AUTHENTIC CROATIAN AND ISTRIAN CUISINE
1.KONOBA is a traditional Croatian tavern or trattoria, typically run by a family. It is a cozy and informal restaurant that offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere. In Croatia, konobas hold a cult status and have been immortalized in numerous songs and stories, highlighting their cultural significance.
The menu of a konoba often includes HOMEMADE PASTA, FRESH SEAFOOD, GRILLED DISHES, “PEKA” (a traditional Croatian way of cooking meat and vegetables under a bell-shaped lid), as well as roasted lamb or suckling pig on a spit. The konoba dining experience allows you to savor AUTHENTIC CROATIAN CUISINE while enjoying the hospitality of a family-run establishment.
2.TRADITIONAL ISTRIAN PASTA is renowned for its simplicity and fresh flavors, available in a variety of different shapes and forms. The most popular homemade pastas in Istria are FUŽI, PLJUKANCI, POSUTICE AND NJOKI. These pastas are served with locally sourced ingredients such as truffles, wild asparagus, or Istrian pršut (prosciutto). FUŽI are long, thin pasta strands that are often enjoyed with rich sauces or seafood, while PLJUKANCI are hand-rolled, irregularly shaped pasta pieces typically served with hearty meat or game sauces. Another popular Istrian pasta dish is GNOCCHI WITH GOULASH, where soft potato dumplings are paired with a flavorful beef stew, showcasing the region’s diverse culinary offerings and providing a delightful and authentic culinary experience.
3.PEKA is a traditional Croatian dish prepared in a dome-shaped iron bell covered with hot coals, creating a unique method of SLOW-ROASTING MEAT, POTATOES, AND VEGETABLES. The most popular meats for peka are typically LAMB OR VEAL, known for their tender and flavorful results, while OCTOPUS is also a beloved option, offering a delicious and tender seafood alternative for peka enthusiasts.
4.BLACK RISOTTO WITH CUTTLEFISH, also known as “CRNI RIŽOTO OD SIPA” in Croatian, is a popular seafood dish in coastal regions of Croatia. This flavorful and visually striking dish gets its dark color from the ink of the cuttlefish, which is mixed with Arborio or Carnaroli rice, onions, garlic, white wine, and seafood broth. The tender pieces of cuttlefish, combined with the rich and savory flavors of the INK-INFUSED RICE, create a delicious and unique culinary experience. Served hot and garnished with parsley, this BLACK RISOTTO is a must-try for seafood lovers seeking a taste of the ADRIATIC CUISINE.
5.THE ISTRIAN PLATTER, OR ISTARSKA PLATA, offers a delightful assortment of local delicacies, showcasing the rich culinary heritage of the region. Istarski pršut, also known as ISTRIAN PROSCIUTTO, is a renowned dry-cured ham produced in the Istrian peninsula. It is made from carefully selected pork legs, which are salted, air-dried, and aged for an extended period. The ham develops a rich and complex taste, with a delicate balance of saltiness and sweetness, along with a subtle smoky aroma.
On the platter, you can find a variety of artisanal CHEESES such as creamy Istrian goat cheese, semi-hard cow’s milk cheese called “skuta,” and flavorful sheep’s milk cheese. These cheeses are complemented by slices of traditional ISTRIAN SAUSAGES and the region’s beloved OLIVES. This platter provides a TRUE TASTE OF ISTRIA, highlighting the region’s passion for fine cheeses, cured meats, and culinary craftsmanship.
6.ISTRIAN TRUFFLES are a prized gourmet treasure of Istria, characterized by their unique flavor and high value. These subterranean, tuber-like fungi are known for their distinct aroma and earthy taste. Highly sought after by food enthusiasts, Istrian truffles add a touch of luxury to various dishes, such as PASTA, RISOTTO, AND CHEESE. Their rarity and exceptional quality make them a true culinary gem of Istria, delighting gourmets and showcasing the region’s rich gastronomic heritage.
7.MANEŠTRA is a traditional ISTRIAN STEW that is highly regarded for its rich flavors and hearty nature. This rustic dish is typically prepared with a variety of vegetables, legumes, and cured meats, creating a robust and satisfying combination. The main ingredients often INCLUDE BEANS, POTATOES, CABBAGE, CARROTS, ONIONS, GARLIC, AND HERBS, simmered slowly to allow the flavors to meld together. Maneštra is known for its thick and comforting consistency, making it a perfect comfort food during colder months. It is often enjoyed with a drizzle of olive oil and served alongside crusty bread, completing the wholesome dining experience.
8.FRITULE are a traditional CROATIAN DESSERT resembling SMALL DOUGHNUTS. These bite-sized treats are made from a sweet batter infused with citrus zest and often contain raisins, flavored with rum or brandy. Deep-fried to a golden brown and dusted with powdered sugar, fritule are enjoyed during festive occasions and holidays, bringing a delightful sweetness to the palate.
9.BALKAN GRILL – ĆEVAPČIĆI (also known as ĆEVAPI) are mouthwatering grilled minced meat sausages that have captured the hearts and palates of Croatia and the entire BALKAN REGION. These delectable treats are made from a flavorful blend of ground beef, lamb, and spices. Shaped into small, finger-sized portions, they are expertly grilled to perfection. Served on a platter or plate, accompanied by soft and fluffy LEPINJA bread, diced onions, and a dollop of KAJMAK cream cheese or AJVAR relish, Ćevapi offer a harmonious blend of juicy, flavorful meat with a hint of smokiness. Whether enjoyed as a popular street food or as a beloved barbecue dish at home, Ćevapi are cherished throughout the Balkans for their delicious simplicity and versatility.