Thanks to climatic varieties and centuries of foreign influences, culinary art in Croatia today is a very broad term, encompassing mountain, continental and Mediterranean cuisine enriched with Italian, French, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman traditions. At the same time, Croatian gastronomy has its own touch and nobody can deny that. The following original Croatian recipes are proof of this speciality.
SOPARNIK, more precisely called Poljički soparnik since it is a specialty of Dalmatian Poljica, is basically a simple dish consisting of chard, onions, parsley, garlic and olive oil between two layers of the simplest dough. In the past soparnik was considered a dish for the poor because it was usually prepared in the days of the fasting, such as the Christmas Eve or the Great Friday. Today is a delicacy of elite restaurants.
SINJSKI ARAMBAŠIĆI are a blend of northern and eastern influences, but shaped in a specific way, traditional for the area of the town of Sinj. While the cabbage souring in our region was brought from the north, the Turks have learned the habit of rolling meat in the sarmice (wraps). However, people of Sinj do not mince meat, but chop it with a knife, and instead with rice, mix it with dried meat, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Wrapped in a cabbage, they make arambašići or so-called harambašas, leader of the troop of the alkar men, since the wraps were put in clay pots as soldiers.
BRAČKI VITALAC is a dish made from lamb offal prepared in a unique way. The lambs are eaten before they have tasted grass, fed only with the mother's milk. Offal is skewered, additionally enriched with sea salt and aromatic spices and roasted on fire for about an hour and a half. The result is an irresistible combination of juicy and crispy.
ZAGORSKI ŠTRUKLI are, in many respects, a trademark of Zagorje’s gastronomic offer, but also of the Croatian capital. Creamy filling made from cottage cheese wrapped in a freshly spread dough is a recipe for this simple dish, which can be prepared in a salty or sweet version. Some say that the best štrukli are prepared by grandmothers, while others claim that the best ones are those you prepare yourself.
DALMATIAN PAŠTICADA is a beef dish cooked for several hours, after a day of being marinated in vinegar or wine. It is usually served with traditional gnocchi and is an inevitable specialty of gourmet lovers.
PEKA does not imply certain ingredients, but the way of preparing meals. Namely, it is about preparing food in a "komin" - a bowl of ingredients is placed in a fireplace and is covered with ember. Favourite specialties prepared under peka are veal, lamb and octopus. The most popular side dish is potato prepared in the same way.