Croatian cuisine is heterogeneous and is known as a cuisine of the regions, since every region of Croatia has its own distinct culinary tradition. Its roots date back to ancient times. The differences in the selection of foodstuffs and forms of cooking are most notable between those in mainland and those in coastal regions. Mainland cuisine is more characterized by the earlier Slavic and the more recent contacts with Hungarian and Turkish cuisine, using lard for cooking, and spices such as black pepper, paprika, and garlic. The coastal region bears the influences of the Greek and Roman cuisine, as well as of the later Mediterranean cuisine, in particular Italian (especially Venetian). Coastal cuisines use olive oil, herbs and spices such as rosemary, sage, bay leaf, oregano, marjoram, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and lemon and orange rind. Peasant cooking traditions are based on imaginative variations of several basic ingredients (cereals, dairy products, meat, fish, vegetables, nuts) and cooking procedures (stewing, grilling, roasting, baking), while bourgeois cuisine involves more complicated procedures and use of selected herbs and spices. Charcuterie is part of the Croatian culinary tradition in all regions. Food and recipes from other former Yugoslav countries are also popular in Croatia. Croatian cuisine can be divided into several distinct cuisines (Istria, Dalmatia, Dubrovnik, Lika, Gorski Kotar, Zagorje, MeÄ‘imurje, Podravina, Slavonija) each of which has specific cooking traditions, characteristic for the area and not necessarily well known in other parts of Croatia. Most dishes, however, can be found all across the country, with local variants.
Meat and game
Specialities from the grill are called s roÅ¡tilja, those roasted on the spit s raÅ¾nja
peÄeno means roasted
prÅ¾eno means fried
pod pekom means that the dish has been put into a stone oven under a metal cover. The cook puts hot coals on the cover so that the meal is cooked slowly in its own juices. Specialties cooked pod pekom include lamb, veal, and octopus.
na leÅ¡o means boiled in broth or water (lamb, beef, fish)
Salted cod is imported, but dishes are very popular for Christmas Eve or on Good Friday. It can be prepared either as bakalar na bijelo (Dubrovnik, Dalmatia and Istria, with olive oil and garlic, with or without potatoes), or as bakalar na crveno, in tomato-based stew, with potatoes.
Fish stew â€“ Croatian brodet or brudet (Dubrovnik and Dalmatia), Italian brodetto, best made with several type of fish (red rascasse, European conger, monkfish, European hake)
Sea spider salad
Breaded catfish or carp
Grilled sardines or other fish (na gradele)
Salted anchovies or sardine (slana riba) are served as hors d'oeuvres or as a part of light supper with povrÄ‡e na leÅ¡o, salads etc.
Date shells or prstaci are part of the traditional cuisine, but in the 20th century their extraction was banned as a measure of ecological protection
Stewed vegetables with a small amount of meat or sausages (varivo or ÄuÅ¡pajz) is perceived as a healthy, traditional meal. Sour cream (in Northern Croatia) or olive oil (on the coast) can be added to the plate just before serving. Stewed meat dishes are often prepared by men in open spaces, following hunting and shepherding traditions. In Dalmatian urban cuisine, spices such as cinnamon and clove, dried plums, dried figs, apples and other fruit are sometimes added to meat stews. File:Gulyas080.jpgthumbGoulash is very popular in most parts of Croatia
Goulash (Croatian: gulaÅ¡, see also Hungarian gulyÃ¡s)
Grah â€“ pork hock bean stew (often done as grah i zelje â€“ with sauerkraut, or grah s kiselom repom â€“ with pickled turnip strings)
Zelena menestra â€“ traditional cabbage and meat dish â€“ Dubrovnik and surrounding area
PaÅ¡ticada â€“ Dalmatian beef stew with prunes and dried figs
Tripe stew (tripice, fileki)
Pasta is one of the most popular food items in Croatian cuisine, especially in the region of Dalmatia. Manistra na pome (pasta with tomato sauce) is a staple. The other popular sauces include creamy mushroom sauce, minced meat sauce and many others. Fresh pasta ( , ) is added to soups and stews, or prepared with cottage cheese, cabbage, even with walnuts or poppy seed. Potato dough is popular, not only for making (gnocchi), but also for making plum or cheese dumplings which are boiled, and then quickly fried in breadcrumbs and butter.
Å½ganci â€“ cornmeal dish in Slovenian and Northern Croatian cuisine, also known as polenta (palenta, pura) in Istria and Dalmatia
Gnocchi, often served with paÅ¡ticada or goulash
FuÅ¾i, a typical pasta from Istria
Å trukli â€“ baked or cooked filled pastry from Zagorje, Zagreb area.
