When visiting a certain country, food is an essential part of every sightseeing. But, basic fast food is not always a good solution. When Croatia is in question, there is so much quality, autochthonous food that you won’t be able to try everything during your stay. So, to make it easy for you, we have selected some delicious “must try” treats that will make you carve for second helpings. We even added some recipes so you can come back home with an useful, long-lasting souvenirs. Dobar tek i navali narode! To see the clearer picture of gastronomy in Croatia, visit this appealing itinerary page and try to resist the mentioned dishes.
Purica z mlinci (turkey with noodles)
For some people, potatoes are essential side dish with every main course. But, for Zagorje people, delicious turkeys have to be served with mlinci. Translated, mlinci means meal noodles. Christmas and Easter holidays are often marked with an appearance of majestic turkeys and huge amount of delicious mlinci. The recipe for turkey and mlinci is seemingly simple, but procedure can be very delicate if you are not experienced. A whole turkey should stay soaked in a brine for prolonged time. That’s just an initial phase. After your turkey is thoroughly covered in moist, you have to add some seasonal vegetables before you put it in the oven. It is recommended that you keep your oven at a low temperature so the turkey can stay juicy. Expert chefs are often including homemade fat in their turkey recipes. Turkeys wouldn’t be so saucy without it. Although mlinci are very simple in its appearance, they can be very filling. Made just from flour, water and salt, you can make them at home or buy it as an already made product in stores. When it comes to preparation with turkey, mlinci should be shattered into little pieces and put in boiling water. Next step is drenching in natural fat of the roast so it can receive juicy meat taste. Overall, Turkey with mlinci is a delicious meal you should try after a long day of sightseeing. Additionally, you can find someone with an experience of making mlinci so you can make them by yourself when you return to your homeland. It will be easy as flour, water and salt. Have fun making it!
Bučnica (pumpkin strudel)
Another treat that is usually made for holiday occasions. But, our grandmothers got so experienced in making it that we developed a habit of eating Bučnica several times a month. No festivity, fair or some other event cannot be organized without Bučnica as a primary gastronomic treat. Making it can be a little bit tricky, but once you get a hang of it, you will be able to make it no time. Here are the needed ingredients:
500 g of white smooth flour
200 ml of tepid water
30 g of lard
Pinch of salt
400 g of fresh cheese
100 g of sour cream
1 summer squash
½ TBS of sugar
80 g of water
Pinch of salt
1. Peel the squash, cut in half length ways, remove the centre and then grate the squash in a bowl with a grater. Add a couple pinches of salt.
2. Sift the flour in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt, 1 whole egg, the lukewarm water and lard and mix together with fingers.
3. Place on a board and knead the dough into a ball shape. Coat with vegetable oil. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
4. Squeeze all excess water from the grated squash and place in a bowl. Add the fresh cheese, pinch of salt, sugar, sour cream and 2 whole eggs. Mix all together.
5. Sprinkle flour over a tablecloth spread out on a hard surface and roll out the dough. Stretch it out with your hand until it is very thin. Cut the edges straight then rub oil over the dough with your hands.
6. Put the filing along the top and bottom row of the dough and roll from the bottom and top to meet in the centre. Cut into long pieces to fit your dish.
7. Crease a dish with butter. Place the bučnica in the dish; add some more butter to the top then place in oven. Bake for 30 minutes at 195 °C.
Serve warm or cold.
Remember, when Bučnica is done, it is only a matter of minutes when the plate with this treat is emptied.
This wonderful treat is common for late autumn/early winter period when the harsh wheatear forces us to stay at our homes. We already mentioned bučnica. Now, imagine a treat with the most delicious fruit filling you can imagine. That’s a strudel for you. It comes in many forms, but cherry and apple strudels are the most prominent types. Although there are many varieties of strudel, all you need for beginning are flour, water, oil and salt. Traditionally, strudels are made with fruit mixes, but if you could find some traditional recipes from our grandmas, you can make traditional cheese strudel. You will have to:
Knead dough nicely to make it elastic so you can extend it properly afterwards. If you think that your dough is too sticky, add more flour. Once the dough is not anymore pasted on the surface, it is partly finished. Additionally knead dough so it can have clean, smooth surface without granules. Here is what you need for dough preparing:
Flour (Smooth, 1 kg)
Water (0, 5 l, add more if needed)
Oil (One little cup)
Salt (One little coffee cup)
After you knead dough, divide it on 4 equal parts. Cover balls of dough with a blanket and leave them for 15 minutes. While the dough is resting still, prepare cheese/apples. For cheese making, you will need these ingredients:
Cheese, cream, 0,3 dl of oil
Sugar (two bigger spoons)
Eggs (one egg)
Salt (just a pinch)
Vanilla sugar (one little package)
When you prepare cheese/apples, extend your dough. To extend it more easily, add more oil if needed. After you roll the dough into strudel form, put it in the oven and bake on 180 C for about 30 minutes.
