Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Cultural Identity of Vukovar: New Book Presented in Vukovar

June 9, 2021 - The fascinating question of the Cultural Identity of Vukovar is researched in a new book edited by Dr. Mateo Žanić and Petar Elez. However, as the editors stressed in the introduction, further research is needed to encompass all social groups in Vukovar and their contribution to the heritage of Vukovar.

After being published back in April this year, the book „Cultural Identity of Vukovar – Contribution to Investigating Heritage and Successors“, was presented this Wednesday in Vukovar. As Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute writes on its website the book was published in cooperation with the Vukovar State Archive, so it was only suitable that the first book presentation was held in Vukovar at the videoconference hall of College Of Applied Sciences „Lavoslav Ružička“ (named after a famous Croatian chemist whose work is awarded a Nobel Prize). In addition, the event marked International Archive Day.

The book was edited by Dr. Mateo Žanić and Petar Elez, and the presentation, alongside editors, saw scientific experts Dr. Dražen Živić, Mirela Hutinec, and Dr. Domagoj Tomas talks about the book.

„Fast events triggered by globalization process and information revolution which paradoxically lead to today's societies being fiercely occupied with the meaning of past, and preserving its valuable traces. In that context, there is a spreading interest for heritage that holds an important component to understand the relationship between the past and present“, says the editorial introduction of the book.

The editors went on to explain how „the city proved to be futile to interpret the meaning of heritage and its contribution to cultural identity,“ and the editors wanted to present various aspects of Vukovar's cultural heritage.

Apart from editors Žanić (who wrote a chapter „Layers of memories and material heritage in modern-day Vukovar) and Elez (author of the chapter „State archive in Vukovar and development of archive service in Vukovar-Srijem County“), the book features eight more authors. Ivan Rogić (Whose Heritage? Who is the successor?), Dražen Živić (on Vukovar's feudalists), Vlasta Novinc („Danube, food, Corso“), Dragana Drašković (on the cultural life of Borovo Selo), and more by Dragan Damjanović, Toni Roca, Ivana Bendra and Ivan Hubalek.

With these broad presentations of culture and heritage in Vukovar, editors hope this book will encourage further research as they are aware this is certainly not the final word on these interesting questions and issues.

„As editors, we are aware that the book does not deal with topics that concern different social groups that left their trace in Vukovar end enrich the history of the city. We hope that future editions that will deal with this topic expand the reach of issues and help us to realize better what do we inherit from the past and why is that important“, concludes the introduction of the book.

So far, the book is available only in Croatian, and research that will, as editors say, deal with other social groups in Vukovar is yet to come. Keeping in mind the terrible aftermaths of the war in Vukovar in the 90s and inter-ethnic tensions, further findings on joint cultural contribution to Vukovar may indeed be the enlightenment needed for peaceful cohabitation and development of Vukovar as a perspective city in Croatia.

Speaking of heritage, learn more about UNESCO recognized heritage in Croatia on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 5 June 2021

World Food Atlas Rates Two Croatian Cheeses Among Best in World!

June the 5th, 2021 - When it comes to what Croatia has to offer, most people will likely immediately think of the sun, the glorious Adriatic sea, the many islands and the wine. Croatin gastronomy is certainly up there on that same list, and Croatian cheeses are becoming more and more well known internationally. Two Croatian cheeses are doing so well, in fact, that they've been ranked among the planet's very best.

Pag cheese is probably the first of the Croatian cheeses to spring to the mind of the majotiy of people remotely familiar with the country's production of this much loved food item.

The bizarre moonlike northern Adriatic island of Pag, the northern part of which belongs to Lika-Senj County and the central and southern part to Zadar County, is home to some of the most mouthwatering Croatian cheese for those who aren't lactose intolerant, of course. This island produces cheese which is then exported and taken all over the world to be enjoyed by cheese lovers, and it has firmly placed the entire country on the cheese map of the globe.

The World Food Atlas from Taste Atlas has picked up on the treasure trove which is Croatian gastronomy, more precisely on Croatian cheeses, and has declared two domestic products to be among the best the world has to offer.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, The World Food Atlas is a well-known website which is a must-browse for all food lovers or ''foodies'', and now they have published a revised ranking with the world's best cheeses.

