CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 15…Croatia…Famous for its Black Risotto…

Welcome to my new A-Z …World Cuisines…where I will be looking at the countries of the world, their food and national dish or their most popular dish around the world…by this I mean some dishes are eaten in many countries as their fame has spread around the world…I have Chel to thank for giving me some ideas from which this one took shape…Thank you Chel x

Today I am looking at the cuisine of Croatia!

Croatia is located in southeastern Europe. Croatia is bordered by the Adriatic Sea to the west, Slovenia and Hungary to the north, Serbia to the east, and Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro to the southeast…Croatian food is heavily influenced by Italian cuisine. Although Italian and generally Mediterranean food serve as a basis for Dalmatian as well as Istrian food, pasta, gnocchi and pizza are very popular throughout Croatia. For example, there are more Italian restaurants in Zagreb than any other cuisine…

The most wonderful olive oil and truffles are produced in Croatia…as they border the Adriatic Sea there is an abundance of beautiful seafood on offer…Brodetto or Brudet as it is also known is a beautiful fisherman’s stew that hails from Italy’s Marche region. Traditionally, fishermen cooked it over an open fire using the catch of the day. They would add ample vinegar to the pot to preserve the stew for a couple of days. Like Italians, coastal Croatians use a tomato base in this dish…Here in this video chef Gordon Ramsey cooks his version of a fishermans stew…

You can also see how beautiful it is there when you watch this video…

Croatia is also famous for its “Black Risotto”...Known locally as crni rižot, this is made with cuttlefish or squid, olive oil, garlic, red wine and squid ink, which gives an intense seafood flavour and black colour. Popular all along Croatia’s coastline, this dish will turn your mouth and teeth black – but it’s said to be worth it.

Peka!

I love it when I hear that traditional cooking methods are still being used …Popular throughout Croatia, this tender meat & vegetable dish is also called ispod čripnje (under the bell) – literally food that is cooked under a terracotta or iron lid over burning embers. Peka can include octopus, lamb, veal or chicken, and is often accompanied by potatoes…Doesn’t that sound wonderful…?

Truffles…Istria’s Motovun forests contain some of the highest concentrations of truffles in the world. Croatian tartufi are not as well known as Italian, but some say they have a stronger aroma. They’re certainly less expensive than their Italian counterparts – a multi-course meal with a generous amount of truffles costs half what it would in Italy.

Here Gordon Ramsey makes a simple dish of scrambled eggs with truffles…you should see the size of them he rightly says that they are the size of boulders…

Olive Oil…Croatian olive oils received nine awards at the 2016 New York International Olive Oil Convention, six of which were from Istria. A good-quality extra virgin Istrian olive oil has a piquant, peppery taste and a scent evocative of freshly cut grass. Many are produced by individuals or small cooperatives so they have ‘local’ flavours. You’ll find it drizzled on everything…

If you visit Croatia you will find fresh green markets and fish markets in almost every town and city…Produce like green blitva, a type of Swiss chard, ruby-hued peppers, purple figs, multi-coloured carrots and giant green cabbages… it’s a foodies heaven.

Rakija...

In Croatia the distilled spirit is made from fruit, rakija is part of Croatian culture and a symbol of hospitality. It is customary to have a glass before and/or after your meal and to look your fellow drinkers in the eye, clink glasses, and consume the entire shot at once.

Traditional Croatian rakija varieties include travarica (herbal), šljivovica (plum), medica (honey), višnjevac (sour cherry), smokva (fig) and biska (mistletoe)…I think I quite fancy the sour cherry…honey drinks are generally too sweet for me and mistletoe not sure I fancy that but would certainly give it a sample…

Does Croatia have “Street Food” ?….you bet…Ćevapi (or ćevapčići), are small sausages made from pork and beef and are the ultimate Croatian street food. Most stands on the street (look by the bus stops)offer them. The sausages are grilled and then stuffed into a pita-like bread, with red pepper and tomato sauce (ajar), sour cheese, and onions…yummy…

Every culture has some form of soup, and Croatian cuisine is no exception. One of the most popular soups is a peasant soup or stew called Grah, which literally translates to “bean.” It is typically made with smoked sausage and of course, contains a little paprika…

Cheese…every country has its own cheese…Croatia is no different…

Cheese from the island of Pag in the Adriatic Sea is famous. On the island, the dry wind blows the salt from the sea onto the island, and the minerals infuse the few scrubby plants on the island. The sheep have to climb the hills to find the plants, and the lean sheep produce uniquely flavoured milk.

Pag cheese is a protected item…unique to the Island of Pag,,, Its savoury flavour is enhanced by rubbing the cheese with ash and olive oil during production. The salty, spicy aromas are best when paired with some prosciutto, grapes and a deep tannin-packed red wine…

I hope you have enjoyed this virtual tour of the beautiful country of Croatia…next time my virtual tour will land in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo where the food varies widely and represents the food of indigenous people.

Thank you for joining me today I do as always look forward to your comments…Have a lovely day xx

25 thoughts on “CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 15…Croatia…Famous for its Black Risotto…

  1. Pingback: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 15th -21st May 2022-Monday Musings, Health, Food Review “Real food v Processed Food” and Saturday Snippets where “Surprise” is my one word prompt. | Retired? No one told me!

      1. CarolCooks2 Post author

        How lovely for you…no sun here still raining I’m hoping it clears up later it normally does and I can get my second walk of the day done and dusted…but the rain is welcome xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

  2. koolkosherkitchen

    Fascinating tour, dear Carol. Your post has tempted me to visit the restaurant Rakija, located just a couple of blocks away from us, and explore the menu. We can’t eat there because it is not kosher, but we can have drinks and investigate.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      I never used to like him but he has grown on me over the years and I really like him now as a chef and a person …I liked the clips as it showed some of Croatia as well which gives you more of a feel for the country I think 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  3. Pingback: CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 15…Croatia…Famous for its Black Risotto… — Retired? No one told me! – yazım'yazgısı (typography)

  4. Pingback: CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 15…Croatia…Famous for its Black Risotto… – MobsterTiger

  5. Sue Dreamwalker

    Wow… what a wealth of knowledge.
    With the way all our fuel/energy bills are rising Carol, we may soon be in need of looking at those rustic traditional cooking skills!
    Inflation here is 9% a 40 year high.. ☹

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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