Croatian cuisine

Croatian cuisine
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Croatian cuisine is heterogeneous and is known as the cuisine of regions, since every region has its own distinct culinary traditions. Its modern roots date back to ancient periods and the differences in the selection of foodstuffs and forms of cooking are most notable between those on the mainland and those in coastal regions. Mainland cuisine is more characterized by the earlier Slavic and the more recent contacts with the more famous gastronomic orders of today - Hungarian, Viennese and in some part of land Turkish - while the coastal region bears the influences of the Greek, Roman and Illyrian, as well as of the later Mediterranean cuisine - Italian and French.


Cuisine of the regions

Croatian cuisine can, roughly summarized, be divided into a few regions which all have their 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. This is also why the varied cuisine of Croatia is called "cuisine of the regions".

Typical food delicacies

Dalmatian ham with olives

Meat and game

Some foods from typical Croatian menus:

  • Specialities from the grill are called s roštilja or s ražnja
  • pečeno means roasted
  • prženo 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.

Croatian meals include:

  • Ražnjići (skewers)
  • Meso s tiblice pork ham from Međimurje county
  • Janjetina - lamb garnished with Mediterranean herbs
  • Odojak - roast pork
  • Fresh game from Dalmatia
  • Visovačka begavica
  • Veal steaks stuffed with ham and cheese and grilled with breadcrumbs
  • Turkey with mlinci (flat, sour dumplings)
  • Kaninchenbraten
  • Leg of lamb à la Pašticada (rolled pieces of Pršut in white wine sauce)
  • Leg of venison the count's way
  • Wild duck with sauce


Lobster from Dalmatia

Croatian seafood dishes include:

  • Squids - Croatian: lignje, Italian: calamari
  • Octopus salad - Croatian: salata od hobotnice
  • Cuttlefish risotto - Croatian: Crni rižot, Italian: Risotto nero
  • Tuna
  • Shrimps - Croatian: škampi, Italian: scampi
  • Common mussels - Croatian: dagnje
  • Cod with potatoes - Croatian bakalar na bijelo (Dubrovnik, Dalmatia and Istria)
  • Fish stew - Croatian brodet or brudet (Dubrovnik and Dalmatia), Italian brodetto
  • Clams
  • Sea spider salad
  • Breaded catfish or carp
  • Grilled sardines
  • Buzara or Buzzara (shellfish sautéed in garlic, olive oil, parsley & white wine)
  • 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


Goulash is very popular in most parts of Croatia
  • Goulash (Croatian: gulaš, see also Hungarian gulyás)
  • Grah - beans (often done as 'grah sa zeljem' - with sauerkraut, or 'grah sa kiselom repom' - with pickled turnip strings)
  • Mahune-green beans
  • Riblji paprikaš - also called fiš-paprikaš (spicy fish stew from Slavonia, see also Hungarian halászlé)
  • Slavonska riblja čorba (fish stew from Slavonia)
  • Brudet (or Brodet) - fish stew
  • Chicken stew
  • Rabbit goulash
  • Istrian Stew (Jota)
  • Game Čobanac (Shepherd's Stew)
  • Feines Venison goulash with prunes
  • Hunter's Stew
  • Wine goulash
  • Sauerkraut Stew
  • Zelena menestra - traditional cabbage and meat food - Dubrovnik and surrounding area


Žganci is made from maize, wheat or buckwheat flour, water, cooking oil and salt
  • Žganci is a dish in Slovenian and Northern Croatian cuisine
  • Pašticada with Gnocchi is a beef pot roast dish from Dubrovnik and Dalmatia.
  • Fuži is a sort of pasta from Istria.
  • Needle macaroni
  • štrukli is a pastry dish from Zagorje, Zagreb area.
  • Krpice sa zeljem
  • Šporki makaruli traditional pasta mixed with meat sauce - from Dubrovnik and surrounding area


Side dishes

  • Sataraš (minced and roasted vegetables)
  • Mlinci (typical Croatian, roasted flatbread, similar to Caucasian flatbreads)
  • Đuveč (cooked vegetables, similar to Ratatouille)


White Truffles from Istria
Croatian style Punjena Paprika/stuffed peppers
Cheese škripavac

Sausages and ham

  • Istrian and Dalmatian Pršut - double-smoked ham (similar to Italian prosciutto)
  • Ćevapčići
  • Panceta from Dalmatia
  • Špek from continental Croatia
  • Kaštradina

Cheese (sir)

