So, you have finally decided to visit Croatia. You have seen thousand and thousand of times this incredible country that attracts tourists from all over the world. It’s natural beauty, the coast and thousands of islands are always a good choice. You have your thicket, the luggage is almost ready, but you don’t know where to start from. This country is small, that’s true, but it has so many cities, places and natural beauties to visit. Not to talk about the food you must try once you’re there.
Especially if you go to Dalmatia and you are visiting the coast, the list of good things to try is very long. The clean sea gives you the possibility to experience and taste some things that are specified and unique. We will make you a kind of a list of things that you should taste, but believe me, the real list is way too long to be written.
1. OLIVE OIL
Croatian (Dalmatian) olive oil is something unique in the world. It’s taste and fragrance are very strong and once you try it, you’ll never forget it for the rest of your life. Dalmatian coast and islands are full of olive trees and every year the olives are pressed and they give litres and litres of fresh olive oil. Usually from 10 kg of olives you get around 1 litre of olive oil. It’s a very hard work but the result is heavenly good.
It can be tasted with a piece of bread or with fresh fish and salads. Some reastaurants offer you the possibility to taste different kind of olive oils and to buy them as well. If you want to buy a bottle of oil and take it home, it’s good to contact the local families and not to buy them in market.
Ok, oysters are luxury and not everyone likes them. But if you do, Ston (city near Dubrovnik) on south of Croatia will be a paradise for you. Every 100 metres there is a possibility to eat them, try them and buy them.
They’re taken straight from the sea and are fresh at 100 %. The best way to eat them is completely raw with a little bit of fresh lemon juice and pepper on the top.
The restaurants of Ston are famous for their fish menu and the fresh oyster they offer every day. The cost variates from 20-30 kune (approximately) and that’s about from 2,5- 4 euros per oyster.
3. HERBS, SPICIES AND VEGETABLES
The Dalmatian cuisine is the healthiest cuisine in the world, listed in the UNESCO intangible heritage. The fish, wine and olive accompanied by fresh vegetables, herbs and spices are the best mix you could ever try.
The herbs that is used a lot in Dalmatia is rosemary. You can find it with every grilled fish or olive oil as well.
The lamb (grilled one), is the most famous type of meat they eat in areas not to close to the sea (the inner areas of Dalmatia). Usually it is served with potatoes and fresh onion. It’s taste is incredible, salty, soft and it melts inside your mouth. The most famous lambs you can try in the reastaurants on Klis.
Same as oysters, mussels are sold near the sea where they’re taken fresh every day. The best way to taste them is raw or just cooked quickly. They don’t cost to much. You can find one kg of fresh mussels at a price of 15 kunas (which is around 2 euros).
6. DALMATIAN SHRIMPS AND BUZARA
If you are in Dalmatia, you must try the recipe of fresh shrimps on buzara. Buzara is a specific way of cooking. You can also make mussels on buzara. All you need is fresh shrimps, olive oil, some breadcrumbs, 2 or 3 gloves of garlic and white wine. It’s the perfect way to taste the fresh shrimps or prawns and all types of shells.
Certainly you want regret it, but you have to find a native Croatian who will make you a traditional recipe. If you don’t taste it you’ll miss a whole new experience.
Peka is a special way of cooking especially famous in Dalmatia. You put a different kind of food (from fish, patatoes, vegetables or meat as a lamb) and you put fire under and over it. It remains like that for a couple of hours and you can taste this incredible recipe. Very famous is peka bread that is a traditional specialty and still lot of people make it at home (if they have the possibility). It has a specific taste of fire and wood and the bread remains very soft for days.
Do try all those things if you come to Croatia, but don’t forget many other things. Just ask the local people and you’ll see that you are going to be more than happy.