On the list of the top 100 best rated cheeses according to the votes of the audience, there are as many as two Croatian cheeses. Skripavac took a more than respectable 61st place, and the famous, aforementioned Pag cheese has taken an extremely impressive 14th place.

If you're a cheese lover, you can view the entire list by clicking here.

For more, make sure to follow Made in Croatia.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Croatian Culinary Heritage to be Protected with European Union Funds

April the 13th, 2021 - CUHaCHA might seem like a strange word and a bit of a mouthful to try to pronounce, but this project is set to set just how important Croatian culinary heritage is firmly in stone.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, aware that traditional food plays a major role in the tradition and folklore of countries and is the basis of cultural heritage, the Zadar County Agency for Rural Development - AGRRA, the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Herzegovina-Neretva County-Canton, the Tivat Municipality and Zadar County have jointly launched the CUHaCHA project.

As Ana Zubcic, AGRRA's international cooperation project manager, explained, tradition, Croatian cultural heritage and that of other surrounding countries, gastronomy and catering/hospitality are inextricably intertwined in this region. In addition, Zubcic pointed out, local cuisine and local products can encourage both innovation and promotion, and ultimately ensure further development at the regional and global level, this further improving the overall tourist offer.

Accordingly, the main goal of the "CUHaCHA" project is to strengthen and preserve the identity of Croatian culinary heritage and the common culinary heritage of the programme area, as well as to further contribute to the development of tourism, and it's a project worth 710,946.94 euros in total, of which the EU is co-financing 604,304.89 euros.

"Our general goal is to revive those dishes through gastronomy and traditional dishes that are slowly falling into oblivion and thus provide tourists the opportunity to experience the authentic flavours of the region. Food has played a key role in the tradition of our area for thousands of years now and remains an important part of our cultural heritage. In this way, we not only work to promote the destination and our traditions, but also offer an opportunity for innovation in this field,'' added Zubcic.

The project started back in August last year, and the first meeting of the partners involved was held in November, when the first project activities and plans were initially agreed.

Namely, as Zubcic revealed, as part of the project, common culinary heritage trails will be developed to strengthen and diversify the tourist offer, a culinary heritage monograph will be published, and training will be held for all service providers to ensure better culinary heritage management.

The project will also arrange traditional kitchens with the aim of promoting culinary heritage. Unfortunately, like the majority of other things, this project was also slowed down by the ongoing pandemic, but a culinary heritage survey is planned for the next six months.

"By researching all three areas, we'll find out what these dishes are, and then revive them and offer them in restaurants and in the general tourist offer. We believe that this will encourage farmers as well, because tradition and home-grown food are the key to this story.

The idea is that those who already offer food, if they don't already offer traditional food, for them to go in that direction,'' concluded Zubcic, adding that they will soon adapt and equip a traditional kitchen where training sessions for caterers, chefs and restaurant managers will be held. One of the last steps will be a virtual gastro trail.

For more on Croatian culinary heritage and local dishes, check out or dedicated section.

Friday, 19 February 2021

Samoborska Cesnofka Becomes Protected Product After Kremsnita and Greblica

February 19, 2021 – In a relatively short period, more good news came from Samobor, both for the citizens of this tradition-rich town and its surroundings and for all local cuisine lovers. Namely, after the Rudarska greblica and samoborska kremsnita, samoborska cesnofka also became a protected product. Enough reason to visit this charming medieval town in Zagreb County this weekend?

Samoborska češnofka, a favorite Samobor garlic sausage, received national protection of geographical origin from the Ministry of Agriculture. This transitional protection at the national level is an essential first step towards gaining the status it deserves on the European gastronomic map.

Tradition of more than a hundred years

When the European Commission decides to protect it on the EU level, samoborska cesnofka will be protected from unauthorized use and misuse throughout the European Union market, just like Rudarska greblica now, a local specialty from Samobor area. However, Samoborska kremšnita entered the Croatian Register of Protected Cultural Heritage.

