A person who is a culinary gourmet will definitely visit Croatia sometime. The fact is that Croatian cuisine, recipes of which often take hundreds of years, is so unusual and delicious that even cooks and connoisseurs from countries that are recognized masters in cooking take off their hats to Croatian restaurateurs and hostesses. Dishes of Croatian cuisine will surprise with novelty, variety, variability, depending on the region where they are prepared, and, of course, incredible taste characteristics. It is said that even Italians love and appreciate the pizza that is cooked in Croatia. Croatian wines are drunk both in France and in Sicily, considering them the most delicious and rich. Well, the restaurants of Croatian cuisine still do not reveal the secrets of preparing many national dishes, whose age has long exceeded a hundred years.
Historical aspects of occurrence and features
Croatia, like any country in the Balkans, has its own, pronounced culinary traditions. The origin of Croatian cuisine took place in ancient times. The culinary preferences of people in this territory were strictly divided depending on where they lived - in the coastal or mainland of modern Croatia. Even today, such a division in Croatian cuisine is the place to be. In the central part of Croatia, uniting Zagreb and Slavonia, culinary traditions were formed under the influence of Slavic contacts, as well as later - Austrian, Arab, Turkish and Hungarian.
Therefore, lamb, all kinds of poultry, beef, spices, vegetables, fruits, and garlic are very popular in this part of Croatia. On the Adriatic coast (Istria, Dubrovnik and Dalmatia), Croatian cuisine was formed under the influence of Greek, Roman, as well as Franco-Italian cuisines in later periods. As a result, there is an abundance of seafood on the menu, seasoned with olive oil, orange and lemon zest, spices and herbs, among which Croatian cooks are especially fond of nutmeg, rosemary, cinnamon, cloves, oregano and marjoram. Well, as the unifying factor of Croatian cuisine, the culinary of all modern states that previously were part of Yugoslavia acts.
So, the main feature of the national Croatian cuisine is its regionality, formed today by the cuisines of Istria, Dalmatia, Dubrovnik, Slavonia, Lika, Podravina, Medimursk, Croatian Zagorje. Among other unique characteristics, it should be said about the simplicity of amazing-tasting dishes that local people eat and on holidays and daily. It was Croatian cuisine that gave cheeses the value of a souvenir; they are so loved in this country that the Croats cannot find the best gift for any holiday.
Another important feature of the national Croatian cuisine is the large amount of alcohol produced by the locals at home. The most popular here is homemade wine called choco, plum brandy plum brandy, other types of brandy on various herbal bases - komovitsa, biska, travark, vignac, beer, pink, red and white wines.
Modern Croatian cuisine, being traditionally Mediterranean, nevertheless differs in culinary authenticity by Western European approaches and traditions. Croats have a plentiful, hearty breakfast, and their meal in the morning consists of various sandwiches, which include ham, sausages, all kinds of cheeses loved by Croats, as well as eggs of any kind, delicious pastries, strong aromatic coffee. For lunch, locals prefer to eat complex sets of dishes - the first (soups), hot (meat or fish plus side dish), and always dessert.
To prepare their culinary masterpieces, the cooks of the Croatian cuisine use cooking, frying, prepare dishes on an open fire, bake them or stew. Food preparation methods and its components came to Croatian cuisine, thanks to the numerous historical interactions of this people with the peoples of neighboring countries. Restaurants of Croatian cuisine, as well as local taverns called "Konobe", offer their visitors a cozy homely atmosphere, fireplace rooms, and dishes prepared with the freshest and highest quality products of their own production.
Famous croatian recipes
Dishes of Croatian cuisine, the recipes of which are very difficult to find even on the Internet, will appeal to all gourmets who want to visit this country or just a restaurant of national Croatian cuisine in another country of the world. Page cheese made on the island of Pag is a natural product made from sheep’s milk, and the breed of sheep living in Croatia is unique in itself - no other sheep could survive in similar conditions. In its production, olive oil and herbs are also used. Page cheese is a symbol of modern Croatia, which is definitely worth a try if this opportunity arises.
Zagorsk juha is a very thick first course - a soup based on paprika, potatoes, onions, bacon and garlic, seasoned with sour cream. In some regional restaurants in Croatia, chefs complement the classic composition of this soup with mushrooms.
