The Basics of the Mediterranean Cuisine

Take your taste buds for a Mediterranean fling, a trip that will long be remembered. Key components of Mediterranean cuisine include heart-healthy olive oil, protein-rich legumes, fish and whole grains with moderate amounts of wine and red meat.

A visual delight, exquisitely delicious, and good for you—it’s no wonder that Mediterranean cuisine is so popular. An authentic Croatian meal is a true culinary experience, an enrichment. In Croatia, we enjoy leisurely meals of many courses, with a great melding of flavors, aromas, colors and textures. And virtually every dish — seafood, pasta, breads, soups, stews, grains — is wonderfully seasoned with aromatic spices.

 

As part of Mediterranean, Croatian cuisine is specialy heterogeneous and is known as a cuisine of the regions since every region has its own distinct culinary traditions. Its roots date back to ancient times and the differences in the selection of foodstuffs and forms of cooking are most notable between those on the mainland and those in coastal regions.

The coastal region bears the influences of the Greek, Roman and Illyrian, as well as of the later Mediterranean cuisine – Italian (especially Venetian) and French, using olive oil, and herbs and spices such as rosemary, sage, bay, leaf, oregano, marjoram, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, lemon and orange rind.

Peasant cooking traditions are based on imaginative variations of several basic ingredients (cereals, dairy products, meat, fish, vegetables) and cooking procedures (stewing, grilling, roasting, baking), while bourgeois cuisine involves more complicated procedures and use of selected herbs and spices. Charcuterie is part of Croatian tradition in all regions. Food and recipes from former Yugoslav countries are also popular in Croatia.

It is said that Dalmatian style is the best way for the preparation of fish. One of the world’s famous dishes is certainly a pie from the island Vis, recipe which for centuries delights gourmets. For those who do not know what is this pie from island of Vis, I can only say that if you like sardines that you will surely love this meal. It is not complicated to make, delicious and of course a little saltier so it is an ideal base for a good wine.

You can also enjoy delicacies like shark meat and grilled, fried or marinated fish – then many molluscs such as squid, cuttlefish and octopus – but also crabs and clams steamed or prepared like risotto in numerous sauces. As for the meat, you can enjoy the experience of this unique Dalmatian prosciutto flavored by drying in the cold wind, also called a smoked ham. This delicacy is cut into long, thin slices and served with cheese and olives as an appetiser. Furthermore, you can enjoy a lamb roasted on an open fire or cooked, dried mutton, roast beef or Dalmatian stew (beef stew with gnocchi).

Those who try Dalmatian cuisine, they become addicted to it.