Croatian carnival desserts come in various recipes and shapes. Donuts and “fanjki” in central Croatia, “kroštule” and fritters in the coastal region to Slavonian “torn pants“, “lepirice” or “listarići”. “Torn pants” are prepared from yeasted pastry cut in rectangles with cut middle, to make a tear. This shape was an inspiration for such an intriguing title of this meal. They are best consumed right after taken out of hot oil, sprinkled warm with powdered sugar or combined with jam.
This dish originates from Turkish cuisine, but it has become so domesticated in Croatia that it has become an obligatory traditional winter and New Year’s meal. Croatian word sarma means a roll, derived from Turkish word sarmak – to roll, bend, wrap. And what is wrapped here is minced or chopped meat with added bacon, onion, garlic, rice and seasonings. The advantage of this meal is that it can be prepared several days in advance before serving, and it goes well with boiled or mashed potatoes or polenta.
Quince cheese used to be prepared more often and it was used as a dessert during the winter season. And for Christmas it was used to prepare delicious and juicy cakes such as this one. Combination of quince cheese and crunchy walnuts, with a dash of cinnamon along a cup of tea, makes for a true comfort food during the winter.
Croatian region Slavonia, especially the area around Tikveš, is abundant in venison, so already in the 17th century hunting grounds were formed there. And after the hunt, venison stew comes perfectly. With plenty of onion, root vegetables, wine and sour cream you get a supreme delicacy to serve with any side dish. We suggest bread dumplings.
Italian word for quince is cotogna, and in Dalmatia word kitnkes (quince cheese) is used. It is prepared in the continental part of Croatia for the winter season and kept in boxes with bay leaves. It is served with sugared almonds (bruštulani mjenduli), nuts and dried figs.
Brodetto, locally known as brodet, brudet or brujet is a meal prepared of sea fish. You place in a dish a row of oily fish, tomato, onion, garlic, but also dark grapes. This interesting combination of flavours is completed with fine white wine and olive oil. Serve with cooked polenta.
The cake from island Rab is today a culinary souvenir. This is a Medieval recipe, allegedly recorded in 1177, when according to the legend the cake was first served to the pope Alexander III who visited Rab and blessed the cathedral of Maria’s Ascension.
Summer-time dinning at the coastal region of Croatia brings you, among others, a table of abundance of fresh vegetables. Eggplants, peppers and tomatoes combined with chicken provide only the best of the Mediterranean cuisine. With home-made pasta, black olives and a fragance of fresh basil, make it a perfect summer lunch. With this recipe we can only wish you – bon appetit!
The finest of the Mediterranean diet is contained in this recipe – fresh ingredients, simple preparation and fullness of flavour. Ingredients can be found on majority of Adriatic islands, among them is also Lokrum, an island about 600 m away from Dubrovnik. Therefore enjoy the taste of fresh mussels and sauce to dip your bread. No utensils needed 😉
Home-made fresh cottage cheese and freshly milled flour are traditional ingredients of the continental or the green Croatia, reminding me of my childhood. And in late June when the treetops of my grandmother’s garden cherry would swing its red fruits, it was time for quite an unusual strudel. Filling made of creamy cheese and sour cherries found itself in a perfect harmony rolled up in a fine, thin filo pastry. Yummy!