Among the national dishes of Croatian cuisine, mention should be made of sarma or cabbage rolls from smoked cabbage and smoked meats, black risotto risotto containing cuttlefish ink and numerous seafood, and an incredible strudel according to an improved Viennese cook recipe with the addition of a honey-nut mixture. The most popular and delicious recipes of Croatian cuisine can be prepared at home with a detailed examination.
For example, prosciutto - ham made from dried in the wind or smoked pork ham. In various regions of Croatia, prosciutto is prepared using unique technologies. However, this ham is invariably served with national cheese, melon and olives.
For homemade cooking, you must rinse, dry the meat and remove all unnecessary fat from it. Next, the prepared meat should be grated with sea salt and put in a large container, where it will be subsequently prepared. Future prosciutto is cleaned for several weeks in a refrigerator or cellar, periodically removing the resulting brine and adding salt.
After 2-3 weeks, the meat for prosciutto is placed on the grill and crushed by a press. The future prshut is in this position for several more weeks, after which they wash the meat, wipe it dry and try to dry it in a draft in a suspended state at 12-16 degrees. The drying process takes a very long time - from 10 months to 2 years. During this period, the meat should lose up to 30% of its own weight.
This technique is very long and laborious and is not always suitable for home use. In modern Croatian cuisine, there is another way of aging meat for prosciutto. It consists in the fact that after the meat is laid under a press, it must be moved to a smokehouse with a minimum temperature of one day. After that, you can begin to dry prshut.
Thinly sliced prosciutto is the best delicacy in Croatia and Montenegro, it is eaten both as an independent snack and used to prepare other dishes. For example, in order to cook one of the famous snacks, in the Balkan countries they use only two ingredients - prshut and the local fermented milk product Kaimak. To prepare kaymak, it is necessary to grind the fat milk in the oven for three hours. After this, the kaymak is cooled, the upper layer is removed from it, which the Croats like to eat, wrapped in the thinnest layers of prosciutto. Kaymak tastes like gentle cottage cheese, which is sometimes replaced with cream cheese. The slices of prosciutto are sliced, a cream cheese is spread on them, olives, salt and pepper are added to taste to taste, as well as salad. The prosciutto is wrapped in the form of a roll, chipped with a skewer and cooled for half an hour. This appetizer is the perfect complement to homemade Croatian wine.
Among the popular first courses of Croatia, ear wanders are popular. This is a fish soup, thick in consistency, which should contain a lot of types of fish, spices and wine. This dish on the Mediterranean coast was born on its own as a result of an overabundance of fish products that arose from seafarers after a large amount of their catch was constantly unsold. Due to the fact that no one chose certain varieties of seafood and fish for wandering, the taste of this fish soup turned out to be very rich and rich. There is no single recipe for the dish, there are only basic cooking principles that must be observed in order to get a pretty tasty meal.
So, for cooking homemade brodet, you can take:
- 600 grams of squid tentacles;
- 300 grams of saury;
- 1 onion;
- 400 grams of tomato puree;
- 200 grams of white fish fillet;
- 300 grams of mackerel;
- 40 milliliters of olive oil;
- 5 cloves of garlic;
- 100 milliliters of dry white wine;
- 30 grams of fresh parsley;
- 2 teaspoons dried basil.
To cook the brodet correctly, you should consistently prepare the components:
- Clear squid tentacles. To do this easily and quickly, you should lower the tentacles in boiling water for literally 1 minute. Everything unnecessary is very easily removed after that. When cleaning raw squids on tentacles, you need to pick up a whitish film and gently pull it, removing it from the surface of the seafood. Then, under the water stream, you need to carefully probe the squid for the presence of growths on the suction cups. The cleaned squid tentacles turn white on one side and tender on the side of the suction cups.
- Mackerel and saury for brooding must be thoroughly gutted, cleaned, cut off the head, fins and skin. Then the prepared fish is cut into transverse slices or fillets are made from it.