Spend your long winter evenings with delicious strudels in front of you!
Salty, greasy clump of dry bacon: delicatessen of our ancestors. Špek is an unavoidable part of today’s meetings, events and general socializing. If you come to Zagorje, you will probably be served špek as some kind of appetizer before your main course. It is so popular that many field workers are bringing špek with them so they can have a quick lunch while having rest. Also, if you ever visit vineyard houses, be ready to try some špek because your host will probably have some. Make sure you get some bread so you can make an unforgettable špek sandwich!
You probably tried sausages many times before in your life. But, in Croatia, they are very popular among people of Slavonia. Kobase are part of gastronomic culture in Croatia. Just like špek, they are eaten along with a fine wine, cheese and bread. One of the nice ways to eat kobase is to mix it with ajvar. Ajvar is a mild paprika sauce that is served as a side dish with potatoes, rice, wienerwurst and sausages. Traditionally, fresh sausages are prepared from pigs that were breeded for the whole year. This event happens at the end of every November so people who are making sausages are securing food for long, cold winters. Initially, sausages are dried to get characteristic, rich taste. There are many meat and aroma varieties of kobase, so pick your favorite when you come to Slavonia, Varaždin or Croatian Zagorje. A great, wholesome experience for your taste buds!
Fritule (Sweet, fried dough)
This treat is very easy to make and there are many varieties of fritula available – cherry, apple, chocolate, vanilla… Usually, this treat is not prepared at home, most common appearances are on the fairgrounds, street fairs and especially during Christmas advent is December. Traditional recipes are passed from generation to another. We will give you an old recipe for fritule. You will need:
500 g of flour
25 g of yeast
50 g of dry raisins
200 ml of milk
0,5 dl of schnapps (if you have some)
1 spoon of oil
60 g of sugar
Pinch of salt
1. Melt yeast in a bowl which contains a little bit of tepid milk. Add spoon of sugar and put the whole composition on a warm place so it can rise.
2. Spread flour and put it in a bowl, whisk eggs, put raisins and quartered figs (shape them like little cubes), mix schnapps, oil, milk and grated lemon crusts.
3. At the end, add yeast and knead dough. Allow it to rise on a warm place for 30 minutes.
4. Take the completed form of yeast with a spoon and put it in the hot oil. Fry your dough on the mild fire until fritulas get red shades on both sides.
5. Put the fried fritulas in a bowl, sprinkle some sugar above them and serve them hot.
Master the craft of making fritulas at home and you won’t have to wait for the Chritmas time to try them!
Orehnjača and makovnjača (chestnut and poppy seed roll).
Another traditional dessert that is often served on birthdays or during holidays. Many families still hold the recipes that grandmas made many decades ago. Thanks to this preservation, our mothers are making us happy by baking this savory treat on special and less special occasions. Croats sometimes say Malo smo se odlučili počastiti (We have decided to treat ourselves a little bit). When uttered, it means that certain delicatessen is in question. There is a high probability that Orehnjača is waiting in the baking pot. Similar variety of this dessert also exists: Makovnjača or poppy seed role. While eating it, little pieces of poppy can stuck between your teeth and on the roof of your mouth. But, consider it a short length souvenir from an appetizing cake candy.
Kroštule are traditional dessert common for the region of Dalmatia and Kvarner. Kroštule are also known as “angel wings”. Interesting thing about Kruštulas is that there is no one, particular recipe for making it. Seems like every part of south Croatia has a specific version of it. Whether you are visiting Brač, Hvar or Istria, you will probably have a chance to try a special kind of Kroštula. You can always adapt the recipe according to your tastes. We will give you one method of making it.
200 g of flour
3 egg yolks
1 spoon of sugar
1 spoon of cream
2 spoons of rum
Pinch of salt
Add a pinch of salt, mixed egg yolks, sugar, cream, rum in the flour. Then add water and knead some hard dough. Leave the dough for half an hour. When the time comes, roll out the dough to make it thin.
Cut the dough on thin strips and then make a simple knot out of them. Shape them in some other way if you are able to.
After you formed Kroštulas, deep fry them
After Kroštulas are fried, sprinkle some powdered sugar over them.
Kroštulaš are so tasty that it is no wander they are called angel wings. It is food of angelic deliciousness!