Five Favourite Croatian Snacks

Lauren Simmonds

croatian snacks
Davor Puklavec/PIXSELL

October the 22nd, 2023 – Croatia is rich when it comes to its extremely diverse gastronomic scene, but what if you’re not hungry enough to eat an entire Slavonian platter of cured meat and cheese or Dalmatia’s signature octopus ”under the bell”? Look no further, and try some of these popular Croatian snacks.

Slavonian “Nutella”

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Don’t let the nickname fool you – eastern Croatia’s favourite spread doesn’t contain hazelnuts or chocolate, but it hits the spot just perfectly. Actually called mast na kruhu (fat on bread) or kruh, mast i paprika (bread, fat and paprika) it is a local spread made from pork fat and combined with the above ingredients. It can be spread on bread in the form of an open sandwich of sorts, and when that bread is homemade – it’s hard to beat the taste. Enjoyed across Slavonia, it soared in popularity back during the Croatian War of Independence in the 1990s when the situation in eastern Croatia was incredibly unstable. Often coined as a poor man’s meal, it has gained a huge following across eastern regions of Croatia and among swathes of the area’s increasing number of both domestic and foreign visitors.

You don’t have to stick religiously to the old school paprika, pork fat and salt, however, and you’re free to throw on a bit of onion or garlic to give it an extra kick. These Croatian snacks are enjoyed year-round but particularly during the cold winter months as they’re hearty (and lardy). Slavonian ”Nutella” can even be given a sweeter kick by switching the dash of salt for a pinch of sugar.



Another favourite which spans generations is this type of fritter or fried doughball that draws its origins from different locations, including neighbouring Herzegovina. The most popular Croatian version are arguably the ones which hail from the Vrlika area in the Dalmatian hinterland. Traditionally, you’d see an older Croatian housewife busy with her wooden bowl and surrounded by an array of kitchen utensils and ingredients. Among those ingredients you’d find everything from eggs, melted pork fat and salt. Of course, nothing can be complete without a bit of rakija, and these traditional fritters are no exception to that rule. These Croatian-style fritters can be served as salty or as sweet snacks, with salt accompanying the more savoury version and various jams accompanying the sweeter type.

Fritule (Prikle)


Fritule, or prikle if you’re from the Dubrovnik area, are a wildly popular type of doughnut snack that are synonymous with wintertime and Christmas. Similar to Italy’s much loved zeppole, they usually contain citrus zest, rum and raisins. As stated, they’re associated with the festive period and can be found being sold by merchants at Christmas markets and the like, either as fritule or as prikle (depending on where you happen to be buying them), all over Croatia when the time for Santa’s arrival draws near. Depending on the part of the country you’re in, fritule are prepared differently, with traditional Dalmatian fritule being prepared without the use of yogurt, where as yogurt is the normal elsewhere. Soft and airy, you’re guaranteed to fall in love with this traditional Croatian festive dessert – so much so that you might end up resembling Santa’s body type by the time you’ve had enough of them.


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One of the somewhat less commonly referenced Croatian snacks is the krampogača (krampogače when plural, and trust me, you’ll definitely want more than one). They come from continental Croatia, a significant distance from the Adriatic coast. The rolling hills of northern Croatia might by the ancestral home of these popular savoury biscuits, but they can typically be purchased in bakeries all over the country. Their crumbly texture is hard to resist, and the pork cracklings/scratchings (čvarci) that everyone goes crazy for are also packed inside them.


Biser Todorov

While these pork cracklings (or pork scratchings if you’re British) aren’t solely made and enjoyed in Croatia, being produced all over Serbia, Romania, Poland, Macedonia and beyond – they’re synonymous with continental Croatia for very many people. With the pig fat thermally extracted from the actual lard, this countryside delight is enjoyed by just about everyone – perhaps with the exception of vegans and vegetarians, that is. Despite being associated with the colder time of the year, these crispy, savoury and rather addictive Croatian snacks are perfect for anyone wanting something to chew on with a beer or to keep them going before their next meal. Here in Croatia, bread and onions are often found served with čvarci, and if there’s no beer to be seen, you might find some heated rakija in the near vicinity.


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