Saturday, 6 November 2021

Independent Candidate Mladen Novak to Run for Međimurje County Prefect

ZAGREB, 6 Nov 2021 - Mladen Novak, an independent candidate who is running for the presidency of Međimurje County, on Saturday presented his candidacy in Čakovec.

The duty of the county authorities is to create preconditions and climate for the development of the industry and production sector that could provide decent pay to workers, said Novak, who used to be an official of the local Social Democratic Party (SDP).

He said that he could address the issues of security, low wages, and infrastructure if he got elected.

The early elections are scheduled for 28 November, after the former county prefect, Matija Posavec, stepped down due to the ongoing investigation against him on suspicion of corruption and abuse of office.

On 26 October, Sandra Herman of the Reformists party presented her candidacy for the new county prefect.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 6 November 2021

County Prefect Candidate: All Governments Have Pushed Roma Issue Under the Rug

ZAGREB, 6 Nov 2021 - Darko Zver, the candidate of the Fokus party for the Međimurje County prefect in a snap election, told a news conference in Čakovec that all the Croatian governments "have pushed the issue of ethnic Roma in Međimurje under the rug."

One of the planks of Zver's agenda is to address the problems facing a sizeable Roma community in that part of Croatia.

Zver also criticized parliamentary deputy Veljko Kajtazi, who represents ethnic Roma in the national legislature, over his statements on the topics concerning local Roma members.

If elected, Zver promised "drastic changes" in social welfare benefits, education training, and employment.

He said that the county authorities must financially support training and retraining for the most sought-after occupations.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Bus On The Move: Explore the Treasures of Međimurje in Motion

October 9, 2021 - In order to make the treasures of Međimurje known to locals and tourists alike, a creative transportation initiative called Bus on the move allows them to explore the county in a unique way.

The hop-on, hop-off bus is a real hit in Međimurje, reports Turističke Priče. Positive attitude, creativity, and desire to raise the quality of the destination offer to a higher level were the common visions of the three partners of the project Bus on the move or Međimurje on the move. Međimurje is the only destination driven by such a bus, which until now was characteristic exclusively for large urban cities.

The Bus on the move project started taking off through Međimurje back in July, and now they have presented a new autumn timetable. Autumn in Međimurje smells of wine, meat from Tiblica, and fragrant strudels with apples, as well as the traditional all-season Međimurje gibanica.

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Međimurje - Bus on the move Official Facebook Page

Transport can be used by tourists and all residents of the region, who want to visit one of these attractions, as well as all other tourist stakeholders who have accommodation facilities and want to provide additional content to their guests.

A new autumn timetable has been announced this week: Longer route: Departure at 10:00 am at Terme Sveti Martin towards Čakovec, stop at the bus station and in Lopatinec near Međimurski dvori, and return to Terme Sveti Martin at 2:00 pm.

Shorter route: Departure at 11:30 am at Terme Sveti Martin, departure to Cmrečnjak winery, Štrigova center, Kocijan winery, deer and mouflon farm, Hažić wine camp, Sveti Martin na Muri, Med dvemi vodami center in Križovac and return to Terme at 12:45h.

Any tour you choose to discover Međimurje is guaranteed. Get on the Bus and discover the north of Croatia on the move.

Located in the fertile lowlands between the rivers Mura and Drava, Međimurje justifies its nickname – the Garden of Croatia. The neat little villages and towns intertwine with an enchanting landscape. The region might be small, but it offers a bounty of attractions to impress any visitor. Whether you are into food and wine, relaxation and outdoor activities, or exploring local history, Međimurje is a garden full of possibilities. If you want to learn more about the ''Garden of Croatia'', be sure to read Total Croatia's Međimurje in a Page HERE.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Pilot Project Introducing Roma Mentors Launched in Čakovec

ZAGREB, 5 Oct, 2021 - In an effort to increase employment of the Roma community in Međimurje, the Justice and Public Administration Ministry has launched a pilot project for Roma mentors, which was presented in Čakovec on Tuesday.

The pilot project is being implemented within a project to improve the protection of human rights and public security through strengthening capacities in probation services. The project is valued at €2.1 million and it is being financed from the Norwegian Financial Mechanism.

Part of the funds is earmarked for the employment of six Roma from Međimurje County for a period of 19 months as Roma mentors.

 After attending training, which will be conducted by Czech experts with experience in similar projects, the Roma mentors will provide support to probation offices, the police, employment service, public health institute, state inspectorate and other social welfare and educational institutions.

State-secretary in the Ministry, Josip Salapić, underscored that the project is aimed at totally including the Roma minority in society.

This is the first project of this kind in Croatia, the head of the prison system and probation administration, Jana Špero said.

An advisor in the Interior Ministry, Vladimir Faber, said that a lot is expected from this project.

"It will enable two-way communication between institutions and Roma communities and between institutions themselves," Faber said, adding that the biggest problem in Roma communities is poverty, social exclusion, poor education, crime among minors, which can be changed with mutual communication.

President of the Kali Sara Roma alliance in Croatia,  Suzana Krčmar, underscored that the Roma will always offer their hand and be open to everyone, especially those who are their friends.

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

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Hažić Wine Camp, First of Its Kind in Croatia, Among Best Small Camps

October 5, 2021 - When it comes to Croatian tourism, wine and camps are always part of the conversation in almost all regions of the country. In Međimurje, a family has combined both concepts, and it is thus that the Hažić Wine Camp has recently been recognized for its wine and accommodation offer.