- In ceramic or cast iron thick-bottomed dishes, it is necessary to fry half-rings of onion in transparent olive oil until transparent. Then add garlic to the bowl and mix it with onions. Next, you need to add tomato puree made from fresh tomatoes without skin into the garlic-onion mixture. Wine is poured into the dishes and the resulting sauce is brought to a boil. After boiling it is necessary to place the squid. Squids need to be stewed in the sauce for 40 minutes, during which they soften and saturate the sauce with their aromas.
- In almost prepared squids, you need to add the fillet of white fish. These fish mix dishes perfectly combine fatty and nonfat seafood. Saury with mackerel can be completely replaced with salmon, for example. As a white low-fat fish, hake, pollock or flounder are perfect.
- The sauce must be salt with sea salt.
- The dish is brought to a boil and cooked for 10 minutes. It is not necessary to mix the fish in the sauce so as not to damage its structure, or mix, but very carefully. Instead of mixing, you can periodically shake the pan to evenly distribute all the ingredients in it.
- At the end, you need to add fresh and dried greens to the wander.
- After the introduction of greens, the wandering should again boil, after which it must be tasted for a balanced taste of the dish. With undesirable notes in the taste, brodet can be supplemented with salt, sugar and pepper.
At the end of cooking, the wander should insist under the lid for a couple of minutes, and then serve hot to the table. For a garnish, this dish is suitable for both authentic Mediterranean polenta and familiar mashed potatoes.
When cooking on an open fire or charcoal, the Croatian cuisine offers to enjoy very unusual dishes from its traditional recipe. Chevapchichi are original and very tasty grilled sausages in Croatia, prepared on charcoal or grill. Recipes of Croatian cuisine at home allow the preparation of this dish in the oven or on a grill pan. Chevapchichi with fried potatoes, onion half rings and vegetable snacks are served to the table.
The main ingredients of chevapchich include such products:
- onion head;
- 50 milliliters of mineral sparkling water;
- 500 grams of minced meat;
- paprika to taste;
- 1 teaspoon of salt;
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil;
- freshly ground black pepper to taste.
The recipe for chevapchichi includes the following successive steps:
- It is necessary to cook beef or pork and ground beef by passing it through a meat grinder twice. In the minced meat you need to add salt, pepper, paprika and finely chopped onions and mix well. Then pour mineral water into the minced meat and continue to knead the minced meat for 10 minutes. After this, the minced meat is poured with olive oil so that the oily film covers the entire surface of the meat, in order to avoid airing it. In this form, the minced meat is placed in the refrigerator overnight.
- To form chevapchichi should cut off the neck of a plastic bottle. Stirred minced meat must be pushed through the opening of the neck and thus form sausages, which must be laid out successively on a cutting board.
- Grill the pan with a little oil with olive oil and put ready-made sausages on it.
- Chevapchichi are fried for 8-10 minutes on each side, periodically turning over in a pan.
Croatian cuisine invites its fans to definitely try the puff pastry made of meat - burek. For the preparation of burek in the restaurants of Croatia use:
- half a kilogram of ground beef;
- 2 onions;
- 250 grams of finished puff pastry;
- 50 grams of any greens (parsley, dill, green onions and other are suitable);
- salt and pepper to taste;
- sesame to taste;
- sunflower oil.
To prepare the puff pie, the onions must be cut into cubes, sautéed in sunflower oil and mixed with minced meat. Next, greens are added to the minced meat, the mixture is salted, peppered and thoroughly mixed.
The dough must be divided into 4 parts, each of which must be rolled thinly and immediately filled with stuffing from minced meat. The dough should be plucked and curled with a snail. Burek is baked in the oven at a temperature of 200 degrees, sprinkled with sesame seeds, for 25 minutes. 5 minutes before the end of baking, a small piece of butter is placed on each burek.
The benefits of Croatian cuisine
All dishes of national Croatian cuisine are considered incredibly healthy in the world. The Mediterranean and Central European laws of culinary, as well as environmentally friendly products that grow in this territory, allow you to get food that charges with energy and carries a lot of substances useful for the body. The centuries-old history of recipes of Croatian cuisine gives the food incredible aromas and tastes revered by tourists around the world.
Thanks to healthy food, Croats live on average about 75 years, and in the coastal regions of the country, according to experts, even more - about 71 years.