10 Best Croatian Traditional Dishes You Should Eat [Best Local Food in Croatia]

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor June 14th, 2020 Posted in Europe Travel Blog, Restaurant and Recipes, Travel Blog No comments

If you’re looking for the best local food in Croatia, then we have the list for you! Your Balkan adventure won’t be complete if you won’t try these.

 

Croatia is close to Italy, Austria, and Turkey, which is popular for its appetizing cuisines. Many popular foods in Croatia are influenced by the culture and cooking methods of these countries. Also, Croatia, which has a long coastline, has abundant marine resources. You can find various types of delicious local food in Croatia.

Best Local Food in Croatia

Are you curious about what kind of food you can find in this country? Here we have a list consisting of 10 best local food in Croatia that you can try while you’re staying here.

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1. Prosciutto / Pršut

Best Local Food in Croatia
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As an appetizer, Prosciutto, or locally called Pršut, has a flavor that can arouse your taste buds. Pršut is a marinated dried pork leg and pressed until the water content becomes very minimum. This food is Dalmatian and Istrian authentic cuisine. Nevertheless, Dalmatian Pršut is quite hard to find, unlike in Istria, where almost all of the restaurants serve this menu.

2. Crni Rižot / Black Risotto

 

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Risotto does not only exist in Italy. Croatia, which is located across Italy, also has a similar menu called Crni Rižot or black risotto. This dish is one of the most famous staple food in Croatia. Black risotto is made from rice flavored with onions, garlic, wine, and olive oil. The black color in this dish comes from squid ink, which is one of the many marine products in Croatia. You can easily find it in the Croatian coast region.

3. Peka

Best Local Food in Croatia2
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Peka is not the name of the food, but a bell-shaped iron lid that is used to cover the casserole for cooking food. The casserole is planted in coal until only the lid can be seen. With this technique, the casseroles and Peka transform into micro-ovens. It will cook the meat using a slow-cook method to produce a tender and perfect flavor.

The ingredients that are commonly used are lamb, octopus, or other meat. Even vegetables are also cooked using this method. Because the cooking process takes a long time, you should order before you visit the restaurant. Although other restaurants provide a ready to eat Peka at any time, this menu is best-eaten after it freshly came out from the Casserole.

4. Pasticada

 

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Besides Peka, Pasticada also takes a long time to make, because the raw meat which is the main ingredient of Pasticada must be soaked in wine vinegar for several days before it can be processed. Pasticada is an exclusive Dalmatia dish because it requires rare spices. Pasticada is often served along with gnocchi or homemade pasta, which makes Pesticada’s taste stronger and more delicious.

5. Brudet

 

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As a country with a long coastline, Croatia has diverse seafood dishes, one of which is Brudet. Brudet is a seafood soup that is cooked with vegetables and is served with rice to provide more carbohydrates and fibrous. Seafood such as white snapper, monkfish, or other ingredients is used to make a Brudet. Spices including garlic, tomato sauce, vinegar, laurel, and chili powder are also added into the soup.

You can try this dish in various restaurants throughout the Croatian coast.

6. Skampi na Buzaru

Best Local Food in Croatia
Photo by cyclonebill CC BY-SA 2.0

Another famous Balkan coastline menu is Skampi na Buzaru. This dish uses shrimp and clam as its main ingredients. Locals often add white wine, garlic, breadcrumbs, and parsley to season the shrimp or shellfish. Skampi na Buzaru is best eaten without cutlery but bare hands.

To make this dish, locals are using the Buzaru method. This method is when the fresh shrimp is placed on a pan and added olive oil, garlic, chopped tomatoes, and a little wine. These combinations are then cooked for 10-15 minutes until the shrimp has a reddish color and is ready to serve.

7. Manestra

Manestra is typical Croatian bean soup and often found in the Istria region. This soup uses main ingredients such as corn (manestra od bobići) or sauerkraut (jota) with the cooking process that takes a long time on low heat. Locals sometimes add prosciutto to their Manestra. To enhance the flavor, spices such as garlic and parsley are used to make a paste and then add it to the soup.

8. Cevapi

Best Local Food in Croatia

Another popular processed meat in Croatia is Cevapi. Cevapi is a skinless sausage from the Balkan peninsula countries, including Croatia. Cevapi generally comes from pork, beef, or a mixture of both. Locals usually enjoy Cevapi with pita bread, chopped onions, and Ajvar or red peppers. You will have no trouble finding this dish, because most restaurants in Croatia provide it, especially restaurants around the tourist area.

9. Fritule

 

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At a glance, Fritule is similar to a donut with no holes and small in size. This dish is made from a mixture of flour, raisins, local schnapps, lemon zest, and some places also add rum into it. The dough that has been perfectly mixed then formed in small balls and fried. Although it is available throughout the year, Fritule is most commonly presented during celebrations. Many bakeries in the market and the coast sell this sweet food.

10. Breskvice

 

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The shape of this sweet food is very beautiful and it resembles peaches. Breskvice is a candy consisting of biscuits with jam or walnut filling rolled in sugar and colored to look like peaches. Breskvice is mostly available in December, especially during the Christmas season.

The tradition of making Breskvice can be a quality time between family since it needs a long time to prepare and make it. This candy is also suitable as a souvenir for your relatives when you leave Croatia.

That is the list of best local in Croatia that can serve as your reference when you visit this Balkan country. There are still many other unique foods that you can explore while you are here. Have a good vacation!

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Written by Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor

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