This year, the Hažić family opened the first wine camp in Croatia, located in Međimurje, more precisely in Sveti Martin na Muri. As Turističke Priče reports, the aforementioned wine camp received the OK Mini Camps quality award and was thus included among one of the best small camps in Croatia.

''We are pleased to announce that based on the analysis of the quality of the content and service of our camp by the KUH commission, we are included in the list of 46 best small camps in Croatia'', said the Hažić Wine Camp.

This wine camp is the first camp of its kind in Croatia. It is located in the untouched nature of upper Međimurje, on the famous tourist route in the immediate vicinity of Terme Sveti Martin and the Mill House by the river Mura.

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Photo: Hažić Wine Camp Official Facebook Page

The camp on the family farm Hažić offers 12 pitches for campers and eight wooden mobile homes, electricity, water, wi-fi, toilets, children's playground, grill area, laundry service, and pets are allowed. Otherwise, the entire Hažić Wine Camp was built according to the highest environmental standards with the category of four suns.

The camping pitches range in size from 80 to 110 square meters and bear the names of the most represented grape varieties in the Međimurje vineyards, which is another great example of connecting with a local and authentic story.

Međimurje got its first Wine Camp thanks to the Hažić family, which has been recognized for more than 30 years for quality local products such as wine, apples, and honey, and to their Hažić Family Farm and Wine House, they have now added the third in a series of investments, but certainly not the last.

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Photo: Hažić Wine Camp Official Facebook Page

Apart from quality products, the Hažić, Biserka, and Radenko family, with their daughters Tatjana and Valentina, who continued the family farm, is also known for innovative ideas aimed at tourism and the agriculture sector, which is confirmed by this investment.

Međimurje is a top wine region

Međimurje is a top wine region, and proof of that are the numerous medals from last year's, but also this year's Decanter World Wine Awards, where it was confirmed that the best Croatian sparkling wines come from Međimurje. And this is no coincidence, since in 2016, for the first time in history, the first two medals arrived in Međimurje.

The camp offers accommodation to tourists who want to enjoy nature, fine wines, sparkling wines, juices, and other products from the workshop of the Hažić family.

Campers in the area can enjoy cycling, wellness services of Terme Sveti Martin, getting to know local cultural sights, enjoying numerous adventurous activities organized by the Accredo Center or a picnic with excellent local food and drinks of the restaurant Međimurski dvori, and at the request of the guest will offer delivery breakfast in the form of a pinklec basket on the plot. Guests and tourists of the camp can also enjoy local products from Međimurski štancun.

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Photo: Croatia.hr

Located in the fertile lowlands between the rivers Mura and Drava, Međimurje justifies its nickname – the Garden of Croatia. The neat little villages and towns intertwine with an enchanting landscape. The region might be small, but it offers a bounty of attractions to impress any visitor. Whether you are into food and wine, relaxation and outdoor activities, or exploring local history, Međimurje is a garden full of possibilities. If you want to learn more about the ''Garden of Croatia'', be sure to read Total Croatia's Međimurje in a Page HERE.

Croatian wines and grapes are among the best in the world, and you can find more information about them in Total Croatia’s Guide to Croatian Wine HERE.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Monday, 19 July 2021

Terme Sveti Martin First Hotel in Croatia Awarded EU Ecolabel

ZAGREB, 19 July 2021 - The Terme Sveti Martin hotel in Međimurje is the first hotel in Croatia to receive the EU Ecolabel after it met the relevant 22 criteria about general management, energy efficiency, the use of renewable resources, rational water consumption, reduced waste, and proper waste management.

Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac presented the EU Ecolabel to the hotel's director Igor Nekić at a ceremony held on Monday in the hotel located in the town of Sveti Martin na Muri, the ministry said on Monday.

The EU Ecolabel is approved by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development for products and services that motivate innovations and contribute to the aim of the EU's climate neutrality by 2050 and the circular economy.

Congratulating the hotel on that important step towards sustainable business and a sustainable destination, Minister Brnjac recalled that market surveys around the world have shown that guests no longer look for massive tourism but that they prefer sustainable and ecologically aware destinations that provide an authentic experience and an active vacation and services providing health tourism which comprehends spas and wellness treatments.

She said that the government encourages and invests in developing green and sustainable tourism through its National Recovery and Resilience Plan and the Multiannual Financial Framework.

The Terme Sveti Martin comprises the hotel, apartments, a wellness center, and other amenities. There are more than 200 people employed in this establishment.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 9 May 2021

First Croatian Wine Camp Open in Medimurje!

May 9, 2021 - Hažić Wine Camp, opened in Jurovčak in the Sveti Međimurje municipality Martin na Muri, is the first Croatian wine camp of its kind. 

The camp on the Hažić family farm offers 12 pitches for campers and eight wooden mobile homes available in early July. It is built to the highest environmental standards along with a category of four suns.

"We have invested a lot of effort and energy in our wine camp. I am happy that we succeeded. Although still until at the end of June we have to set up mobile homes. The first campers have already arrived”,  said the owner Tatjana Hažić, who has been running this farm with her sister Valentina for many years.

The camp's construction, worth 3,500,000 kunas, was helped by the Rural Development Fund with 1.5 million. OPG Hažić is an excellent example of a successful withdrawal of funds from EU funds because, since 2015, they have applied for six projects with a total value of over five million kunas.

