Croatian
Cuisine

See also: Croatia and Wine, The tradition of winemaking in Croatia
and Easter Food Custorms in Croatia. Visit my Rab Island page.

Gastronomy

Croatian cuisine is a cuisine of regions, reflecting Croatian geography, history and culture. Croatia's turbulent history, caused by its unique geopolitical position, is also evident in its dishes, which combine different eras: the ancient Greeks grew grapes on the islands of Vis and Hvar; the Hungarians brought goulash and paprikash (meat stew), the Turks left sarma (stuffed sauerkraut rolls), stuffed green peppers and rolled dough, while the Italians left their trace in various kinds of pasta.

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NATIONAL MEALS AND DRINKS

Beside the standard European cuisine present in all restaurants and hotels specialties from the grill and the roasting-spit (lamb, pork, poultry) are very popular. Some specialties are as follows: the Gavrilovic salami, the marenda.jpg (28553 bytes)Dalmatian smoked ham, salty pilchards, sheep cheese, peppered Slavonian sausages, paprika-flavoured salami, etc. An exquisite hors-d'oeuvre are sea-shells (oysters, mussels, date-shells) as well as scampi, grilled or "na buzaru" (cooked and flavoured with a lot of aromatic spices). From fish meals the fish stew (several kinds of fish sauteéd in a tomato sauce with garlic and spices) is very savoury, and in the continental region the peppered fish stew with fresh-water fish is favoured.

From meat specialties we point out the following: the Dalmatian "pasticada" (beef stuffed with lard and roasted in wine and spices), the steak á la Zagreb (veal stuffed with ham and cheese, then fried in breadcrumbs), the cutlet la Zagorje (with sausages, sauerkraut and boiled potatoes), the veal Easter egg (in piquant tomato sauce with mushrooms), turkey with "mlinci" (thinly rolled out pasta), the country dinner (stuffed cabbage leaves, sausages, roasted pork and lard in sauerkraut). In northern Croatia venison is regularly prepared la hunter's or in a cream sauce, whereas in Dalmatia it is roasted or sauteéd in a sauce of vinegar, olive-oil, wine, prosecco, prunes with rosemary.

Beside foreign alcoholic drinks you may taste the domestic brandies: plum-brandy, herb-flavoured brandy and walnut-brandy. Further, there are many sorts of wine, but king of all wines is Dingac (15-16% of alcohol), a thick red wine from the peninsula of Peljesac. Then there is the Korculanski grk (14-15% of alcohol). A series of other thick red wines should also be mentioned: the visko, hvarsko, kastelansko and the Istrian wine. In the northern country parts the alcoholic content of the wines drops, but the acid contents grows. Predominantly white wines with pleasant flavour, light and sweet taste are brewed here. Among these we would like to stress the following: grasevina, rizling, traminac, pinot, sovignon, pljesivica, etc.

Copyright © 1998 HINA News Agency, Zagreb - Croatia
Reprinted by permission
NOTE: Further copying of the above articles in other Web pages without HINA's express authorization is prohibited.
Note Aug. 7, 2015: I started this page in 1995. Since then, a number of sites below have disappeared over the years. I found them on Archive.org. They are marked with an asterisk (*)


Cookbooks:

  • Croatian Cookbook by Igor Francic (in Croatian only)
    Recipes of: continental and mediterranean cuisine, cakes and desserts. Stranice s hrvatskim receptima.
  • Hrvatska Vila 100th Anniversary Cookbook
    The Zajednicar October 6, 1999
  • Croatian Mother's Club Selling Cookbook (in English only)
  • "Slavonski kuhar", a cookbook with 190 recipes from Slavonia. Recipe's are adjusted to today's way of life and cooking (low calories and low fat) - http://www.privlacica.hr/kuhar.htm. A sample of some greatest Slavonian dishes are included on the site.
  • The Art of Croatian Cooking - by Anna Bozin, Australia
  • DESSERTS IN CROATIA (in English only)
  • John Sarich At Chateau Ste. Michelle For Cooks Who Love Wine. Everyone who cooks is faced with the perennial challenge: "What to make for dinner?" It is a question that John Sarich, culinary director for premium wine producer Chateau Ste. Michelle, asks not only when preparing menus at home, but the 250 days each year he must serve elegant yet simple meals to some of America's best known chefs and discriminating food and wine writers. For each of those meals, Sarich impeccably matches exceptional wines. John Sarich At Chateau Ste. Michelle: For Cooks Who Love Wine, is a collection of his acclaimed recipes, presented with his understanding of what makes fine wine complement great food. "Cooking and wine have been a major part of my life from the beginning," admits Sarich. His family immigrated to Seattle from the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. Raised on their spirited Mediterranean cooking and homemade wine, Sarich fondly remembers the Croatian toast that heralded the commencement of each meal, "Zivio!" -- "To Life!". John Sarich's Recipes.

Online Cookbooks:


Recipes:


Traditional Foods:

  • Easter:
    • HRVATSKI USKRSNI OBICAJI - Croatian Easter Customs. Easter Eggs, Donuts Croatian Style, Croatian Easter Songs. Recipes in Croatian. From: PISANICA, Otvoreno sveuciliste, 1991.
  • Christmas:

Croatian-owned restaurants/bars/dellis World-wide:

  • Chicago
  • New York, info from: Nina Dzajkic on Oct. 25, 1999. Il Menestrello. 14 E. 52nd St. (bet. 5th & Madison Aves.), Tele: 421-7588
  • Primo Restaurant (Salt Lake City, Utah). Here is their website.
  • San Francisco
    • Tadich Grill: San Francisco
    • Original Joe's Restaurant. San Francisco, (415) 775-5146.
      Original Joe's Restaurant, recently named in the Top 50 Best restaurants in the Bay Area has been owned and operated by a Croatian for the last 62 years....Ante Rodin, my father.....The whole restaurant which is in a now dicey neighborhood survives and thrives because of his old country values of hard work, stick to it tiveness, and of course great food. The business now has three generations involved.....Hardly no restaurant can match its quality and value.....among other other very nice compliments over the years it's been called "the most honest joint" in the bay area......The tradition continues after 62 years. My dad, now 86, is still at work seven days a week manning the helm. He is a truly beautiful,very typical Croatian man.........and one of the best cooks in SF.......when I saw Lidia on TV, it was my dad revisted. Marie Duggan, Oct. 12, 1999.
  • Toronto
    • Two Croatian Delis In Mississauga Area. The Zajednicar October 6, 1999.
      • The taste of Croatian smoked meat and sausages can be found within the Mississauga area in Ontario, Canada. Two of the most well-known delis belong to Bruno Polunic at the "Taste of Europe Meat Deli" and Vilim Godina at "Willy's Meat and Delicatessen." Should you be visiting the Mississaugua area and wish to purchase top quality smoked meat and sausages, call Taste of Europe at 905-455-1077 or Willy's at 905-270-4206.
      • Bruno and Maria Polunic are owners of the Taste of Europe Meat Deli at 200 County Court Blvd., in Brampton, Ontario, while Vilim Godina and his wife own Willy's Meat and Delicatessen at 2500 Hurontario St., Mississagua, Ontario.
  • Zagreb Restaurants

Croatian Food Industry, Food Merchants and Gastro Guides:


1998-99 News:

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