Croatia is a country of beauty. Inland, cities like Dubrovnik and Split are filled with ancient history and culture. Independent restaurants and local coffee shops have become resident on the charming cobbled streets. On the coast, the azure waters surround the Croatian islands. Each island has its own charm, home to a local vineyard or a renowned oyster farm. As your trip approaches, we want to get you excited for the tantalizing dishes you’ll be enjoying. While there are so many more local delicacies to share, we have put together some of the top 10 dishes and foods you must try during your time in Croatia, just to whet your appetite…
10 Croatian Dishes You Must Try
1. Crni rižot
You’ll see this dish offered on almost every menu in Croatian, and rightly so. This is a type of risotto but, because of its coloring from squid ink, it’s a distinctive dish because it’s black. This risotto is a deliciously fresh choice for an evening meal, although you will come away with black teeth and a black tongue!
2. Istrian truffles
Even if you’re not visiting Istia in the north of Croatia, the local truffles can be sampled across the country. Istrian truffles are a delicacy and many restaurants are proud to integrate them into classic dishes.
3. Olive oil
Olive oil is arguably one of the oldest and desired products of Croatia. The warm climate offers great conditions for the growth and production of virgin olive oil, which has become renowned across the worlds for its quality.
Although it’s not always the most attractive dish visually, pašticada is a stew that you simply must try during your stay in Croatia. This is a Dalmatian dish comprising of beef (often marinated and boiled overnight), figs, prunes, and wine or sometimes Prosecco, usually accompanied by potato or gnocchi.
The very northern part of Croatia borders Italy, so some of the food and specialities have an Italian influence. One of which is pršut which is a type of prosciutto ham. Enjoy a platter of pršut in the sun… there’s nothing better.
Similar looking to a burger, the pljeskavica is the ‘Balkan cousin’. Inside the bun is a patty of minced meat – often spiced and flavored – a pepper relish and chopped raw onion.
This is a Croatian desert – similar in appearance and taste to the crème caramel. The best thing about rožata though, is the little kick of rose liqueur that’s inside.
Some of the freshest seafood can be enjoyed along the Croatian coast and the islands but a must-try is their local oysters. Whether you love them or hate them, an excursion to Ston will not only let you taste them, but you will also get to see the oyster farms.
9. Ispod peke
Although this isn’t a dish as such, ispod peke is a method of cooking. Using a traditional dome-shaped lid, meat and fish are cooked inside over a hot fire. This slow cooking style makes the meat soft, and flavors full.
Gregada is a fish strew and, although you can find it across Croatia, it’s often associated with Hvar. The dish is a combination of fresh fish (often the ‘catch of the day’), potatoes and local olive oil. It’s a very simple dish but fresh and enjoyable, especially in hot weather.
Some Phrases To Practice!
Croatian is the official language of the country. English is widely spoken, especially amongst the younger generation, and those who work in hospitality and tourism. As the country shares a border with Italy, Italian is also spoken, especially in the north of the country in Istria. Before your Croatia trip, why not learn a few simple phrases to get you stuck into the local culture. Some basic phrases include:
Thank you: Hvala
How are you: Kako si
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