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The camp will offer accommodation to tourists who want to enjoy nature, fine wines, sparkling wines, juices, and other apple products of the Hažić family and the rich tourist offer of Međimurje.

Campers in the area can enjoy cycling, wellness services at Terme Sveti Martin, getting to know local cultural sights, enjoying numerous adventurous activities is organized by the Accredo Center, or on a picnic with excellent local food and drinks from the restaurant Međimurski dvori.

The Hažić family represents a very successful tourist story of rural Croatia, which through the countryside tourism provides the best of Međimurje. EU funds have certainly helped them in their development funds. Still, the immeasurable contribution of this whole valuable family must not be overlooked either own funds invested in improving the quality of own products and tourist offer" emphasized Aleksandra Kuratko Pani, head of the Croatian Rural Tourism Association, of which she is a member of the family farm Hažić since 2020.

Guests and tourists of the camp can also enjoy local products from Međimurski štancun.

If you'd like to find out more about Međimurje, click HERE

For more, follow our travel section.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Gold, Silver, and Best Beer Award for Međimurje's Lepi Dečki at London Beer Competition

April 14, 2021 - At the fourth edition of the prestigious London Beer Competition, held on March 17, 2021, the Međimurje Lepi Dečki brewery won three silver medals, a gold medal, and the "Best beer in 2021 for price/quality" award, which is just further proof of the international quality of Međimurje beers.

To win these medals, selected beers from Lepi Dečki brewery had to meet three value criteria - quality, price, and packaging.

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Lepi Dečki took home as many as four medals, one gold and three silver, and the title of the best beer in terms of price and quality. Four beers were registered and awarded: Međimursko beer in the lager category, Čakovecko beer in the pilsner category, Regoč as imperial IPA, and Hyperbola as Russian Imperial Stout.

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"We are extremely proud of this important award and recognition of our work. We are carrying four medals from London and the title of the best beer in the price and quality category," said the owner of Lepi Dečki, Danijel Radek. "We create the beer that the customer wants, that is attractive, high quality, and enjoyed, and this has been recognized by the industry that has supported and rewarded our philosophy."

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Sid Patel, CEO of the competition, spoke on behalf of Beverage Trade Network:

“The craft beer revolution has spawned many new and rediscovered lost and forgotten beer styles. Our beer judges extensively tasted and discussed the qualities of all registered beers from the customer, beer lovers, and beer sommeliers, and the experts. The quality of the beer itself is evaluated professionally, but it is important to evaluate the quality of the packaging and the price-quality ratio. "

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Beer was judged on a scale of 1 to 100 at the London Beer Competition, where beers with over 90 points won gold medals, while those with over 76 points won silver.

Lepi Dečki was founded in 2016 in Čakovec, and since 2020 it has been operating in a new production plant with a production capacity of 600,000 liters per year. They have as many as 18 different beers in their beer portfolio, and at the competition in London, four were awarded medals.

The first beer produced was Međimursko, a lager that received 82 points, with which Čakovecko, Pilsner, one of the most popular beers in the portfolio, were rated. The third silver medal with 83 points went to Regoč, until recently the strongest and most intense beer of the Imperial India Pale Ale style, a thick, full beer that pairs well with food.

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"From the very beginning, we have been producing lagers, pilsners, and that has been our focus, so these awards are just a confirmation that we are going in the right direction," adds Radek. "In addition to the basic lager portfolio, of course, we also do intense, demanding styles such as Regoč and Hyperbola, which are our best-rated and praised beers by default!"

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The winner among the beers at the competition in London in the price-quality ratio category is Hyperbola, a thick, dark, complex beer in the style of the Russian imperial stout, with notes of chocolate, coffee, and spices. The density of beer and abundant earthy notes, flavors, and aromas of berries and milk chocolate can be felt on the palate.

All beers of the Lepi Dečki brewery are distributed nationally, and with this latest recognition, we do not doubt that exports will start soon.

For more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page. To learn more about beer in Croatia, follow our Total Croatia page.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

People also ask Google: What Type of Food does Croatia Eat?

February 23, 2021 – What type of food does Croatia eat? Well, it's a small country, only around 4 million people. The food must be pretty similar all over Croatia, right? Wrong

The type of food Croatia eats depends on which region you are in. The Croatian menu is wonderfully varied. Homegrown or domestic Croatian food is usually the product of the country's wonderful natural assets. The type of food Croatia eats is also influenced by its close neighbours. Some food Croatia eats comes historically from the menus of places quite far from Croatia.

Croatia is known for food that is often cooked simply, allowing the finest natural ingredients to sing. Food in Croatia often travels a very short distance from the field to the plate or from the sea to the plate. So, what Croatia eats very much depends on the land and assets in the area close by. For instance, in the mountainous region of Lika, potatoes grow well and appear regularly in the cookbook. In Karlovac, the city's wealth of rivers means that freshwater fish and frogs legs appear on the menu.

Sto_vidjetikarlooooo.jpgKarlovac, a city whose four rivers inform the local cuisine © Croatian National Tourist Board

What type of food does Croatia eat in the flatlands of Pannonia might be very different to the food Croatia eats in the coastal regions of Dalmatia or Istria. But, not always. Some kinds of food Croatia eats is ubiquitous – you can find some Croatian food that is popular in every region, like grah – an inexpensive, filling and delicious beans-based dish, popular at lunch or punjeni paprika (stuffed peppers). Sarma - meat-filled cabbage rolls cooked in a tomato sauce – is also popular throughout Croatia. Cabbage is a staple part of the Croatian diet, being used fresh in delicious crunchy side salads or in is fermented form, as sauerkraut.

picture_2sarmy.jpgSarma

Snack food or fast food in Croatia is available on almost every street corner, from the pekara (or pekarnica), the popular local bakeries. Here, you can grab a burek, pizza slice or pita, which is like a cross between a small pastry pie and a pasty (if you're British and know what a pasty is!)

