A Croatian Food & Wine Experience!
From the Pearls of the Dalmatian Islands.
One of the very best ways to experience the Croatian islands off the Dalmatian Coast & its delicious cuisine is aboard a sailing adventure. The Croatian coastline has thousands of islands scattered like pearls in the Adriatic Sea to explore.
Croatian cuisine is diverse depending on the region you are visiting, having ancient roots as far back as Roman & Greek times. There is also a rich heritage of different cultural influences from Italy, Hungary, Slovenia & Turkey over the centuries. The food is hearty & delicious thanks to the peasant traditions that use simple fresh produce, age old techniques, & time to bring out the best flavour. All along the Dalmatian Coast you will find traditional food in seaside villages & delicious food in the traditional taverns. You can also visit hilltop restaurants to sample Dalmatian cuisine & wine.
Image from Unsplashed June Liu
Croatian wine has a history going right back to when the ancient Greeks settled in the Dalmatian Islands. Croatian Wines are from Pelješac, Korčula, Istria & Slavonia. All along the coast there are vineyards gently rolling down the hills to the Adriatic Sea, as well as in the alpine mountains on the mainland. Croatian wine is strong, excellent in flavour & very hard to pronounce - so maybe that’s why it’s not so popular internationally!
Typical Croatian Wine List:
To get a taste of the Croatian wine experience you can pick from the following selection. Most good wine merchants should be able to supply you with Croatian wines.
Dingač is a top quality dry red wine named after the area of the Pelješac peninsula where this wine sort is being grown on its steep slopes & produced from the indigenous red wine grape Plavac Mali. The main features of this wine are the ruby red colour & lush taste of dark fruit.
Image from Unsplashed Rodrigo Abrew
Pošip is a local white wine grape of Dalmatia, mainly found on the island of Korčula.
It pairs perfectly with fish, prosciutto & light-bodied Croatian cheeses such as Paški sir.
Malvasia (Croatian: Malvazija) is a typical Mediterranean wine variety & it's the most popular white wine of the northern region of Croatia, Istria.
It is a full bodied & aromatic wine, which smells like acacia flowers. Malvasia pairs well with light dishes such as fish & Istrian prosciutto.
Image by Unsplashed Stefan Johnson
Graševina originates from France & is more commonly known as Riesling.
It is a beautiful light-yellow colour; dry, fresh, acidic & slightly bitter. Graševina goes well with grilled fish & meat.
Image from WIX media White Wine
Frankovka is a favourite Croatian wine especially in the regions of Slavonia and Moslavina.
It is a dry wine of dark ruby red with flavours of berries, cherries, plums & the scent of pepper. This wine pairs well with red meat such as pheasant, venison & other game.
Image from Unsplashed Kym Ellis
Karlovacko was established in 1854 & has been brewed in the same traditional way for the last 157 years! This is a great beer for any lager lover.
A clean, fresh & refreshing, well balanced, lightly bitter & malty. A fantastic crowd pleaser beer to enjoy.
Image from Unsplashed Thais Do Rio
When I'm away on holidays I find it a good idea to have some simple recipes in my repertoire to enjoy with new & old friends.
Grilled Eggplant with Marinated Feta
A great Croatian snack to have with drinks!
2 ½ cups Feta cheese
1 to 2 cups Olive oil
3 cloves Crushed garlic
2 eggplants; salt to your taste
1 Tbsp paprika
Image Unsplashed Lucian Alexe
In a bowl, add crumbled feta, 2 cloves of crushed garlic & ½ to 1 cup of olive oil, cover & refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight if possible.
Slice eggplant into thick 1cm discs. Lightly sprinkle each with salt. Mix paprika & crushed garlic with the remaining olive oil & brush some over each disc.
Preheat a grill pan. Cook eggplant until golden brown on each side, brushing occasionally with more of the paprika, garlic & olive oil mix.
When the eggplant is cooked through, put on a serving platter, top with feta mix & enjoy!
The very best way to experience Croatian local cuisine is aboard a Sunsail Food & Wine Flotilla or a fully skippered charter with Moorings or Sunsail.
Image from Unsplashed by Cody Black
In the meantime these are my favourite Croatian sailing experience videos which I hope you will enjoy seeing to get some inspiration for your next holiday.
Video from our friends at The Moorings that I highly recommend.
Video from our friends at Sunsail that I also highly recommend
You can read more about visiting Croatia on my blog post “Pearls of the North Dalmatian Coast, Croatia - An Almost Adriatic Adventure”