Krpice sa zeljem â€“ pasta with stewed cabbage
Å porki makaruli â€“ traditional pasta with cinnamon-flavored meat sauce, from Dubrovnik and surrounding area
File:Mlinci.jpgMlinci File:Kuhane_strukle_0210_1.jpgZagorski Å trukli File:Ajdovi_zganci.JPGÅ½ganci
Soup is an integral part of a meal in Croatia and no Sunday family meal or any special occasion will go without it. The most popular soups are broth-based, with added pasta or semolina dumplings. They are usually light in order to leave space for the main course and dessert to follow. However, cream or roux-based soups are also popular, and there are many local variations of traditional soups. In Dalmatia, fish soup with fish chunks, carrots and rice is commonly served.
Veal soup with smoked meat
Beef broth with vermicelli pasta
Mushroom soup, especially with porcini
Zagorska juha with porcini mushrooms, bacon, sweet pepper
SataraÅ¡ (sliced and stewed summer vegetables)
Mlinci (typical northwest Croatian, roasted flatbread, similar to Caucasian flatbreads)
ÄuveÄ (baked summer vegetables, similar to Ratatouille)
Å alÅ¡a od pomidora (tomato salsa)
Restani krumpir (cooked potato fried with onion)
Blitva s krumpirom (cooked chard and potato, with olive oil and garlic)
PovrÄ‡e na leÅ¡o (boiled vegetables seasoned with olive oil, salt and sometimes garlic) is a common way of preparing chard, kale, cabbage, green beans, potato, cauliflower, carrots, broad beans, zucchini and other vegetables as a side dish. It combines well with boiled eggs, as a lighter alternative to a meat- or fish-based meal.
File:Truffles white Croatia.jpg250pxthumbWhite truffles from Istria 250pxthumbrightPunjena paprika Stuffed peppersCroatian-style stuffed peppers 200pxthumbCheese Å¡kripavac
ZagrebaÄki odrezak â€“ breaded escalope stuffed with ham and cheese, type of cordon bleu
Sarma â€“ Sauerkraut rolls filed with minced pork meat and rice
ArambaÅ¡iÄ‡i from Sinj â€“ similar to Sarma, but made with finely diced beef and without rice
Lepinje â€“ flat bread
Wild truffles, served on pasta, risotto, or fried eggs (fritaja)
Croatian olive oil (Maslinovo ulje)
PaÅ¡ki baÅ¡kotin â€“ aromatic zwieback (rusk) from the Island of Pag
Potatoes from the region of Lika (LiÄki krumpir) â€“ high-quality, large, red potatoes
Sauerkraut from the VaraÅ¾din region
Cabbage (zelje) from the region of Zagreb
Artichokes with peas or broad beans
Fritaja with asparagus
Gorski kotar filling (pieces of ham with eggs and bread)
Sausages and ham
Kulen (Kulin) â€“ spicy pork sausage from Slavonia
ÄŒeÅ¡njovka â€“ spicy pork sausage with a harmonious garlic taste from Turopolje
Kobasica â€“ spicy, air-dried or smoked sausage (Hungarian: kolbÃ¡sz)
Salami from Samobor
Å vargl from Slavonia
SuÄ‘uk from inland Dalmatia
Istrian and Dalmatian PrÅ¡ut â€“ dry-cured ham
Panceta from Dalmatia
Å pek from continental Croatia
KaÅ¡tradina â€“ smoked mutton or goat meat
PaÅ¡ki sir â€“ famous sheep's milk cheese from island of Pag
Farmers' cheese (Å¡kripavac) and curd cheese from the regions of Kordun and Lika
Cheese from the Cetina region Cetinski sir
Cheese from the Island of Krk KrÄki sir
Cheese from MeÄ‘imurje TuroÅ¡
Cheese from Podravina Prga
Cottage cheese (eaten with cream, vrhnje) from Zagorje (sir i vrhnje, often seen as quintessential Croatian traditional food)
File:PoÄŸaÃ§a bread.jpgthumb200pxPogaÄa bread
ViÅ¡ka pogaÄa is a salted sardine-filled foccacia from the island of Vis.
Soparnik is a Dalmatian chard-filled pie.