Other fast food in Croatia includes burgers and kebabs, which range in quality from standard to super-premium. The Zagreb restaurant and fast food menu, in particular, has expanded massively over recent years. The choice of food in Zagreb is now varied and international. But that's not the only place. Want to eat Indian food in Dubrovnik? Can do. Fancy some sushi while staring out over beautiful Kvarner Bay in Opatija? Može (you may)!

navisssssssssssssssssssss.jpgNavis Hotel overlooking Kvarner Bay - Opatija's first sushi restaurant © Hotel Navis Opatija

Croatia now has many Michelin-recommended and several Michelin-starred restaurants. Their number grows each year. But, while the variety of international and top-flight continues to expand in Croatia, this does not tell the real story of what Croatia food is.

Pizza is not really Croatian food (although, like that other Italian import ice cream, Croatians do make it very well). Burgers are not Croatian food, even if pljeskavica is. Pekara might be ubiquitous, but that is not real Croatian food. No. To find out truly what type of food does Croatia eat, you'll have to find a seat in a traditional restaurant or tavern (a konoba, if you're on the coast, krčma, klet or gostiona, gostionica or restoran elsewhere). There you can soak up the wonderful vibes and sometimes spectacular scenery. But, more important that that, you might find a meal you'll never forget.

The only thing in Croatia that truly beats traditional food from a great tavern, is food in Croatia that is made by mom or grandma in the home. If you're lucky enough to be invited to try traditional Croatian food in someone's home, you simply must go. It's the best!

What type of food does Croatia eat?

What food is Croatia known for in the region of Istria?
103990514_2766842676932885_8553088344150944332_ofdzsgabdfbagtfbafgbnasfg.jpgWhat type of food do they eat in Istria? © Draguč, Istria by Romulic and Stojcic

The most northwesterly region of Croatia, food in Istria is often distinctly different to that found in the other areas of Croatia. The region's close proximity to Italy can be tasted within much traditional Istrian food. Homemade pastas take centre stage on meat, fish and vegetable dishes and also find their way into Istrian soups and stews. Many small fishing villages exist on the Istrian coast and the catch of the day is not only popular with those who live on the coast – seafood makes its way into the interior of Istria too. Familiar Mediterranean meals featuring seabass, bream, sardine, sole, squid, scallops, crab, scampi, mussels and oysters can be found on the Istrian food menu. Black cuttlefish risotto and the stews Brodet and Buzara are also a favourite here, like elsewhere on the Croatian coast.

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The Istrian interior is a beautiful landscape, with rolling hills covered in vineyards, long stretches of olive groves and fruit trees, picturesque hilltop towns and river valleys which cut through unblemished nature and forest. It is within these forests that one of Istria's most famous ingredients can be found.

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Istria is famous for truffles. The rare and costly delicacy makes its way generously into Istrian food, shaved over pasta dishes or added to oils, cheese or even chocolate. You can take a guided tour to hunt for truffles in Istria. Truffles aren't the only things hunted in the region's woods – game makes its way into some delicious Istrian food dishes.

tartufi_pljukanci_1-maja-danica-pecanicdgfadsgadfvbgdz.jpgHomemade pasta with truffles - classic Istria! © Maja Danica Pečanić / Croatian National Tourist Board

Other produce the region is famous for include honey, Istrian prosciutto (prsut) and Istrian olive oil. In 2020, Istria was voted the world's best olive oil region for a sixth consecutive year. You can find it in most Istrian pasta dishes, salads and on almost every dining table. Delicious.

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You can find different local specialities in villages all over Istria, usually informed by the crops most grown nearby or the produce popularly made there. These are celebrated at food and drink festivals which regularly occur in villages and towns throughout the region. Go to any of these if you can. They're a brilliant opportunity to try some of the best traditional foods of Istria, and you'll be able to wash it down with excellent Istrian wine varieties like Malvasia or Teran.

imagefrittty.jpgAsparagus is just one of many ingredients for which the Croatian region of Istria is famous, seen here made into a frittata or omelette © Maja Danica Pečanić / Croatian National Tourist Board

Some famous Istrian food dishes include Manestra, a minestrone-type soup made with vegetables (and sometimes meat or bones are used to flavour), Istrian žgvacet, a more meaty stew, asparagus (which is often eaten with eggs or made into an omelette or frittata) and speciality beef dishes which come from the region's rare, indigenous Boskarin cow.