Samoborska češnofka, named after its main ingredient – a decoction of garlic (in Croatian – češnjak), has been produced for over a hundred years in a specific way from pork, beef, and lard, and a decoction of fresh garlic and dry wine, with each butcher adding its own flair to this recipe. It is eaten with greens, beets, potatoes, and goes best with traditional Samobor cornbread, which will be the next autochtonous Samobor product to get its protection.

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The members of the Ethno Fletno Association are working on protecting Samobor cornbread, usually eaten with Samoborska cesnjofka, but also other home-made dishes. / Screenshot Televizija Zapad

A few years ago, the City of Samobor even launched the Češnofka Festival, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was not held last year. This year, it will be held if the epidemiological situation allows it. And not only that. On the occasion of protecting samoborska češnofka, the Deputy Mayor of Samobor, Željko Stanec, announced a center for various Samobor tradition guardians.

Samobor gastronomic delicacies available in the "to go" offer

The diligent hands of the people of this region write the history of taste worth experiencing. Although the restaurants are still closed, all the flavors of the Samobor region are available in the "to go" offer in the "K Gabreku 1929 "cellar, the favorite Kavana Livadić, and "U prolazu" confectionery for the well-known kremšnite in Samobor.

Therefore, you can spend this 'almost' spring weekend in Samobor, 30 minutes away from Zagreb's capital, with protected indigenous flavors. This charming town along the Slovenian border dates back to 1242 and the charter by which King Bela IV confirmed the status of a free royal trading post.

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Samobor / Zagreb County Tourist Board

Also, Samobor Square is one of the few where all buildings are protected monuments of the first category. Right next to the main square, in the Filipec family tasting room, you can taste another Samobor gastronomic icon – bremet, the most famous liqueur in the Zagreb region. Samobor bermet is an aromatized red wine made from selected varieties of Portuguese and Frankovka grapes with wormwood and southern fruit. The secret recipe dates back to the time before Napoleon.

Zagreb people's favorite excursion destination

This urban pearl of Zagreb County, with its preserved old town, but also with numerous cultural sights, has always attracted excursionists and tourists.

A walk through Samobor comes across the Samobor Museum, the former dock of the composer Ferdo Livadić and a gathering place for cultural greats of that time. The Old Samobor Town ruins, a former castle that watches over the town in the lowlands, hide its turbulent history.

From 1268 until recently, this building was owned by many different families. It used to flourish with life, and now there is only one beautiful monument left to the destructive ravages of time. Over the centuries, numerous nobles and kings were the lords of Samobor-grad, from the Czech king Otokar, who built it in 1268, to Arpadović, Frankopan, Erdody, Matija Korvin, and many other blue blood families.

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Ruins of Samobor Old Town / R. Klarić, Zagreb County Tourist Board

As the owners changed, so did this castle. In 1902, the Old Town ended up in Samobor's ownership for 5,293 crowns. Since then, attempts have been made to rebuild it, but no attempt has borne fruit. But maybe even better, because the castle in this form has some magic that it might not have if it wasn't in this state. There is a spirit of the time in it. It hides among the walls and swims among the surrounding trees. This place truly breathes some unique energy. The fort is located in a forest not far from the center of Samobor.

Oh, and did you know that Samobor's Old Town was almost fatal for Jackie Chan, who nearly perished here while shooting the famous film God's Armor?

Oldest mine, nature park, mountain peaks, and educational trails

Only five kilometers away from Samobor, in the Rude village, you can visit the Mine of St. Barbara, one of Europe's oldest copper and iron mines. This small settlement gave rise to the mentioned first protected gastronomic product of the Zagreb County – a crispy salt pie Rudarska greblica, once a modest snack of local miners.

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Rudarska greblica / Josip Škof, Zagreb County Tourist Board

Outside Samobor, with a walk in the fresh air, unforgettable views uphill of the Samobor Hills, a protected Nature Park together with Žumberak, await to be discovered. There are many marked trails, and they will satisfy both beginner walkers and ambitious climbers. Although none of them is higher than 1000 meters, the peaks Oštrc, Japetić, and Okić are key places in Croatian mountaineering.