PogaÄa (farmers' bread)
File:Strudel.jpgthumbSavijaÄa or Å trudla with apple File:orehnjaca.jpgthumbOrehnjaÄa, a variety of nut roll File:Crepes dsc07085.jpgthumbCrÃªpes, in Croatia also known as PalaÄinke File:MeÄ‘imurska gibanica (Croatia).jpgthumbMeÄ‘imurska gibanica
BuÄnica (summer squash and cottage cheese pie, can be savory or sweet)
Å trukli (made with cottage cheese, sour cream and eggs, can be savory or sweet, boiled or baked)
Zlevanka, simple baked cornmeal pastry with various fillings (e.g. cheese, sour cream, cherries, plum jam, walnuts, nettle)
Sweets and desserts
PalaÄinke (crepes) with sweet filling (Hungarian: palacsinta)
Å aumÅ¡nita â€“
Zagorski Å¡trukli â€“ sweet pastry from northern Croatia
Knedle â€“ potato dough dumplings, usually filled with plums and rolled into buttered breadcrumbs
Strudel (Croatian: or ) with apple or curd cheese fillings
OrahnjaÄa and MakovnjaÄa â€“ sweet breads with walnut or poppy seeds
Farmer's cheese (quark) cakes (cream cake)
Krafne, pokladnice â€“ a type of doughnut
Croatian pancakes (with wine and egg sauce)
Å nenokli, paradiÅ¾ot (meringue in custard cream, floating island (dessert))
Almond filled ravioli ( )
Homemade fruit preserves, jams, compotes
RoÅ¾ata or Rozata (flan, creme caramel)
Easter pastry Pinca
KroÅ¡tule (crunchy, deep-fried pastry)
Fritule (deep-fried dough, festive pastry, particularly for Christmas)
Guglhupf ring cake (Croatian kuglof)
Rapska torta (Rab cake)
MeÄ‘imurska gibanica (MeÄ‘imurje County layer cake with apple, poppyseed, walnut and cottage cheese fillings)
MaÄ‘arica (Croatian layer cake)
Croatia has two main wine regions: Continental (Kontinetalna) and Coastal (Primorska), which includes the islands. Each of the main regions is divided into sub-regions which are divided yet further into smaller vinogorje, (literally wine hills) and districts. Altogether, there are more than 300 geographically-defined wine-producing areas in Croatia. In parts of Croatia, wine, either red or white, is sometimes consumed mixed in approximately equal proportions with water.
MuÅ¡kat Ottonel (see: Muscat grape)
File:Velebitsko pivo Zg 0508.jpg100pxthumbVelebitsko pivo, beer from Croatia Apart from imported beers (Heineken, Tuborg, GÃ¶sser, Stella Artois, etc.), there are home-brewed and locally brewed beers in Croatia. A brewery based in Split produces Bavarian Kaltenberg beer by licence of the original brewery in Germany.
KarlovaÄko: brewed in Karlovac http://www.karlovacko.hr/
OÅ¾ujsko: brewed in Zagreb (the name refers to the month of March)
Favorit: from Buzet, Istria
OsjeÄko: from Osijek (oldest brewery in Croatia)
Staro ÄŒeÅ¡ko: Czech beer from Daruvar (where a Czech minority lives), brewed in Croatia
Tars pivo: from the seaport city of Rijeka
Tomislav: dark beer from Zagreb
Velebitsko pivo: brewed near GospiÄ‡ on the Velebit mountain, the dark beer has been voted best beer by an English beer fan website.
Liqueurs and spirits
thumb80pxrightA bottle of Maraschino liqueur.
Rakija (Croatian name for spirits), commonly made from: LozovaÄa / Loza (grapes) (it.: Grappa),Travarica (Loza with herbs), Å ljivovica (plums), KruÅ¡kovac (pears), Drenovac (cherries)
Orahovac (walnut liqueur)
Gvirc (as Medovina, only more alcohol).
Croatia is a country of coffee drinkers (on average 5kg per person annually), not only because it was formerly part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, but also because it bordered the former Ottoman Empire. Traditional coffee houses similar to those in Vienna are located throughout Croatia.
Regarding its water resources, Croatia has a leading position in Europe. Concerning water quality, Croatian water is greatly appreciated all over the world. Due to a lack of established industries there have also been no major incidents of water pollution.
Jamnica â€“ Winner of the Paris AquaExpo for best mineral water of 2003 http://www.jamnica.hr/
Jana â€“ also belongs to Jamnica, best aromatized mineral water (Eauscar 2004)
Juices and syrups
Vindija juices â€“ Vindi sokovi
"Hrvatska za stolom â€“ mirisi i okusi Hrvatske", Ivanka BiluÅ¡ et al., Zagreb:Alfa, Koprivnica: Podravka, 1996, 192 p., illustrated in color, (Biblioteka Anima Croatarum, 2)