons are used to sprinkle on warm dishes and salads. It is believed that citric acid breaks down animal fats, and gives dishes an unforgettable taste.
Wine has been made in Cyprus for more than 5 thousand years: during the excavations near Limassol the historians discovered the clay jugs and the analysis of the remains has confirmed the wine storage in them. And no wonder – the island’s climate is ideal for the production of this respectable beverage.
The wines of Cyprus became most famous in the era of the Lusignans – Cyprus, as a transit base for the Crusaders, supplied provisions and wine to the Holy Land. at the time, the “Commandaria”, a sweet, fortified, thick dessert wine, became famous. In 1213 in France they made the first wine competition in history – the Battle of the Wines – and the winner was the Cyprus Commandaria. With the conquest of Cyprus by Turkey, Kommandaria was made in small quantities at monasteries, for ritual purposes. The Turks imposed exorbitant taxes on the remaining wines.
The British, after the capture of the island at the end of the nineteenth century, reduced taxes on alcohol production, which helped the restoration of winemaking. Around this time, four big wine companies were founded, the current “respectable four”: ETKO, KEO, LOEL and SODAP. Apart from the “solid four”, small wineries, scattered all over the island, offer wines. The island is home to a variety of grapes (Marafeftico, Xinisteri, Black Ambelissimo, etc.) as well as varieties imported from France in the middle of the last century (Cabernet, Chardonnay, Grenache, Riesling, etc.). Since 2004, at the end of the accession to the European Union, Cyprus introduced the European quality control system for wines and the very concept of “Controlled Appellation of Origin”.
It is safe to say that Cyprus produces good, high-quality wines for all tastes.
Since 1961, in August-September, Cyprus has organized an annual wine festival. In 2015 it will be held for the 52nd time, from August 29 to September 9. More than 60 wine producers and sweets have already applied for participation, among them both huge factories and small village wineries. In addition to tastings and the opportunity to purchase products from various producers, guests of the festival expect a rich entertainment program.
Zivania (Zivana) is a Cypriot grape vodka – a 38-50° liquor, distilled from the grapes pressed during the making of wine. By the production method resembles the Georgian chacha, Italian grappa and Spanish Orujo. Zivania has been produced on the island since the XV century and in 2004 Cyprus registered this trademark and became the rightful owner of the brand.
Two types of grapes are used in the production of Zivania: white Xinisteri and red Mavro. When the second grape varieties are used it is obligatory to indicate these grape varieties on the label.
Zivania is made by the “big four” companies: ETKO, KEO, LOEL and SODAP, as well as by small wineries.
Zivania is served cold, with Turkish delight, walnuts, almonds and Cypriot sausages.
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There are many delicious dishes in Croatia that every traveler should try. And what did you like about Croatian cuisine, write in the comments.