A Tasty Look at the Croatian Gastronomy
Croatia’s gastronomy is a major attraction in itself just as are the country’s fairytale beaches and historical landmarks. Set at the heart of the Dalmatian region, the country’s culinary arts are centered on exotic meals from the Adriatic with the variety of dishes varying from one region to another. Here is a peek behind the curtains of Croatian’s scintillating gastronomy.
1) Crni rizot (Black Risotto)
The crni rizot is a mainstay of all seafood restaurants in the country with this meal essentially a squid risotto. The dish is often conjured not only from squid but also other seafood treats as well such as shellfish, clams and mussels with just a little rice to break the monotony of the meat. Turned black by the squid’s obsidian ink, the crni rizot tastes just as good as it looks.
2) Octopus peke
The octopus peke is a tasty variation of Croatian’s popular hobotnica ispod peke with this dish realized through a combination of veggies, octopus meat and baking meat all simmered together in a fiery bell-esque lid; a cooking method exclusive to the Dalmatian region. You might need to preorder this meal if you fancy a taste however it can be found readily available as a speciality item on the menus of some coastal restaurants.
Basically just a fish stew imbued with a couple of fish varieties (which are too many to count but nonetheless blend in divine, sumptuous balance) prepared in a single pot, the brudet or brodeto is a culinary classic popular in Istria and Kvarner. It has been remastered and reinvented throughout the Dalmatian region with Zlarin Island once known for its lobster brudet while in other parts e.g. Skradin, the brudet was only composed of eels. The falši remains the most intriguing variation that is made just from spices and vegetables- no shellfish, crabs or fish of any kind- and a peculiar stone obtained from the waters of the Adriatic.
4) Skampi na Buzara
The Buzara is a seafood delicacy forged from a mix of crustaceans and precooked shellfish sizzled on a pan alongside other ingredients such as white wine, garlic, breadcrumbs, parsley and olive oil. There is also another twist to the standard depiction of the Buzara that throws in tomato sauce into the composition thereby adding a red color to the crispy brown of the endearing outlay.
The gregada is another fish stew delicacy much like the brudete that is popular across the Dalmatian archipelago with Hvar, in particular, the pinnacle of this vintage Dalmatian dish. It is made from potatoes, salted anchovies, capers, garlic, onions, parsley, salted anchovies and white wine among other ingredients.
6) Oily fish
Croatian’s oily fish borrows the best of both worlds from the Istrian and Dalmatian cuisine and is a popular dish along the coastline that features on the tables of both restaurants and homes as well. Also just as popular are mackerels, sardines, bonito, tuna and Mediterranean sand smelt.
Seafood is the backbone of the Croatian gastronomy and understandably so. With a vast sea at its disposal offering an assortment of the most coveted fish species on earth, Croatia can hold its own with some of the culinary giants in the world. The gastronomy industry is just as renowned as its beautiful islands.