The first trip under the Croatian Mountaineering Association's auspices was organized in 1875 to Oštrc, and the ascent of the writer Dragojla Jarnević on the steep side of Okić in 1843 was Croatian's first recorded alpine venture.

You can add an educational note to the trip by visiting the Budinjak Eco Center and the Educational Trail of Princes, a prehistoric site with a site of old burial mounds, or the Ethno House under Okić. In this rural household, time stood still more than a century ago.

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Welcome to Samobor / Josip Škof, Zagreb County Tourist Board

Source: Zagreb County Tourist Board

To read more news from Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 18 December 2020

Crotaste House of Croatian Food Opens in Downtown Zagreb

ZAGREB, Dec 18, 2020 - The Crotaste House of Croatian Food, a promotional-sales outlet with a wide range of domestic products from all around Croatia, opened in downtown Zagreb on Friday, offering 220 various products from over 100 producers.

Crotaste, located near Europe House in the city's centre, offers a wide range of domestic products including Slavonian salami, Dalmatian prosciutto, GMO-free eggs, asparagus, wine, olive oil, Pag cheese and fish from the Adriatic.

The project is the result of cooperation between the Croatian Agriculture and Food Agency (HAPIH), the Agro-Klaster company from Vukovar-Srijem County, the Ministry of Agriculture and Vukovar-Srijem County.

"Our aim is to secure a place for SMEs from all over Croatia to promote and sell their products with the European quality label in the centre of the capital city, which is particularly important during these difficult times of the corona crisis," HAPIH director Krunoslav Dugalic said ahead of the official opening.

Opening the Crotaste House, Agriculture Minister Marija Vuckovic underscored that this is finally the realisation of the idea of connecting Croatia's blue and green regions.

"Croatia's agriculture and food industry is continuing to work and develop during these difficult times. We are managing to make some structural changes, and despite everything we have registered growth in agriculture and the food industry of a net 5% in production, and 10% in productivity compared to last year, which is an excellent result." Vuckovic said.

She said this was possible in part due to the government's jobkeeping measures, adding that EU funds helped boost agricultural development as well as other sectors such as fishing, the wood industry, and wine production for which COVID loans from the HAMAG agency for SMEs can be expected.

"We have secured HRK 360 million in income support for farmers who experienced a fall of 15% and many of them are wine producers," she said, adding that despite travel passes being introduced, farmers will be allowed to work as they did during the spring lockdown.

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Croatia Ranks 4th in Undiscovered Gastronomic Destinations in World

November 17, 2020 – Croatia receives another gastro recognition as the gastro portal Chef's Pencil has declared it as one of the best undiscovered gastronomic destinations in the world.

As Večernji list reports, it is a competition named "The Most Underrated Foodie Destination in the World" conducted among 250 renowned chefs and culinary experts, who singled out under-exposed gastro destinations that can stand alongside popular gastro destinations such as France and Italy.

They selected the top 10 countries that can boast of their gastronomic offer and wealth but are not widely-known as gastro destinations. Croatia took a high fourth place on this list, behind the Philippines, Vietnam, and Mexico. It is followed by Thailand, Peru, Australia, Jamaica, Portugal, and Norway.

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Screenshot Chef's Pencil

"Croatia has become a really popular place to holiday over the last few years. And who can blame all those holidaymakers for reaching for pristine Adriatic waters, spectacular beaches, sublime Mediterranean climate, atmospheric Roman ruins, incredible national parks, and soaring mountains… Have I mentioned the food yet? And maybe that’s why it’s an underrated foodie destination – the country has so much going for it, the food has to fight for attention," they say from Chef's Pencil about the Croatian cuisine, noting that it's hard to pinpoint it as it varies from region to region.

"Dalmatian food is typically Mediterranean with lots of fish, veggies, and olive oil. Istrian cuisine is similar although they have their own special approach to beans and pasta here. In Zagreb there’s more of a European vibe with meat and a special attachment to cabbage, while in Slavonia its pork and more pork and lots of paprika," they explain, naming some of the best Croatian food such as sheep's cheese, cured ham, black risotto, octopus salad, brudet, sarma, and more.