What do they eat in Croatia in Dalmatia on the Croatian coast?
split-3712767_1920_1.jpgThe city of Split on the Dalmatian coast

The food eaten in Dalmatia on the Croatian coast is classic Mediterranean food. Croatian waters of the Adriatic sea are very clean and offer up a stunning range of seafood. Fish like sardines, tuna, seabass and bream are incredibly popular and are often served simply grilled, sometimes flavoured with olive oil, salt, garlic and nothing more. A popular – if not ubiquitous – side dish to accompany grilled fish is blitva, which is a hardy green chard that thrives even in the extreme heat and nutrient-weak soil of the region. It is traditionally cooked with potatoes and flavoured with olive oil and salt.

fish-3684985_1920_1.jpgWhat do they eat in Dalmatia on the Croatian coast? Sea bass grilled and served simply is an unforgettable meal of any holiday in this part of Croatia

Other seafood such as squid, octopus, crab, scampi and prawns are popular in Dalmation cooking. Many get the same simple treatment as the fine fish – they are grilled simply, black bars of mild charring from the grill scarring their surface upon serving. Octopus also makes its way into a delicious salad, often served as a starter. Dalmatian seafood is also used in risottos, with prawn risotto and black cuttlefish risotto particular favourites.

fish-725955_1920_1.jpgOctopus salad is a popular starter in Dalmatia

Many more varieties of fish than the famous ones mentioned can be found in coastal fish markets (there are great ones in Rijeka, Kvarner and in Split). You'll find various varieties of fish used in delicious stews and soups served in Dalmatia. Brudet and Buzara are also a favourite here, like in Istria.

4_gastro-stew-optimized-for-print-maja-danica-pecanicyfkufjf.jpgDalmatian food found on the coast often relies heavily on the gifts of the Adriatic sea. This dish, known as Brudet (Brodet in some places) is a fish stew/soup popular all through Croatia's coastal regions © Maja Danica Pečanić / Croatian National Tourist Board

A popular traditional method of cooking in Dalmatia is 'ispod peka' – food cooked under a metal bell-shaped covering upon which hot coals and embers are placed. These long and slow-cooked dishes often contain a mixture of meat and vegetables and could be comparable perhaps to a Moroccan tagine – but without north African spices. This method of cooking holds a theatre that matches its great taste, but many places ask you order a day in advance if you want to try it because the cooking time can be long. Octopus, lamb, pork and beef are the most popular choices to be found cooked 'under the bell'

Pekazaton.jpgWhat do they eat in Dalmatia on the Croatian coast? A dish of great theatre is 'peka' - food cooked 'under the bell'. Try the one with octopus! © Zaton holiday resort

Dalmatia is famous for smoked prosciutto (prsut), smoked, dry-cured bacon (pancetta) and lamb. You'll see both whole sucking pig and whole roasted lamb cooking on spits above flickering flames all across Dalmatia. Dalmatian lamb is full of flavour. Unlike elsewhere, where it is flavoured with garlic, rosemary, other spices or even anchovy, Dalmatian lamb is seasoned only with salt and a little olive oil. It needs nothing more and this is the absolute truth. A highlight not to miss.

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Elsewhere, Dalmatia is famous for its cheese. The cheeses from island Pag are particularly famous – usually hard in texture, full of flavour and not inexpensive. You'll find them served alongside prsut and olives on the buffets of any parties or official functions and are best enjoyed with local wines. Croatia's most powerful red wines come from Dalmatia. If that's your kind of wine, this is one of the best regions in the world.

e0210f36257c3dffb45491df5f1ba0c8asfjpaioshfGAILSDHGFLsdfsadhgasjd.jpgWhat food do they eat in Dalmatia in Croatia? The cheese from the Dalmatian island of Pag is extremely famous © Croatian National Tourist Board

Apart from peka, another famous Dalmatian coastal dish is Pašticada. Like peka, an authentic Pašticada requires pre-ordering – it takes a minimum 24 hours of preparation time to make a good one, as the beef used within it is marinated. Finding a truly great Pašticada is difficult. The best are cooked with care, love and attention within the home and are served for special occasions. If you're lucky enough to try one of those, recapturing that distinct fruity taste will be difficult and many restaurant-ready versions will disappoint.

1440px-Pasticada_1.jpgWhat type of food do they eat in Dalmatia on special occasions? Pašticada. If you try the best, it will likely be homecooked © Popo le Chien

A lot of Dalmatian coastal food is comparable to that found all along the Mediterranean shoreline. One distinct anomaly is the city of Omiš, whose cuisine is supplemented by its position at the mouth of the huge Cetina river. You can read a detailed article about the cuisine of Omis here.

What kind of food do they eat in Croatia within inland Dalmatia / the Dalmatian hinterland?
gorchf.jpgWhat kind of food do they eat in Dalmatia in the hinterland? It varies. In the city of Drniš, they are famous for making a distinct prosciutto (prsut) © gorchfin

The Dalmatian hinterland is one of the great gastronomic regions of Croatia, yet it remains largely undiscovered by the crowds visiting the coast. It can be tough to leave the beautiful beaches, but a trip behind the mountains is worth it for multiple reasons, not least the food.

It really is the shortest of journeys to make. For that reason, the cuisine of inland Dalmatia contains all the treats you'll find on restaurant menus by the coast (but probably at half the price!) In addition, they have their own specialities you're unlikely to find by the sea.

drnyyyyyyy.jpgWhat kind of food do they eat in Dalmatia in the hinterland? Drniški Pršut © Tourist Board of Drniš

In the city of Drniš, they are famous for their cheese and distinct pršut, in Imotski they're known for a delicious almond cake. In the hinterland behind Omiš, you'll find Poljicki Soparnik – a truly authentic Croatian dish. In the villages around the Neretva valley, close to Metkovic, you'll find frogs and eels used in local cuisine.

soppy.jpegWhat type of food does Croatia eat? The hinterland behind the city of Omis in Dalmatia is one of the few places you'll find Poljički Soparnik, a truly authentic Croatian food © Marc Rowlands

Continental Croatian cuisine and traditional Mediterranean cooking collide in the Dalmatian hinterland – it really is the best of both. Much of the lamb Dalmatia is famous for comes from the foothills on either side of the Dinaric Alps and meat plays a perhaps bigger role in Dalmatian cuisine than it does on the coast.

