Croatian cuisine: what to eat when you’re in Croatia
One of the best things about exploring a new country is getting to know its national dishes, and whether you’re a foodie or not you’ll love what’s on offer in Croatia. If you’re wondering which traditional Croatian food you should sample when you’re on holiday, here are some of our favourites to tempt your tastebuds..
Crni rizot, or black risotto, is a rice dish made with squid ink and an assortment of other seafood, such as clams and mussels. Thought to have made its way to Croatia from Venice centuries ago, you’ll spot it in any seafood restaurant you find yourself in on your Croatian travels. While it may not look too appetising, see beyond this and you’ll soon discover why it’s such a popular feature of Croatian cuisine.
Skampi na buzaru
Continuing the seafood theme, another dish you’ll love if you’re into the flavours of the sea is skampi na buzaru. Prepare to get stuck into eating scampi, mussels, shrimps and clams with your hands with this simple meal prepared by simmering the seafood in white wine and tomato paste.
Hobotnica ispod peke
This traditional Croatian food involves slow-cooking a selection of seafood, meat, vegetables and spices using the embers of a fire. You’ll find it prepared with all kinds of meat and seafood – chicken and octopus are both popular – and the slow cooking method makes all the ingredients turn out beautifully tender and bursting with flavour.
Pasticada s njokima
A speciality of Dalmatia, pasticada s njokima is slow-cooked beef served with potato gnocchi. Incredibly, it takes days to make because the beef is first marinated in wine vinegar and then added to vegetables and braised. Once it’s cooked to tender perfection, the vegetables are typically blended to form a sauce. No two are the same, as everyone has their own version of it; but it adds to the culinary adventure when you don’t quite know what you’re going to be sampling.
We couldn’t create a list of Croatian cuisine without including something for those of you with a sweet tooth. If that’s you, you’re sure to enjoy fritule – sugar-dusted deep fried dough balls described by Jamie Oliver as ‘mini boozy doughnuts’. The booze is usually rum, and in the centre you’ll find juicy raisins. They’re traditionally a Christmas or Easter treat, and they’re the perfect snack to pick up from a street vendor while you’re exploring a new city.