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Octopus salad / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić

Although Croatia is already recognized for its gastronomic excellence, offering unforgettable gastronomic experiences for all food lovers, chefs, and experts who participated in the survey believed that our country deserves additional international recognition.

"Recognitions like this give us an additional incentive to continue the development of our gastronomic scene and to continue to promote ourselves as an attractive and quality gastronomic destination, which we really are," said Croatia National Tourist Board director Kristjan Staničić.

Recall, in 2020, the Croatian National Tourist Board presented Croatian gastronomy on this renowned portal, as well as Croatian chefs and regional gastronomic specialties.

Kvarner was presented by the youngest Croatian chef with a MICHELIN star, Deni Srdoč, who shared with readers a recipe for a lamb dish "Heritage lamb". Marko Gajski, the chef of LD Terrace in Korčula, who was also awarded a MICHELIN star this year, presented the Dalmatian region through his original recipe for Komiža bread, while chef Bruno Vokal from Noel, Zagreb's first MICHELIN star restaurant, shared his original recipe for "Deconstructed štruklji". Marina Gaši, chef and owner of the family restaurant Marina in Novigrad, presented the flavors of Istria via sardine tartare. The story of Croatian gastronomy was concluded by Tomica Đukić, chef of the Osijek Hotel and official chef of the Croatian national football team, who presented the rich flavors of Slavonia with a flavored fillet of a black Slavonian pig with pumpkin and beetroot.

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Rich gastronomic offer from Slavonia / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Neretva Valley Expecting Good Harvest Season Despite Coronavirus Crisis

October the 1st, 2020 - It's rare to read anything about the coronavirus pandemic bringing positive results to anyone or anything, but it does happen, and not only to companies who make masks. The Neretva Valley, famous for its abundance of fruit which can be seen sold all over the country on stands and in various stories in the colder months, has done very well indeed and is expecting a great harvest season this year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 30th of September, 2020, mandarin oranges are the only Croatian export fruit, whose harvest officially begins during the last days of September as autumn overtakes summer. While the Neretva Valley's fruit growers are anxiously awaiting the harvest season, which will take place under unprecedented epidemiological conditions, it seems that the coronavirus could actually go hand in hand with them as opposed to against them, as has been the case with just about every other field imaginable.

Namely, higher demand is expected for the Neretva Valley's fruit, as it is packed full of vitamin C, which is traditionally used to strengthen immunity and remain healthy, writes Slobodna Dalmacija. As such, the Neretva Valley's many fruit growers hope to be able to sell their mandarin oranges just as well, if not better, than in previous years.

However, in Croatia, it has been proven time and time again that nothing is ever particularly certain when it comes to agriculture, because every year imports destroy domestic production during the traditional season of harvesting homegrown fruit and vegetables. Owing to that, it’s hard to assume that in the case of the Neretva Valley's mandarin oranges, the scenario from May will be repeated, when domestic strawberry growers sold their strawberries and still made good money because there were no imports due to the coronavirus and the restrictions that came as a result of it.

Initial estimates show that the Neretva Valley growers will have a production of about 32,000 tonnes of mandarin oranges this season, which is a mediocre crop, but good quality is expected regardless.

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Wednesday, 3 June 2020

There's a Place for Croatian Food in Germany, Honey Already Popular

Is there a place for Croatian food on the competitive market of nearby Germany? It seems that yes, there is, and rich Croatian honey has already won the hearts of many German shoppers.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Bernard Ivezic writes on the 1st of June, 2020, GoGreen, the brand of Croatia's largest agricultural cluster and the first domestic smart market until three years ago, was taken over and reactivated in mid-March by the Zagreb-based company Anytime Logistika. In the new business, GoGreen is only part of the business. The main focus is on logistics, wholesale and exports.

Anytime Logistika has just done its first job for Germany's largest retail chain, Edeka, which is 50 percent larger in Germany than Lidl and Kaufland combined and holds more than a fifth of the German market. Among other things, it placed Croatian food such as honey there. Alan Slapar, who started the GoGreen brand, and who is now working at Anytime Logistika on the development and digitalisation of domestic producers, says that Andrea Rukavina runs the business here in Croatia and Tomislav Hunic runs it over in Germany.