What food is Croatia known for in Zagreb?
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Compared to just ten years ago, the Zagreb food offer has exploded in its number of options. You can find Japanese sushi, Chinese food, Levantine food, Mexican food, Indian food, food from Sri Lanka, Lebanese and Arabic food, Thai food and Turkish food in authentic Zagreb restaurants and other food outlets. You'll also find some of Croatia's best burger joints and pizza restaurants in the capital. These excellent imports now rival the classic Balkan grill/barbecue joints for the attentions of restaurant-goers and those who order takeaway.

fallyfffs.jpgWhat type of food does Croatia eat? In Zagreb, these days you can eat food from all over the world - including delicious falafel © Falafel etc.

If you're only in Zagreb for a short amount of time, please don't miss the grill experience. The Croatian capital really does have some of the best in the country and it's a much more authentic experience than a burrito or sweet and sour pork with fried rice.

turkeyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.jpgWhat type of food does Croatia eat? Foods like burek, kebab and baklava can be found all over the Balkans, a remnant of the time the Ottomans were here. But, the best baklava in Croatia is available in Zagreb, made by Turkish guys at La Turka © Mateo Henec

Alongside the pljeskavica, cevapi, sausages and pork steaks on the Balkan grill menus, you'll often find stuffed meat options. Some of these are very popular in Zagreb. It could be a burger, with bacon included or one filled with cheese. Or, it could be a chicken, turkeys, pork or veal portion, tenderised and flattened with a cooking mallet so that it can be rolled around cheese and ham and cooked in breadcrumbs, like the famous Zagrebački odrezak.

magazinnnnn.jpgWhat type of food does Croatia eat? DO NOT miss the grill restaurants in Zagreb. Magazinska Klet, just behind Autobusni kolodvor (intercity bus station) is a really good one © Magazinska Klet

Zagreb food is much more influenced by continental European cooking than the menu found near Croatia's coast. Austrian influences can be seen not only in the city's rich architecture – its cakes and pastries are comparable to some found on just the other side of neighbouring Slovenia.

Strukli is a Zagreb speciality – a baked or boiled pastry dish which can have different fillings and accompanying sauces, cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, sour cream and cream being among them. Another distinct element of the Zagreb food offer is gablets – small dishes of food, served in restaurants at lunchtime, for a below-normal restaurant price. These are a great way to sample traditional Croatian food inexpensively. Ask a local for a recommendation of where does the best.

1440px-Štrukli_iz_Okrugljaka_1.jpgWhat type of food does Croatia eat? In Zagreb, they are very proud of the dish known as štrukli © Bonč

A modern European city of almost a million people – approaching a quarter of the country's population – it goes without saying that not a large percentage of Zagreb's land space is devoted to farming and agriculture. So, when we are discussing the food, plus much of the produce and menu of Zagreb, in many cases what we are actually talking about is the food of a much wider region surrounding the city. Zagreb County produce plays a big part in the cuisine of Croatia's capital. So too does that of the agricultural area which lies on the other side of the mountain Medvednica, which dominates Zagreb's skyline. That area is traditionally known as Zagorje.

sommy.jpgWhat type of food does Croatia eat? In much of the capital of Zagreb, the food and cuisine is actually informed by the areas surrounding, like Zagreb County. The pretty hills of Samobor in Zagreb County © Samobor Tourist Board

What food do they eat in Croatia in Zagorje and northern Croatia?
zgrrlksfh2.jpgWhat type of food does Croatia eat? The unspoiled rural landscape of Zagorje 'over the mountain' of Medvednica, informs much of what we class as Zagreb cuisine  © Ivo Biocina / Croatian National Tourist Board

Zagorje produce forms the basis of much that you'll find on the menu of Zagreb. This traditional region today stretches across several Croatian counties, each containing rolling hills, with vineyards rising above agricultural fields. It is very often a very pretty landscape.

dsjkafjgfJGVK1111.jpgWhat type of food does Croatia eat? Pffft! Forget the food, I want to eat this impossibly pretty landscape! This is Zagorje © Ivo Biocina / Croatian National Tourist Board

The food of Zagorje is traditionally the food of an agricultural region – simple, hearty fare, using the freshest produce that grows in the fields surrounding. Soups (in particular, a famous creamy potato soup), stews and bean-based dishes sit alongside sausages, filled pastries and fowl on the Zagorje menu.

militin11111111111111.jpgWhat type of food does Croatia eat? Zagorje mlinci © Mlin Jertovec doo

The region's cuisine is famous for some distinct inclusions. Polenta is used more in the Zagorje kitchen than in other regions. You'll likely find a greater choice of fowl here than anywhere else in Croatia. Duck, geese, guinea fowl, pheasant, chicken and turkey can be found on the Croatian food menu and many of these are commonly found being farmed in Zagorje. Such birds can be found in the diet of Croatians right the way through Zagorje and up to the most northern part of Croatia, Medimurje.

majaturk.jpgWhat type of food does Croatia eat? In Zagorje, turkey and other birds are usually served with pasta sheets called mlinci. Both Zagorje turkey and Zagorje mlinci are protected at their place of origin at an EU level © Maja Danica Pečanić / Croatian National Tourist Board

Zagorje turkey is Croatia's most famous. Like other bird dishes cooked all across Croatia, it is frequently served alongside distinct pasta sheets called Zagorski Mlinci, which is cooked in the bird's roasting juices and fat. In Zagorje, they are known for their baking – excellent pastries, both savoury and sweet, and their speciality grain breads, make their way across the mountain and into the hungry capital. Look out too for a savoury strudel they make with a mushroom filling. Yum! And, if you venture as far up as Medimurje, look out for one of their specialities called Meso 'z tiblice. Like much of continental Croatia, in Zagorje, locally made cheeses are an important part of traditional food, as are preserved meats and sausages.

