After a gastronomic guide to coastal Croatia, it's time to see what we must eat and drink, when we explore the continental part of this country. This gastronomic guide to continental Croatia will help you to see these regions of Croatia with different eyes. Food and drinks are one of the most important elements of any visit to Croatia. So, let's see what continental Croatia has to offer.
We will start from the capital city - Zagreb. Given the fact that the Austro-Hungarian influence in culture and everyday life is still strong, the cuisine is touched too. However, Zagreb is a place where different cultures and influences encounter, so the gastronomic offer is also varied. Firstly, let's go to the Dolac Market, just a few steps from Ban Jelačić Square. This marketplace is where all fresh products can be found, all those ingredients that will be an integral part of the meals. That's why Dolac Market is the best place for tasting various local specialties. What I would recommend you to try while you are in Zagreb is a turkey with mlinci (mlinci - a special type of dried flatbread). This is the food that every Croatian grandmother and mom know how to prepare, but you can find it in many Zagreb restaurant as well. After that, let's try something from Central Croatia.
In Central Croatia, the selection of dishes and drinks is diverse. Different types of cheeses and cakes make this cuisine very interesting. The most popular dish is Samoborska kotlovina, that contains several types of meat, lots of vegetables and spices. It is impossible for everyone to like it, but it is a meal that will always be prepared for family celebrations and gatherings. If you are in Samobor, it would be great to find some locals to host you and make you try an authentic kotlovina.
"Slavonia feeds Croatia", you will often hear this statement. And that's right. Slavonia is the place where most cereals and vegetables come from, and the place where you will eat the best. This last point is my subjective impression! When you are in eastern Croatia or Slavonia, every house, in the villages and cities, will surely offer you kulen, a homemade sausage and homemade brandy - rakija. Kulen is an essential part of every traditional breakfast, with some eggs and spring onions. It represents long dried pork meat with an addition of hot peppers. With homemade kulen, which is a bit spicy, a local brandy rakija goes well. While you are in Vinkovci, Ilok, Vukovar or Osijek, friendly hosts will offer you tasty local dishes, while the Danube, the Bosut, and the Drava River will make this plain scenery even more attractive. For the end, we can eat some sweets. Selenjaci is a homemade pastry made of dough filled with apricot or plum jam. It will definitely cause a smile on your face, and you will ask for more.
We came to the last and sweetest station and finished the gastronomic tour through continental Croatia. I hope that you will try at least some of the dishes and drinks from this guide and that they will be a part of the image that you will remember from your Croatian adventure. Bon Appétit!
Cover Photo © credits: iStock/sb-borg
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