With 1,118 miles of stunning coastline and more than 1,000 islands, Croatia is an increasingly well-known travel destination for adventurers with a love of history, culture and dramatic scenery. It should also be a country that comes to mind when people think of food and wine.
The coastal regions of Istria and Dalmatia are famed for their fresh, Adriatic seafood. Here, you’ll find a host of dishes based on shellfish. With its warm Mediterranean climate, the coastal region also enjoys an ever-changing array of fresh seasonal produce.Inland, the cuisine is characterized by recent contacts with neighboring cultures – Hungary, Turkey, and Austria. Paprika and garlic are heavily featured in this cooking, and the desserts, including the delectable kremsnita
, are a wonderful culinary legacy of the Austrian Hungarian empire.
This cream cake, when it’s made around Zagreb, in Croatia has a puff pastry top, predominantly custard cream filling (less whipped cream) and is finished with powdered sugar. The massive size is at first daunting, but the light filling makes the cake easy to eat and not too heavy. Just perfect for an afternoon snack.
The Croatian peninsula of Istria is renowned for truffles. The world’s largest recorded truffle (weighing 1.31 kg.) was found there in 1999. Truffle hunting takes place in the autumn, and local food specialties include pasta or steak with truffles. Italian foodies drive over the border just to have a truffle lunch before returning home. In fact, some say that the best Italian food can be found in Northern Croatia!
You can hunt, dig and taste them in the dark forests of Motovun, on the Istrian peninsula of Croatia. Especially trained truffle-hunting dogs called ‘breks’ are used during the 3-month season, which begins in October.
Croatian wines are equally deserving of praise. Basking in 2,600 hours of sunlight each year, Croatia abounds in a variety of excellent wine growing regions, with both quality red and white varietals. Croatian wine, however, is largely undiscovered. Wine producers are generally boutique, family operations, bottled only in small batches. This means that most of their vintages are consumed by the local market.
Learn more about the culinary delights of Croatia, as well as the Northern Italian Piemonte region, at Central Holidays’ presentation on October 1, 2015 at the State Street office of Santa Barbara Travel.