Whether you plan to holiday in Croatia for its stunning coastline, epic architecture or paradisiacal islands, one thing is certain – your taste buds are in for a real treat. Croatian food and drink is as rich and varied as the country itself. Almost every region has its own delicacies, as well as its own twists on authentic dishes. Master the nation’s culinary skills yourself, and you’ll be able to whip up Croatian food no matter where you are in the world.
1. Strukli and Croatian white wine
Self-catering holidays are great for learning new cooking skills and recipes, such as the Croatian speciality strukli. Originally from the northern regions of Zagreb and Hrvatsko Zagorje, strukli is a prized national dish made up of dough and a cottage cheese filling which can be either baked or boiled. Better yet, it uses relatively few ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
Salt and pepper
Fresh cottage cheese
This is best enjoyed with a fine, crisp local white wine, preferably while sat on the balcony of a villalooking over Croatia’s serene scenery.
2. Pasticada and Dalmatian red wine
Cooking Croatia’s local cuisine also opens your eyes to the amount of love and care that some dishes require. Pasticada is one such dish, and although it takes a little longer to make, the end results entirely justify the means. It’s a slow cooked, stewed beef dish that originates from the Croatia’s southern Dalmatia region.
Drizzle it in a special red wine and puréed vegetable sauce, before serving it with homemade gnocchi. There’s plenty of different ingredients and flavours, so it’ll certainly fill your villa holiday with its sweet aromas for days. To compliment the allures of the dish, opt for a cooled glass of Dalmatian red wine, you won’t regret it.
3. Manestra and Croatian beer
Manestra is a vegetable soup that hails from the Istrian region of Croatia. Again, it does take some time to prepare, but the taste makes it well worth the fruits of your labour. This traditional dish is a hearty one made with beans, seasonal vegetables, and often pasta shells and pork.
You’ll find many local families and restaurants have their own well-guarded Manestra recipe, and for good reason too. This dish is delicious and is extremely enjoyable with a Croatian beer such as Osjecko, the oldest beer brewer (it’s been produced since the 17th century) in all of Croatia! To top it off, you can always follow it up with a glass of Prošek. Not to be confused with Prosecco, Prosek is a sweet desert wine that will add a finishing touch of heaven to any meal.
Feeling inspired? Take a look at some Villa Plus Croatian properties and take the first step towards your next big getaway.
By Imogen Bishop, a part time travel writer, part time restaurant critic, and full-time mum. She has an affinity for Mediterranean cuisine and can usually be found in the kitchen with a bottle of olive oil in hand.