"The deal with Edeka was agreed upon by Tomislav Hunic, who lives and works in Germany, and who noted that all those there in the field, already present on the markets, find it easier to communicate with local procurement managers than even we from Croatia can,'' said Slapar. He added that he is already working on other customers because the market for Croatian food and agricultural products in Germany really does exist.

Here in Croatia, the company is working to strengthen its storage capacity. Anytime Logistika currently has a warehouse in Sesvetski Kraljevec of 140 square metres in a cooling mode from 2 ° C to 6 ° C. However, they are also building a new one which will span a significantly larger 750 square metres and in which there will be a deep-freeze cooling regime of -18 ° C and a temperature of 12 ° C.

"The warehouse will be equipped for the quick freezing and packaging of fresh and seasonal fruits, and there will also be a special system for washed and sliced ​​vegetables, such as already peeled and sliced ​​potatoes, zucchini spaghetti, salads and such things,'' explained Slapar.

They are also arranging warehouse and sales points in Zagreb and the surrounding area, but the emphasis is being placed primarily on wholesale. He stated that that is why they offered support to online stores, launched the HoReCa-Point sales channel for catering and decided on a precedent in Croatia. On the Anytime Logistika website, it will offer the possibility to order all products available in stock in real time.

"One of the basic problems in the distribution of agricultural products in Croatia is that producers don't even have a catalog of their products so that wholesale or retail customers can even come to find out what they actually have to offer. And if the customers don't know, then they won't even bother ordering,'' noted Slapar.

He stated that they are therefore working intensively on digitalisation with the Croatian producers they work with. Each manufacturer that enters their system also enters a catalog which they then offer on various markets depending on the product and their respective capacities. He pointed out that he wasn't surprised that doing business that way has intensified over the past two months and that family farms have taken an interest in GoGreen yet again.

"I don't attribute the interest so much to GoGreen as much as I do to the new chaos and hysteria, because Croatia hasn't invested in more creative ways of distribution for years, and with the arrival of the new coronavirus and isolation measures, it proved to be a big issue for all companies," explained Slapar.

Anytime Logistika currently has, he said, even better collaboration with larger manufacturers than it has with smaller ones. He explained that this is the result of a market shock.

"Because of these sudden market declines, now 'everything is possible'', ''everyone is good'' and there is potential in everything," Slapar concluded.

For more on Croatian food, produce and other products, follow Made in Croatia.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

The Perfect Restaurant After Student Life: Grandma's Kitchen

February 23, 2020 - There is only one place to eat when the university holidays come - nothing quite beats the home cooking of Grandma's kitchen.

When you are a student, you often get sick of fast food and horrible meals from student cafeterias. Then the vacation comes and you visit your mother or grandmother, who makes the best food in the world. And if you are lucky enough, they will prepare the food for you and you will take it with you.

Top of the list of meals that my grandmother makes is Pamidore i jaja (Tomato sauce with eggs). When I ask people if they have ever eaten this meal, I usually get a negative answer. Nobody makes it except my grandmother and local people from the village called Miljevci, a village close to Šibenik. The meal is great during the summer because you have all the seasonal ingredients. For this meal you have to prepare the tomato sauce. You can also add some herbs, oregano or basil if you want to. When you finish your sauce, you then whisk eggs and cook them in that same sauce. The more eggs you put, the better the meal. There is no precise recipe of how much ingredients are used, you just go with your instinct. A great combination with this meal is bread, and it is best if the bread iss homemade as well. It is great for eating during the summer because it is easy to make.

Bread

There are two types of bread and they are prisnica and regular bread. They are both made „ispod pede" (under peka). For the regular bread, you need flour, yeast, salt and water. The amount of flour is how much do you want for your bread to be big. But approximately it is one kilogram of flour. The steps to do the dough is to put flour and salt together and then add yeast and water. When you get dough, you put it to rest for one hour on the warm place. After an hour you mix it again and then put it to rest for half an hour. When that time passes, you roll the dough or make the shape that you want. But the circle shape is the best. You put the dough on the racket (lopar), which you previously dusted with flour. You can poke the bread to make it look nicer.

