Five Typical Croatian Dishes

September, 15 2021 ( Updated September, 15 2021)

Food & Restaurants

A land of a thousand surprises, Croatia is a combination of history, breathtaking landscapes, wild nature and crystal clear waters. But don't overlook its unique cuisine either, as there are several local dishes that are well worth sampling. 

Croatian cuisine is typical and traditional, yet cosmopolitan. It is influenced by the past, but also by introductions from outside the territory. The dishes are both meat and fish-based and cooked in a variety of special ways. Thus, land and sea come together to create delicious dishes in the traditionally rich land of Croatia.

So, let's discover these must-try delicacies together!

Let's start with a very popular second course: Peka. This is the name of the terracotta or cast-iron bell covered with glowing embers that are used to cook various dishes, including meat and fish such as lamb, veal, octopus and more. The peka, in turn, keeps the flavours intact and makes the food very tender. 

What is even more interesting is that some houses in Dalmatia have a space dedicated to cooking this dish, especially in small villages!

Lamb and potatoes cooked with Peka

A typical first course in Croatian cuisine is Crni Rizot, which is also a trademark dish of Dalmatia. In this land, risotto is the base for many dishes, and there are many variations, but crni rizot is the one that has gained popularity all over the world. This risotto with cuttlefish ink is easily recognisable by its black colour given by the ink of the squid, making a dish of simple and rooted tradition, now extremely refined and delicious. 

For those who love street food, we recommend Cevapcici - small, elongated meatballs made of spiced mixed meat (usually beef and lamb). Although cevapcici originated in Bosnia, it is not difficult to taste them whether you are on the streets of Croatia or in restaurants. Meatballs are served with paprika, fresh onion and a spicy sauce called ajvar, made from pepper. The meat is cooked on the grill, griddle or BBQ. 
Cevapcici, typical Croatian street food 

Another seafood delicacy is Brudet or fish stew. It is found in many parts of the world and has a lot of variations. In Croatia, it is especially popular as a soup with mussels, langoustines and monkfish, with the addition of onions. In some areas, it is cooked with lobster, eel or frog, so there is something for everyone!

We end this tour of Croatian cuisine with a Dalmatian dish Pasticada, which is considered suitable for special occasions, perhaps because of its long and laborious preparation. This is a stew of meat, usually beef, which is soaked in vinegar and then cooked in a red wine sauce. A rich dish accompanied by dumplings or gnocchi. To give it even more flavour, dried fruit (plums or figs) and various spices such as bay leaves, nutmeg and cloves are usually added. 
Pasticada, an elaborate meal for special occasions

Wait, did we finish without a dessert? 

Well, in that case, try the visually stunning Medimurska Gibanica. This four-layered pastry with apples, walnuts, cottage cheese and poppy seeds packs in it a whole bunch of flavours that will definitely sum up Croatian desserts!

Medimurska Gibanica, a typical croatian dessert

A cuisine of simple and rich traditions is often adapted in a more elaborate way to make up modern Croatian cuisine. So, if you are staying in Croatia, you must try these delicacies! 

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