What food does Croatia eat in Slavonia?
donjion1111.jpg What type of food does Croatia eat? People in Slavonia eat fresh food from their gardens or fields © Croatian National Tourist Board

As a rule, Croatians don't really like their food too hot and spicy. In an unpublished section of an interview with a Croatian Michelin restaurant chef, TCN was told that this appreciation of more milder flavours even extends to a reticence to eat older, aged and fully flavoured game and other meat. This conservative palette and minimal appreciation of strong spicing can be seen throughout the Croatian menu. And, in many cases, it's understandable. When produce is so fresh and full of flavour, it only impedes a dish to mask the taste of these ingredients with spices. The one region in Croatia that absolutely loves bold flavours within its traditional food is Slavonia.

slavvuy.jpgWhat type of food does Croatia eat? People in Slavonia have a much more spicy menu than the rest of Croatia © Romulić & Stojčić

A huge traditional region running east of Zagreb, across the flatlands of the Pannonian basin, right up to the border with Serbia, Slavonia is today divided up into several different counties. Also, within the history of this traditional region, two distinct regions share space alongside Slavonia in the Pannonian basin – Syrmia and Baranja. It perhaps does a disservice to these two small regions that they are often just swept under the broader title of Slavonia. Each makes its own incredible contribution to the Croatian menu.

Slawonien-850x491jdkssfADS.jpgWhat type of food does Croatia eat? People in Slavonia have two huge rivers bookending the north and south of their traditional region - the Drava and the Sava © Croatian National Tourist Board

In Croatian Syrmia (the other half of this traditional region lies across the border, in Vojvodina, present-day Serbia), you'll find some of the best white wines produced in continental Croatia. In Baranja, they are masters of preserved meats. The smoked, dry-cured bacon here may not be as famous as Dalmatian pancetta, but you'd be hard pushed to decide which was better. One of Croatia's oldest and best-regarded meat producers, Belje, is from Baranja.

Baranja is also famous for kulen, a sausage made only from premium cuts of pig and coloured red by a generous spicing of paprika. But, like so many parts of this region's menu, kulen is also made in Slavonia proper. The land is the same meaning much of the menu is the same so, please consider the following inclusions to be common in all.

MK4_5082rommyslav.jpegWhat type of food does Croatia eat? A selection of Slavonia and Baranja cold meats. Baranja kulen is the irregular-shaped sausage in the top left of the platter © Romulić & Stojčić

Slavonia's close proximity to Hungary is responsible for much of the strong spicing and flavours of the region's food. Paprika, in sweet and mild and more hot and piquant styles, can be found in many dishes of the Slavonian cookbook. Indeed, although the condiment ajvar is popular as an accompaniment to grilled meat everywhere and therefore made all over Croatia, it is in Slavonia that you'll regularly find the spiciest (although even theirs is milder than some brilliant, more brutal versions made elsewhere in the Balkans). Paprika makes its way not only into preserved sausages like kulen but also into Slavonian soups and stews.

Kulen_Maja_Danica_Pečanić.jpgWhat type of food does Croatia eat? Slavonian kulen. Slavonian kulen does not have the same irregular shape as Baranja kulen © Maja Danica Pečanić / Croatian National Tourist Board

Two great rivers border the north and south of Slavonia – the Drava and the Sava, with smaller ones running off or into them through the entire region. These produce a wealth of river fish which are popular in the Slavonian diet.

Throughout almost all the year in Slavonia, it is common to see large Šaran (carp), gutted and butterflied, then impaled outside on branches bored deep into the earth. This allows them to be suspended next to open fires which impart an incredible smoky flavour in the cooking of the fish. These Šaran frequently grow to incredible sizes in the big two rivers. The sight of this al fresco, traditional cooking method, known as u rašljama, is impressive, unforgettable and mouth-watering.

Šaran_Ivo_Biocina.jpgWhat type of food does Croatia eat? Šaran (carp) u rašljama © Ivo Biocina / Croatian National Tourist Board

Šaran also can be found among other river fish in the favourite Slavonian stew of fish paprikas. Richly red from paprika, you can again see this impressively cooked outdoors in Slavonia. Traditional heavy pots are suspended over open fires by the riverside, the dish bubbling and steaming above an intense heat. You would traditionally eat its liquid part first, as a soup, before delving into the fish parts that remain in the bottom (it's advisable to eat it only in this way as it's the best way of avoiding the many bones so typical of the river catch).

fishpap.jpgWhat type of food does Croatia eat? Fish paprikash (fiš paprikaš, sometimes shortened to simply fiš) © Romulić and Stojčić

Comparable to fish paprikash but made with meat is the Slavonian favourite of Cobanac. Again, boldly flavoured with paprika, this stew is bolstered in its punch by the use of hunted meats such as venison and wild boar. It is hands down one of Croatia's best dishes. You can find similar game meat used in Slavonian hunters stew and perklet, another thick and tasty dish informed by Hungarian neighbours.