Making prisnica is the same, but even easier. The same ingredients go to the bread, but without yeast. When prisnica is finished, it is good to eat it warm. And you can also put olive oil on the bread. Sadly many people don't do the bread this way. It is delicious and much healthier, but it takes a lot of time to make it. When you find yourself in a position to try homemade bread, don't hesitate.

Fritule (fritters)

There are a lot of recipes on how to make fritters. But there are two ways, even if you are a vegetarian. The first recipe is with eggs. You put in the bowl two yoghurts of 180 millilitres. In the same bowl, you add three eggs, pronounced lemon peel, two spoons of sugar and one vanilla sugar. Also, add some salt and 10 millilitres of rum or rakija (brandy, schnapps). Later put 358 grams of flour and half the package of baking powder. Mix all the ingredients and let them stay for at least 15 minutes, so in that way, the mixture is well united.

Heat the oil, but it must not be too hot, because the fritters will get brown and they will not taste good. When you are testing the heat of the oil put the wooden spoon in the pot and if there are a lot of the bubbles around the spoon, remove the pot from the stove and wait for the oil to cool down. Use a spoon to put fritters in the pot and cook them for like 3 or four minutes. After you are done, put them on the plate on which you have previously put a napkin to soak the oil. Sprinkle them with sugar powder or put chocolate on them, either way, is great. If you wish you can put some dry fruit in the mixture, like raisins. But before you put them in the mixture, soak them in rakija, for a couple of minutes for a better aroma.

 

You can also make fritters without the eggs. It is the same, but to replace the eggs it is good to put more yoghurt and flour. But for the mixture not to be too much starchy, it is better to maybe ad an apple or two. Many people are eating the fritters on this way on Christmas Eve or two days before Easter.

Uživaci

This meal is like pancakes, but a bit different. When you are preparing the mixture, you make the same as for French pancakes. Only this pancake is higher and it takes longer to cook. In the mixture you put two eggs, salt and a little sugar, milk or water, flour and a little bit of sparkling water and vanilla sugar. It is the same mixture as for pancakes, but it has to be thicker, so you have to add more flour. When you finish, you can sprinkle it with sugar or put Nutella or jam. This is a great breakfast or dinner, what you prefer more.

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Anything under peka

The meals under peka have a special taste. It is rich with a natural aroma from the ingredients. You can eat veel, lamb, chicken, turkey and other meals. The real side dish with meat are potatoes, which you bake with meat. Except for the potatoes, you can put carrots, onions and pepper. If you are more of a seafood person, you can also eat octopus with potatoes or squid too. For those who are more into modern food, I would suggest a pizza under peka. Grilled meat is also one of the best meals to prepare. Whether it would be meat, fish, burgers, sausages, or vegetables.

Makes you hungry, while reading it. But if you ever find yourself in the opportunity to make those meals or eat them in the restaurants while you are travelling, I suggest you go for it. Because it is a traditional cuisine and it would be a shame to miss it.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Food Intolerances, Gluten-Free And Croatian Tourism

October 22, 2019 - A growing number of people are suffering from food intolerances, which are affecting their restaurant experiences on holiday. A diaspora view of the Croatian tourism restaurant experience. 

Across the world, one in ten people suffers from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) – a chronic painful condition caused by food intolerances. 1% of the world's population shows symptoms of Coeliac disease, while 20-30% carry a gene associated with a genetic susceptibility to Coeliac disease. There are also food intolerances like Crohn's disease where, according to CCFA foundation, in the United States alone there are approximately 33,000 new cases per year.

I visit Croatia at least once or twice a year. As a long-time sufferer of IBS, this topic is close to my heart, or better, to my gut. I try not to let my condition prevent me from living life to its fullest and that includes travelling. My condition was developing slowly, with each year getting worse. I’ve been feeling judgmental eyes on me when asking for certain food in the restaurants for a long, long time. Asking to use toilets when there is no time to sit and order a drink to be granted permission to do so and you are already feeling singled out, judged and shamed. This condition taught me one thing, in order to live, I have to forget about the shame, but I admit, I am still apologising when asking for gluten-free dishes in a restaurant.

