Croatian cuisine is heterogeneous and is known as a cuisine of the regions since every region has its own distinct culinary traditions. Its roots date back to ancient times and the differences in the selection of foodstuffs and forms of cooking are most notable between those on the mainland and those in coastal regions. Mainland cuisine is more characterized by the earlier Slavic and the more recent contacts with neighboring cultures - Hungarian, Austrian and Turkish, using lard for cooking, and spices such as black pepper, paprika, and garlic. The coastal region bears the influences of the Greek, Roman and Illyrian, as well as of the later Mediterranean cuisine - Italian (especially Venetian) and French, using olive oil, and herbs and spices such as rosemary, sage, bay leaf, oregano, marjoram, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, lemon and orange rind. Peasant cooking traditions are based on imaginative variations of several basic ingredients (cereals, dairy products, meat, fish, vegetables) and cooking procedures (stewing, grilling, roasting, baking), while bourgeois cuisine involves more complicated procedures and use of selected herbs and spices. Charcuterie is part of Croatian tradition in all regions. Food and recipes from former Yugoslav countries are also popular in Croatia.
Croatian cuisine can be divided into a few regional cuisines (Istria, Dalmatia, Dubrovnik, Lika, Gorski Kotar, Zagorje, Međimurje, Podravina, Slavonija) which all have their specific cooking traditions, characteristic for the area and not necessarily well known in other parts of Croatia. Most dishes, however, can be found all across the country, with local variants. This is also why the varied cuisine of Croatia is called "cuisine of the regions".
Meat and game 
- Specialities from the grill are called s roštilja, those roasted on the spit s ražnja
- pečeno means roasted
- prženo means fried
- pod pekom means that the dish has been put into a stone oven under a metal cover. The cook puts hot coals on the cover so that the meal is cooked slowly in its own juices. Specialties cooked pod pekom include lamb, veal, and octopus.
Croatian meat based dishes include:
Croatian seafood dishes include:
- Sea spider salad
- Breaded catfish or carp
- Grilled sardines or other fish (na gradele)
- Buzara or Buzzara (shellfish sautéed in garlic, olive oil, parsley & white wine)
- Date shells or prstaci are part of the traditional cuisine, but in the 20th century their extraction was banned as a measure of ecological protection
is very popular in most parts of Croatia
Side dishes 
Croatian style Punjena Paprika/stuffed peppers
Sausages and ham 
Cheese (sir) 
Savoury pies 
Viška pogača is a salted sardine filled foccacia from the island of Vis. Soparnik is a Dalmatian chard filled pie.
, in Croatia also known as Palačinke
- Bučnica (summer squash and cottage cheese pie)
Sweets and desserts 
Cakes (kolači) 
Main article: Croatian wine
Croatia has two main wine regions: Continental (Kontinetalna) and Coastal (Primorska), which includes the islands. Each of the main regions is divided into sub-regions which are divided yet further into smaller vinogorje, (literally wine hills) and districts. Altogether, there are more than 300 geographically-defined wine-producing areas in Croatia. In parts of Croatia, wine, either red or white, is sometimes consumed mixed in approximately equal proportions with water.
Dessert wines 
Beers (pivo) 
Apart from the great abundance of imported international beers (Heineken, Tuborg, Gösser, Stella Artois, etc.), you will find some tasty home-brewn beers in Croatia. (Real fans need to know that the brewery in Split produces Bavarian Kaltenberg beer by licence of the original brewery in Germany.)
Liqueurs and spirits 
A bottle of Maraschino liqueur.
Croatia is a country of coffee drinkers (on average 5kg per person annually), not only because it was formerly part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, but also because it bordered the former Ottoman Empire. Traditional coffee houses similar to those in Vienna are located throughout Croatia.
Mineral water 
Regarding its water resources, Croatia has a leading position in Europe. Concerning water quality, Croatian water is greatly appreciated all over the world. Due to a lack of established industries there have also been no major incidents of water pollution.
Juices and syrups 
See also 
Further reading 
- "Hrvatska za stolom - mirisi i okusi Hrvatske", Ivanka Biluš et al., Zagreb:Alfa, Koprivnica: Podravka, 1996, 192 p., illustrated in color, (Biblioteka Anima Croatarum, 2) ISBN 953-168-104-X
- "Hrvatska vina" (Croatian wines), Fazinić Nevenko, Milat Vinko, illustrated, 159 p., 1994, ISBN 953-173-061-X
- "Nova hrvatska kuhinja" (New Croatian cuisine), Davor Butković, Ana Ugarković, Profil international, Zagreb, 2005, 272 p., ISBN 953-12-0164-1
- Callec, Christian (2003), written at The Netherlands, Wine: A Comprehensive Look at the World's Best Wine, New York: Random House (published 2002), ISBN 0-517-22165-9.
External links