Nic Freeman

Sharing the wonders of travel & everyday adventures

Travel. Food. Photo. Croatia.

Of all the places I travelled this year, Croatia was perhaps the most unexpected to enter my ‘amazing country for food’ list. From previous travels, I had known to expect plentiful seafood by the Adriatic and Italian influences gracing the hearty Eastern European cuisine, but I now know my first trip to Croatia revealed only bite-sized encounters with the incredible eats in this food-loving nation.

Perhaps the most wonderful thing about Croatian food is the fresh, locally-sourced produce from which it is crafted. We ate the black truffles of Istria, the fish of the Adriatic, the honey, sheep cheese and wine produced on the island of Pag. On the mainland, we ate traditional Dalmatian stews in Zadar and almost everything – the fruit and vegetables and meat and rakija – homegrown and home made in Petrinja.

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Starting in the truffle-rich region of Istria, I relished the fragrant delights of beef carpaccio with black truffles, fuži with ragu, green pasta with truffles and slightly charred ćevapčići with a summer cider at the beach.

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On the revitalising island of Losinj, I indulged in fresh seafood by the crystal clear waters.

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Anchovies, sardines, peppered tuna steaks, grilled squid and plates of mussels in tomato were among the most delicious dishes.

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A healthy carafe of cool white wine, refreshing salads and hearth-warm bread were served with most meals.

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While only briefly in the coastal city of Zadar, we enjoyed a wonderful meal at Pet Bunara; served with a helpful lesson in Croatian pronunciation (which I failed quite spectacularly).

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There we ordered Paticada, a Dalmatian specialty stew of beef marinated in vinegar, lemon and rosemary, served with gnocchi, diced prosciutto and musket nuts.

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The Brodetto was stewed cuttlefish served with broad beans and peas. A side of thinly sliced cucumber, a glass of local red wine and a started of sheep cheese and green olives and melon completed the meal.

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In between ‘special’ meals, we often ate some kind of filling grilled meat and vegetable dish, which was common on menus across the country.

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Sometimes, it was just a serve of potato chips, followed by ice cream, at a sun-blessed marina.

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On the island of Pag, we indulged without reservations. Grilled fish and salads by the sea made for happy lunches.

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But the best lunch of my entire nine month European adventure was enjoyed at Boskinac Winery and Restaurant, just outside the town of Novalja on Pag.

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Smoked shark with local olive oil, potato salad, chargrilled pimento, dried oregano, chive and parmesan started the meal.

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Crab ragu with lobster and sheep yoghurt soon followed before a main of local lamb rump, potato fondant and pickled beetroot with melon puree and red wine jus. Oh dear it was good!

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Dessert was a creamy almond and honeycomb semi-freddo with mint sauce, before a platter of local cheeses and honeys. Of course, we ordered wines to match each course and espresso to end the three-hour experience.

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After such a meal, it was hard imagine ever being so satisfied by food again, but the humble home made delights offered to us by dear friends in Petrinja, near Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, managed to impress just as much.

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The sausages, cheeses, pickles, relishes and baked treats were a true representation of wonderful food enjoyed by wonderful Croatians every day.

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21 comments on “Travel. Food. Photo. Croatia.

  1. Andrew Petcher
    December 15, 2012

    Croatian food surprised me too – that’s one of the reasons why I keep going back!

  2. Patti
    December 15, 2012

    I’ve nearly got a tummy ache after reading through that list! Loved it. xx

  3. michaelawinstone
    December 16, 2012

    You have been nominated for the Sunshine Award by WP! If you are interested, check it out here: http://winstonephotography.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/wp-nominated-the-sunshine-award/

  4. iloveyoufromafar
    December 17, 2012

    yumm! you’re making me want to go to
    croatia!

  5. aBitofCulture
    December 17, 2012

    Whenever my wife and I think back to the best meals we’ve had on our travels, the simple grilled sea bass and chips at a tiny restaurant in Rovinj always makes the top 3.

  6. rickywallace1986
    December 18, 2012

    Amazing photo’s…adventure in food or what. I need breakfast, quick….

  7. Our Adventure in Croatia
    December 20, 2012

    beautiful images of food. Would it be ok if I re-blogged your post?

    • Nic Freeman
      December 28, 2012

      Hi Our Adventure in Croatia. Apologies for my delayed reply (I’ve been busy eating my way through an Aussie Christmas). Of course, please reblog me. I would be honoured. Thanks! Nic

  8. Anita Mac
    December 20, 2012

    I found everything about Croatia wonderful…but the influence of the sea and the Med certainly made for such beautiful dinners. I don’t think I gave my palate nearly enough attention after looking through your photos. They are awesome.

    • Nic Freeman
      December 28, 2012

      Hey Anita. I have to give credit to my chef sister, who was with my on my most recent trip to Croatia. If not for her, I fear that, despite my hungry attention to local foods, I would also have negelected the full glory of the Croatian plate. It is a wonderful country for idyllic seaside meals, for sure!

  9. coti
    December 25, 2012

    This makes me very hungry. Croatia is one of the many places I still want to travel.

    • Nic Freeman
      December 28, 2012

      Hi Coti, Thanks for reading. I still salivate when I think of my time in Croatia. After two trips there, I can recommend it as a wonderful place to put on the destination list! Nic

  10. simonsundarajkeun
    January 5, 2013

    Reblogged this on Simon Sundaraj-Keun.

  11. Our Adventure in Croatia
    January 7, 2013

    Reblogged this on Our Adventure In Croatia and commented:
    check out all this info about Croatian food from fellow blogger Nic Freeman

  12. Diane C
    January 7, 2013

    OMG, I have to go to Croatia!

  13. melodylowes
    January 7, 2013

    You make my mouth water.. I am itching to go back! The food was beyond all my expectations – loved your photos! :)

    • Nic Freeman
      January 12, 2013

      Yes, the unexpected delights of Croatian food now linger in my memory, calling me back there too. Thanks for reading – glad you enjoyed!

  14. rimassolosailingaroundtheworldm
    January 22, 2013

    Thank you for very a nice blog,I really enjoy it food

  15. Pingback: Let’s Not Forget the Good News: Croatia Joins the EU | My Miscellania

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This entry was posted on December 15, 2012 by in Travel and tagged , , , , , .

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