Deep fried dough with a delicious filling of sweet cream, chocolate or jam, Croatians enjoy krofne year-round. They are especially popular during the poklade carnival, and hence are also called or ‘pokladnice’. The dough consists of flour, eggs, sugar, yeast, a little rum, vanilla sugar and lemon peel. You’ll find these delicious doughnuts in most Croatian bakeries and are tastiest when freshly made with a warm filling such as apricot jam and sprinkled with icing sugar!
The zagorje štrukli or štruklji is a popular and centuries old dish served mostly in northern Croatia. With dough being the base, štruklji can be made with easily accessible ingredients such flour, salt, egg, vinegar and oil. Its versatile nature makes it perfect for a range of dishes from appetiser, main, snack and dessert. Usually it is prepared by stuffing the dough with cheese (although the filling can vary) which is then wound up in a tablecloth before being divided into small pillows which can be either boiled or baked. Its recipe is so treasured it’s been placed on the Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Croatia.
KRPICE SA ZELJEM
Translating to ‘pasta with cabbage’, krpice sa zeljem is a traditional dish consisting of thick pasta and sweet fried cabbage. Served in homes across continental Croaita, its low-cost ingredients make it a popular amongst large families. The essential ingredient is pig fat which is caramelised in sugar and meat such as bacon or sausages are also sometimes added. It’s simple, yet incredibly delicious!
You’ll be hard pressed to find a seafood restaurant that doesn’t offer this popular dish. Translating to black risotto, crni rizot is basically a seafood risotto with squid ink, giving it its black colour. Just make sure you smile with your lips closed after, as you will be sure to have black teeth!
Credit: Julie Underwood
These traditional Croatian cookies date back to the 16th century and are uniquely flavoured with black pepper (or papar in Croatian). Despite the black pepper ingredient, you’ll find paprenjaci biscuits are actually sweet and contain a range of other ingredients including honey, hazelnuts, walnuts, butter and various spices. Their distinct flavour makes them a must try when in Croatia.
SKAMPI NA BUZARU
One of the simplest (and most delicious) methods of cooking seafood is known as buzara in coastal Croatia. In skampi na buzaru, scampi along with shrimps, clams and/or mussels are cooked quickly in garlic, white wine, parsley and breadcrumbs. This is truly one of the best ways to enjoy the fresh seafood on offer in Croatia but roll up your sleeves and jump straight in as this tasty dish is eaten with your hands!