Food & Drink in Croatia

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Sailing tips - Food & Drink

Croatian gastronomy is developed in a tradition of healthy, natural food, based on meals of vegetables in olive oil, fish and seafood, along with goats and sheep cheeses and wine, especially from the coastal region. Preparation of the meal is what makes local cooking exceptional. Fish is prepared by grilling, boiling or stewing, while vegetables are cooked with aromatic herbs and olive oil in a small amount of water. Meat, usually lamb, is roast on a spit to get a unique taste.

One can distinguish between the cuisine of Dalmatia, Kvarner and Istria, because of the differences in taste and preparation of food.

Istrian gastronomic experience is different at every time of the year because of the abundant use of the natural gifts of the given season. An original Croatian product is Istrian “pršut”, a ham dried in the “bura” wind, which you must try when visiting the northern Adriatic. The most famous Istrian dish is “maneštra”, a thick soup of vegetables and dried meat. This region offers a wealth of fish and seafood specialities, like a mollusc salad, salty whitebait or Kvarner scampi. Various risottos and pastas are served with asparagus and truffles – first-rate mushrooms with a wonderful aroma. Traditional Istrian deserts are “fritule”, deep-fried doughnuts, favorite in winter, and “pinca”, sweet bread consisting of pastry and apples, prepared for Easter celebrations.

Dalmatian cuisine is lighter and less aromatic than Istrian. Olive oil is one of the foundations of Dalmatian gastronomy and the abundance of fresh and lightly cooked vegetables has made them garnishing for the local dishes. Some of the specialities are: “pašticada” with gnocchi (Dalmatian goulash), scampi and mussels “na buzaru” (stewed), grilled fish, octopus, fish soup, oysters from Ston or the famous Pag cheese. The most usual ingredients of a typical dalmatian deserts are honey, dried figs, raisins, almonds and Mediterranean fruit. The well-known sweets are Dubrovnik “rožata”, caramel pudding made from eggs, and gingerbread from the island of Hvar.

To accompany every good meal, you can enjoy a glass of truly excellent wine. The first vineyards in the area were established by the ancient Greeks. The wine from their colony of Issa (on the island of Vis) was considered the best wine of the ancient world. The Roman army set the expansion of wine-making when they brought seeds for grapevine and planted vineyards. Wine is a product which demands hard-work, knowledge and respect. It is a part of the history and the present of this rich wine-growing region. A wide range of seafood-cuisine is wonderfully complemented with the white Istrian “Malmsey”. Dark wine of ruby color “Teran” goes exceptionally well with meat dishes, game or goulashes. Sweets and refined dishes are best served with the “Zlačani Muškat” which has an intense smell of wild carnations, and with expressive aroma of Dalmatian “Prošek”. The renowned “Plavac” from the island of Hvar with its dryness and distinctive bouquet is perfect to accompany cooking and goat cheese. The peninsula of Pelješac offers a wealth of wines like “Postup”, “Dingač”, “Kneževo” and “Carsko”, while Primošten's native wine “Babić” is known worldwide.

Discover the centuries-long traditional method of wine preparation while exploring the wine cellars and their mild wines, which you can taste and bring back to your friends as a part of a truly unforgettable sailing holiday.


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