Food & Drink
Croatian gastronomy of the coastal region is developed in a tradition of natural, healthy food based on meals of vegetables in olive oil, fish and seafood, accompanied with wine and sheep and goat cheese. Vegetables are cooked in a small amount of water with a seasoning of olive oil and aromatic herbs. Fish is prepared by stewing, grilling or boiling, while meat, usually lamb, is roasted on a spit to get a unique taste.
One can distinguish between the cuisine of Istria, Kvarner and Dalmatia, because of the difference in taste and preparation of food. Istrian gastronomic experience is different at every time of the year, because of the abundant use of the natural gifts of the given season.
An original Croatian product by geographical descent is Istrian “pršut”, a ham dried in the “bura” wind. The most famous Istrian dish is “maneštra”, a thick soup of vegetables and dried meat. Fish and seafood specialties of this region are salty whitebait, a mollusc salad, grill or cooked fresh fish and Kvarner scampi. Various pastas and risottos served with local truffles, first-rate mushrooms which emit a wonderful aroma, and asparagus in olive oil are only a fraction of the gastronomic wealth this region offers.
Traditional Istrian deserts are “fritule”, deep-fried doughnuts favorite in winter, and “pinca”, sweet bread consisting of pastry and apples, prepared for Easter celebrations. Also enjoyed every season are cooked or grilled sweet ravioli.
Dalmatian cooking is lighter and less aromatic than in Istria. Olive oil is one of the foundations of Dalmatian gastronomy. The abundance of fresh or lightly cooked vegetables has made them garnishing for these dishes: fish soup, grilled fish, octopus, oysters from Ston, scampi and mussels “na buzaru” (stewed) and “pašticada” with gnocchi (Dalmatian goulash), barbecued meat marinated in rosemary. The combination of olives and Pag cheese in olive oil is something you have to try.
The most usual ingredients of a typical Dalmatian desert include Mediterranean fruit, raisins, dried figs, almonds and honey. A well-known sweets are the Dubrovnik's “rožata”, caramel pudding made from eggs, and gingerbread from the island of Hvar.
A glass of truly excellent wine is perfect to accompany every delicious meal. The first vineyards in this area were established by the ancient Greeks. It is a rich wine-growing region of diverse landscapes, climate and earth, which gives such variety to today's wines and their taste. The white Istrian “Malmsey” wine complements wonderfully a seafood cuisine, while dark “Teran” wine goes exceptionally well with meat dishes and goulashes. Dalmatian “Prošek” and “Zlačani Muškat” from Istria goes well with sweets and refined dishes. Goat cheese tastes delicious accompanied with the renowned “Plavac” from the island of Hvar. The wine-producing peninsula of Pelješac offers a real wealth of wines, like “Postup”, “Dingač”, “Kneževo” and “Carsko”, and the Primošten's native wine “Babić” is known worldwide.
When it comes to combining sailing and the best of the Mediterranean cuisine nothing can beat gulet cruises where you get the services of professional chef. Learn more about cuisine served on gulet cruises, what local specialities will you enjoy on a Greek gulet or eating on a gulet in Turkey.
And if you are in the mood for something more exotic explore Caribbean cuisine while sailing.