Known for its outstandingly clean sea and more than 1000 islands, Croatia attracts tourists from all over the world. Besides sunny beaches and beautiful nature, Croatian coast offers some truly exquisite dishes. Stay away from fastfood joints and give a chance to some real Croatian food. You will not be sorry.
Istrian Fusi with Truffles
Istria is famous for many things, and fusi with truffles are certainly one of them. Fusi is a traditional Istrian pasta shaped like a hollow tube, so they are perfect to combine with various sauces. Truffles grow all over Istria but it is hard to find them as they grow underground. A special, very expensive breed of dog is used to locate them. This makes truffle an incredibly luxurious ingredient. If you decide to try this lovely dish, make sure it’s made with fresh truffles and not with store-bought sauce.
This risotto is something you definitely won’t forget. Completely black from cuttlefish’s ink, it certainly leaves an impression. You can find it all over the Croatian coast, and it’s somethingthat shouldn’t be missed.
Baked octopus just might be the most delicious thing I have ever tasted. If possible, try to find a restaurant where it’s traditionally prepared. Traditionally, an octopus is put under a baking bell (or dome), along with potatoes, and then the bell is covered with hot ash until octopus and potatoes are baked. Other food, such as bread or meat, can be baked this way as well.
Gregada is a fish broth traditionally prepared in Dalmatia, the most south region of Croatia. It’s basically a soup and a main course in one. That’s always a plus in my book. Its main ingredients are fish, potatoes, and onions. Preferably, “high-class” fish, such as cod, sea bream, sea bass, etc., is to be used.
Pasticada is a stew made from veal or beef. It originates from Dalmatia, so it’s often referred to as Dalmatian Pasticada. This dish is extremely complicated and requires lots of effort and knowledge to prepare. The meat is stuffed and pierced with pieces of bacon, garlic cloves, and carrot and then left to marinate overnight in spices and vinegar. The next day it is cooked with lots of vegetables for up to five hours. It is usually served with homemade pasta or gnocchi.
Lamb on a rotisserie
Premium Croatian lamb comes from the island of Pag and from Lika, the Croatian mountain region. It’s the best (and the most expensive) meat you can find in Croatia. Lambs roam freely and eat only grass and wild spices (rosemary, thyme, basil). This makes their meat not only organic but savory as well. There are many ways to prepare a lamb, but lamb on a rotisserie is probably the best. It takes hours for the lamb to be prepared this way. Most of the excess fat goes away and you are left with juicy, perfectly roasted meat.
There are many other tasty dishes you can find on the Croatian coast, but I’ll leave them for you to find on your own.