Typical Croatian Dishes

COLD HORS-D'OEUVRES 

Cold platters 

In almost all parts of Croatia cold hors-d'oeuvres come in the form of a platter consisting of a combination of several types of local specialities. Delicies offered most frequently are one or two types of meat and a cheese typical of the region, all of this complemented to pleasure the eye and the taste buds with various kinds of fresh and pickled vegetables. 

 
[Zagorje platter]

 

HOT HORS-D'OEUVRES 
SMALL DISHES 

Zagorski Štrukli 

Zagorski Štrukli  
(or "Štrukli a la Zagorje") is a well-known dish from the Zagorje and Prigorje regions around the city of Zagreb. The rich filling has for a long time made štrukli a much-appreciated speciality despite the fact that the ingredients could be found in even the most impoverished rural homestead. Indeed, it is the readily available character of necessary ingredients that resulted in several variants of this dish, adapted to the customs of individual areas. 

 
[Štrukli Zagorje style]

MAIN COURSE
NATIONAL DISHES
 

Istrian Yota (Stew)  

This dish is, as its name implies, a meal characteristic of Istria and is prepared from sauerkraut, beans, smoke-dried meats and various kinds of seasoning. 

 
[Istrian Yota]

 

Sauerkraut Lika style  

This traditional dish from Lika will make a welcome addition to the menu during the winter months. This meal always consists of sauerkraut and smoked meat, sausage or bacon, and is eaten with a dish of potatoes boiled in their jackets, or baked potato halves in their jackets. 

 
[Sauerkraut Lika style]

NATIONAL ROASTS
 

Turkey with mlinci  

Mlinci is a kind of side dish prepared from fat-free dough. It should be cooked trough but not to the point of being mushy.  
This is a speciality typical of Hrvatsko zagorje and its name originates from its shape, which resembles, in its uncooked state, a mill stone. Mlinci go particularly well with poultry.  
Hen turkey with mlinci is a dish that has become almost a synonym for the cuisine of Zagorje and the areas surrounding Zagreb. It is served at every festive gathering during autumn and winter, beginning with All Saints. 

 
[Turkey with mlinci]

 

Lamb baked in a čripnja (saće or peka)  

This renowned and extremely tasty dish originates from times now long past, when rural communities prepared their meals on an open fire and under an inverted bowl. It is called variously a čripnja, a peka or a saće, in different regions. For the benefit of contemporary tourists through, this dish is usually prepared in a round or oval oven proof enameled or stainless steel liddle vessel which is placed on a hot, fire-clay slab. 

 
[Lamb baked in a čripnja 
(saće or peka)]

FISH COURSES
 

Scampi or shellfish buzara  

As much as it almost primevally simple to prepare, so is buzara an etymological mystery. Despite exhaustive research, no similar word can be found in any affiliated language, nor in the languages of our geographical neighbours. The closest expression, found in Venetian dialect, means a "folly, stupidity, nonsense," or "slops a hotchpotch, a mixture of all and everything." But it is hardly likely that anybody would describe scampi, mussels or date shells - prepared only with oil, garlic, parsley and wine (but absolutely never with onions) - as slops. It is far more likely that this is an autochthonous Croatian dish from the Adriatic coastal regions. 

 
[Scampi buzara]

 

Novalja marinade  

This is a well-known fish dish with various modes of preparation and containing various ingredients, two of which are standard: there will always be a marinade made from oil and wine vinegar (kvasina) and, if possible, several types of fish. This particular recipe comes from Novalja on the island of Pag, where it is known as "ribe na saur" (savoury fish). Elsewhere along Croatia's Adriatic coast we find names such as "riba na savur," "riba na sajur," meaning simply "fish marinade." 

 
[Novalja marinade]

DESSERTS AND CAKES
 

Creme caramel  

Creme caramel is a universally popular dessert, and no less so in the region of Dubrovnik, where it is known as rozata, as well as in other parts of the littoral and in Istria. 

 
[Creme caramel]

 

Fritters 

This is a simple sweet typical of the Dalmatian region.

 

Source: Croatia Cuisine, the modern way, copyright Golden marketing, Zagreb, 1995.


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