  • Paški sir - famous sheep's milk cheese from island of Pag
  • Farmers' cheese (škripavac) and curd cheese from the regions of Kordun and Lika
  • Cheese from the Cetina region Cetinski sir
  • Cheese from the Island of Krk Krčki sir
  • Cheese from Međimurje Turoš
  • Cheese from Podravina Prga
  • Cottage cheese (eaten with vrhnje) from Zagorje
Pogača bread

Salty pies

  • viška pogača (foccacia from island Vis)
  • soparnik (Dalmatian vegetable pie)


Savijača or Štrudla with apple
Orehnjača variation of Nut Roll
Crêpes, in Croatia also known as Palačinke
Međimurska gibanica
  • Bučnica (courgette cake, mostly made of older courgettes, when they grow seeds)

Sweets and desserts

  • Palačinke with sweet filling (Hungarian: palacsinta)
  • Baklava
  • Dunavske Valovi
  • Kremšnita - cream slice
  • Šaumšnita - meringue cream slice
  • Zagorski štrukli - sweet pastry from northern Croatia
  • Uštipci
  • Strudel (Croatian: savijača or štrudla) with apple or curd cheese fillings
  • Orahnjača - sweet bread with walnuts
  • Makovnjača - sweet bread with poppy seeds
  • Croatian honey
  • Bear's paw
  • Farmer's cheese (quark) cakes (cream cake)
  • Krafne, pokladnice - a type of Donut
  • Croatian pancakes (with cream with wine sauce)
  • ušljivac, deran, badavdžija (long plaited bun)
  • Šnenokli (eggwhites in vanilla cream)

Cakes (kolači)

  • Rožata or Rozata, English and Spanish Flan
  • Easter pastry Pinca
  • Kroštule (crunchy deep-fried pastry)
  • Fritule (festive pastry, particularly for Christmas
  • Bishop's bread
  • Guglhupf (ring cake) (Croat. kuglof)
  • Rapska torta(Eng.Rab cake)
  • Međimurska gibanica (Eng. Međimurje County 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.[citation needed]

Dessert wines

  • Sweet Malvazija
  • Muškat Ottonel (see: Muscat grape)
  • Prošek

Beers (pivo)

Velebitsko pivo, beer from Croatia

Apart from the great abundance of imported international beers (Heineken, Tuborg, Gösser, Stella Artois, etc.), you will find some tasty home-brewn beers in Croatia. (Real fans need to know that the brewery in Split produces Bavarian Kaltenberg beer by licence of the original brewery in Germany.)

  • Karlovačko: brewed in Karlovac [1]
  • Ožujsko: brewed in Zagreb (the name refers to the month of march) [2]
  • Pan
  • Favorit: from Buzet, Istria
  • Osječko: from Osijek
  • Staro Češko: Czech beer from Daruvar (a Czech minority is living there), brewed in Croatia
  • Riječko pivo: from the large seaport city of Rijeka on the northern Adriatic coast
  • Tomislav: black beer from Zagreb
  • Velebitsko pivo: brewed near Gospić on the Velebit mountain, small but high-quality brewery, the dark beer has been voted best beer by an English beer fan website.

Liqueurs and spirits

A bottle of Maraschino liqueur.
  • Maraschino [1]
  • Rakija (Croatian name for spirits) made from:
  • Pelinkovac
  • Orahovac (walnut liqueur)
  • Glembaj
  • Medovina (with honey)
  • 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.

Mineral water

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 – Winner of the Paris AquaExpo for best mineral water of 2003 [3]
  • Lipički studenac
  • Jana – also belongs to Jamnica, best aromatized mineral water (Eauscar 2004)
  • Cetina – water from the river Cetina, which flows through the Dalmatian hinterland [4]
  • Bistra – produced by Coca Cola

Juices and syrups

  • Dona
  • Vindija juices – Vindi sokovi
  • Cedevita - sherbet [3]

See also


Further reading

  • "Hrvatska za stolom - mirisi i okusi Hrvatske", Ivanka Biluš et al., Zagreb:Alfa, Koprivnica: Podravka, 1996, 192 p., illustrated in color, (Biblioteka Anima Croatarum, 2) ISBN 953-168-104-X
  • "Hrvatska vina" (Croatian wines), Fazinić Nevenko, Milat Vinko, illustrated, 159 p., 1994, ISBN 953-173-061-X
  • "Nova hrvatska kuhinja" (New Croatian cuisine), Davor Butković, Ana Ugarković, Profil international, Zagreb, 2005, 272 p., ISBN 953-12-0164-1
  • Callec, Christian (2003), written at The Netherlands, Wine: A Comprehensive Look at the World's Best Wine, New York: Random House (published 2002), ISBN 0-517-22165-9 .

External links

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