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Croatian specialities

Here are a few authentic Croatian specialties that because of their geographical features, you will not find anywhere else in the world. So if you want to try something truly authentic and unusual, opt for something from our selection. Do not skip the grilled fish, fresh vegetables, fish stews, frogs and eels in the Neretva, Ston oysters and other authentic Croatian cuisine which is primarily domestic organic produce without pesticides, additives and preservatives. 

 

Paški cheese

 

Paski cheese is the best Croatian cheese. It is produced on the island of Pag with native sheep milk. The special nature of the cheese is reflected in the flora of the island, which due to strong gusts of bura wind from Velebit, is scarce yet an extremely rich variety of aromatic herbs. The same bura raises the sea and the salt from it is deposited on the plants that the sheep eat daily. This is where the cheese gets its unbelievably incredible flavour that you will not find any anywhere else. The cheese is divided into young and old. Young paski cheese is one that has ripened for up to a year and is mild in flavour, has a salty taste and light colour. The old cheese is harder, darker and has a spicier flavour. Regardless of whether it’s a young or old cheese, gourmet delight is guaranteed. The young cheese goes well with Dalmatian ham (prsut) or Slavonian kulen while the old fits with local red wine. Paski cheese is certified as being an authentic Croatian product.

 

Drniški pršut

 

Although all Dalmatian prosciutto (prsut) is great tasting, that from Drnis is extra special. Like paski cheese, it too is certified as an authentic Croatian product. Prsut has a great taste due to the centuries-old traditional production methods. Manufacturing begins by rubbing large, small and medium-sized sea salt on the meat leg. Then, it’s smoked over a fire made ​​of hornbeam, oak and beech making sure that the wood has no resin within it. The ham is left to smoke for about two months until it develops a distinctive copper colour. The ham is then put in a specific climatic room for ventilation where it is aired in the northerly and southerly wind to slowly mature. The whole process should take around 12-18 months. When ready, it’s characterised by its moderately salty and mildly smoked meat. It contains no preservatives and additives.

 

Slavonski kulen

 

Slavonian Kulen is an original Croatian cured meat product. It’s produced by drying smoking pork intestines which are then stuffed with a mixture of spices and finely chopped pork meat specially reared for the production of Slavonian Kulen. This product is marked by history, tradition and the culture of living in Slavonia. It is therefore included in the list of protected cultural monuments in Croatia. The Kulen doesn’t lose any of its nutritional properties during the smoking and therefore has a specific colour, smell and taste. The production process takes at least 9 months. Two kulen sausages are certified as authentic Croatian products: Baranja kulen made at the Belja factory and Slavonian kulen made by the Mesoprerada factory.

 

Istrian truffles

 

The Istrian truffle is, as they say, the gold of gourmet gems. The underground fungus thrives very well in Istria and is considered one of the highlights of Croatian cuisine. Istrian truffles are used in various ways in gastronomy - sprinkled over pasta, meat and fish. It’s used in sauces but interestingly also desserts, such as cakes and ice cream. Truffles are divided into white and black varieties. It is interesting that in Motovun, Istria, the biggest truffle in the world was found - weighing 1.3 pounds – entering the Guinness Book of Records. Truffles usually grow in moist soil in the woods near a river. In Istria they use specially trained dogs to find them. Istrian truffles are some of the most awarded in the world. Many of them are even considered to better than their Italian counetraprts.

 

Štrukli

 

Strukli is an authentic Croatian dish that comes from the Zagreb region. They are made of homemade dough and cheese and can be sweet or savoury, depending on preference. Some are cooked while others are baked. Strukli are served as an appetizer, in soups, as an independent small dish or dessert. There are strukli that  are stuffed with other ingredients than cheese too, such as spinach. 

 

Dalmatian pašticada

 

Traditional Dalmatian stew was placed on the list of gastronomic dishes of Croatian heritage. It’s made of special beef silverside, known as frikando. It’s not the easiest dish to make but we will still provide the recipe. Try and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

 

Dishes under the bell

 

The bell is a traditional way of preparing dishes in Dalmatia. These dishes are cooked on charcoal and usually consist of meat and vegetables, fish less so - except octopus and squid which are really popular. Usually the fire is lit on a stone grill plate and when there are enough hot embers so that you can begin cooking. In a shallow round roasting pan, arrange the meat or fish, vegetables and spices and place the bell shaped lid made of thick steel, clay or cast iron over the top. The bell lid is then covered in embers and the surrounding fire must be kept going in case the embers begin to cool. Other than veal, lamb, chicken, octopus and squid under the bell, bread made in this way is especially tasty.

 



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