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What exactly is IBS?

A chronic condition whose symptoms include abdominal pain and bloating, excessive gas, distention, a noisy abdomen and diarrhoea or constipation (intermittent), even fatigue and migraines. While the majority of doctors these days will recognise the condition and diagnose it, they don’t have much of a track record in fixing the problem. In reality, they can’t pinpoint one cause of it. It is complicated and complex. One thing they know is that certain types of food are triggers. Food that contains so-called FODMAP, or fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. I hope you had fun pronouncing that.

In recent years there have been some trends that might be the reason for certain skepticism among the general population. Suddenly it was very fashionable to eat only gluten-free, or drink soy milk and I'm aware that type of behaviour caused some people to ridicule it. The truth is that there is a large number (and it's growing by the day) of people like me, with genuine gut problems and food intolerances. Food intolerances are not the same as food allergies or food hypersensitivities where an immune reaction is developed, usually very quickly after ingesting an allergen, for example shellfish, peanuts and so on.

So, to get back to my question, where is Croatia standing in offering certain food options in the restaurants, hotels, bars etc?

This year I spent a few days in Zagreb, many more days in the area around Nin/Zadar and a few in Omis, Dubrovnik, Peljesac, and Mljet. I ate in all of those places. There are some lovely people in the hospitality sector and some not worthy of mentioning. There are restaurants and restaurants, like everywhere in the world. Some say, why would a restaurant owner have to deal with all kinds of food intolerances and allergies?

I do understand it is a hassle, but if you want to offer your customer an enjoyable experience it takes a certain amount of effort. Most of us sufferers are preparing in advance, trying to research the restaurant online. So, a good website is a must, with up-to-date menus and all relevant information about most common allergens.

If I get the information that the staff is willing to accommodate me with gluten-free and dairy free versions, then I'll choose that restaurant knowing I’ll have the option to find something that I can eat without consequences. Menus in the restaurant with detailed ingredients for each meal would be a major help. I am used to carrying a little bottle of oat milk with me if I want to enjoy my coffee in a bar, because I still apologise when I have to order something like that. There was one exception on that trip - Zagreb. It is a city that has more options and it is certainly standing out in a positive way when comparing it to other places I visited.

The worst part was around Nin. I was staying 4 km from Nin and the search to find gluten-free pizza led me all the way to Zadar, to the only pizza place (a really good pizza place) that had an online site stating “We do have gluten-free”.

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Let me give you another example. Not even a month after my return to Ireland, I was on another trip, to Northern Ireland. In a place called Portrush we stayed in a B'n'B which has been in business for 20 years. An old and warm place with several rooms and a saloon for breakfast. When it comes to breakfast, that was the first place for a long time where I didn’t feel I had to apologise about my specific food needs. I was offered multiple choices, from different breakfast gluten-free cereals, gluten-free toast, to the choices of dairy-free milk, rice, oat or soy milk, dairy free butter... They even made me scrambled eggs with oat milk. I paid the regular price, like any other visitor. That is something I  will remember for a long time. I felt like “normal” people feel when they want to enjoy themselves on their holidays.

That is the difference between sufferers and fashionable fussy eaters. Sufferers want to be normal, to feel like a normal person but our conditions prevent us to be so. While fussers want to be different from others.

To conclude, Croatia as a tourist country has to give more thought to this topic and act more eagerly and quickly. There are still a lot of tourist places where you can’t get gluten-free options and definitely not dairy free ones. I saw supermarkets where there is a variety of gluten-free breads instead of a few, but then the use-by-dates expired weeks ago and they're still sitting on the shelves. Next time, the manager will not order any, as it doesn’t sell. Food intolerant people are not a thing of the past, sadly the numbers are growing and the education about those issues is important for anyone in the food business and definitely in the hospitality sector.

Learn more about the issues in Croatia in our lifestyle section

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