cobanac81269598126589.jpgWhat type of food does Croatia eat? Cobanac, a hearty, spicy stew made in Slavonia using wild meats © Youtube screenshot 

Slavonia and neighbouring Vojvodina was once the breadbasket of much of the former Yugoslav federation. Here, this land that was once underwater is incredibly rich in nutrients. Indeed, in harder times, many people from all over the region came to live here, assured of finding work in the region's thriving agricultural industry. Slavonia today is not nearly so integral to the supply of the whole domestic nation's food, but agriculture still thrives here. And, the land is still rich.

areal05donji.jpgWhat type of food does Croatia eat? People in Slavonia eat river fish and fresh fruit and vegetables grown in their own, often large back gardens © Osijek-Baranja County Tourist Board

In Slavonia, many live a rural life and even in some towns and large villages, Slavonian houses have huge gardens behind them which are traditionally used for growing vegetables, fruits and nuts or rearing chickens and pigs. Some Slavonian households engage in all of these and others too keep beehives (Slavonian honey is famous and comes in a variety of exciting, different flavours). The products of their labour ensure the freshest ingredients end up in Slavonian home cooking (although, some of their fruits are diverted from the dining table to the pursuit of making rakija). The personal rearing of animals for food also produces a culture in which none of the animal goes to waste.

Krvavica_Maja_Danica_Pečanić.jpgWhat type of food does Croatia eat? Krvavica © Maja Danica Pečanić / Croatian National Tourist Board

Alongside standard or garlic and paprika flavoured sausages like kobasice, or the aforementioned kulen, in Slavonia you can find Švargl, a terrine made from offal, Čvarci, deep-fried rind (pork scratchings) and krvavica, a Croatian blood sausage. Although perhaps straying far from Italian traditions, Slavonia is also responsible for what is arguably Croatia's greatest style of pizza. Slavonska pizza is a hefty festival of different types of pork meats, loaded with onions and cheese too. It's already a gut-buster but, order it with an egg on top and when you burst the yolk to run across your forkful, you'll forget that pizza was ever Italian in the first place.

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Friday, 5 February 2021

Medimurje Microlight Tragedy, Two Bodies Pulled From Lake

February 5, 2021 – A recreational flight in northern Croatia yesterday ended in tragedy when a Medimurje microlight crashed into a lake on the border between Varazdin County and Medimurje County

A recreational flight in the skies above northern Croatia yesterday ended with the tragic death of two people. A Medimurje microlight crashed into a lake near the border between Varazdin County and Medimurje County. Two persons were aboard the Medimurje microlight and both were sadly killed. Their bodies were retrieved from the lake by divers from the Čakovec Public Fire Brigade near the village of Novo Selo na Dravi.

The Medimurje microlight crashed into the accumulation lake of the Čakovec Hydroelectric Power Plant at around 3:22 p.m yesterday afternoon. Međimurje Police Department regrettably confirmed that the deceased were a 35-year-old and a 42-year-old. One was from Novo Selo na Dravi and the other from the Čakovec area.

Both the pilot and co-pilot of the Medimurje microlight were members of the Rode Kite Club from Prelog, which lies just a few kilometres to the east of where the Medimurje microlight crashed, on the other side of the Čakovec Hydroelectric Power Plant. Such is the popularity of the longstanding flight club, the tragic death of two of its members will have a significant impact on the large community that is welcomed at its facilities.

HE_Cakovec_1.jpgČakovec Hydroelectric Power Plant © HEP

Leon Krištović, Deputy Commander of the JVP Čakovec fireman's department, said that they received a report from the 112 emergency call centre and upon their arrival at the scene, were met by local fishermen who had witnessed the tragedy. The fishermen had recounted seeing the Medimurje microlight experiencing trouble before it crashed into the lake and were able to state they had seen two people on board. They directed the firemen to the position of the crash in the water, where the sad discovery of the deceased men was made. The Medimurje microlight was also retrieved from the water.

The accident was reported to the Air, Maritime and Railway Accident Investigation Agency (AIN) and the state attorney's office. An investigation will be conducted at the scene of the Medimurje microlight accident on the morning of Friday 5th February 2021 in order to determine the circumstances of this event.

Screenshot_143.pngPhoto © Vjeran Zganec Rogulja / Index screenshot

All emergency services attended the crash site in order to join the initial response. From pictures of the search operation's aftermath, published in Index, the Medimurje microlight which crashed looks to have been an ultralight trike. It is a type of powered hang glider that has a fabric flex-wing, powered by a propeller at the rear (behind its occupants) and controlled directionally by weight-shift, as with traditional non-motorised hang gliders. Popular since the 1980s, these microlights have a very good reputation for allowing safe, accessible and inexpensive flying.

RodeFlightClub.jpgThe airfield and facilities of Rode Kite Club, Prelog © Jakov Balent / Zmajarski klub Rode

The Rode Kite Club (Zmajarski klub Rode) from Prelog has a similarly well-established record for safety. They have their own airfield, which is pristinely maintained, and which welcomes a broad section of Cakovec County and Varazdin County community members to its activities and events, including many families and young people. As well as motorised hang gliding and microlights, over recent years the club has accommodated drone enthusiasts and hosted some light aircraft. It also welcomes enthusiasts of motorised model cars, planes and boats. It sits next to the waters that form a natural barrier between Cakovec County and Varazdin County.

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