Your Guide to Croatian Comfort Food

Daniela Rogulj

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One thing Croatian’s are good at is eating. Another thing we do well is cooking. And in general, we are definitely able to brag a bit about our cuisine. On the Adriatic coast our seafood is like candy, and inland we eat heartily, but one thing is for certain and that is we know a thing or two when it comes to food.


Comfort food is defined as “food which provides a nostalgic or sentimental value to the consumer, and is often characterized by its high caloric nature, high carbohydrate level, and simple preparation. The nostalgia may be specific to either the individual or a specific culture.” Croatian comfort food is found in our most traditional dishes, the ones that taste like home, the holidays, and that with each bite brings us closer to that homeland feeling.


Here are some classic Croatian comfort staples, must haves, and all around feel good dishes for you to indulge, imbibe, and find solace in.


Fuži with Truffle: You haven’t lived until you’ve been to Istria and tried their fuži or pljukanci pasta. You also haven’t lived until you’ve bathed in the incredible amount of truffles that fill the region. And when you put this pasta and truffles together? You get the richest and creamiest meal you could possibly dream of.



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Fiš Paprikaš: A Slavonian specialty, this spicy fish and paprika stew is made in a cast-iron kettle over wood fire, containing plenty of fresh water fish such as carp and catfish. Spicy, hearty, and a tummy warmer.



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Štrukli: found mostly in Zagreb and the surrounding areas, this cheese and cream filled mix between a strudel and a borek has even been proclaimed as a cultural icon by the Ministry of Culture.



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Brodet: Usually coming from Neretva, this is another hearty stew but usually made with frogs or eel, fruits of the Neretva river. Use polenta to sop up the broth and enjoy, this is spicy, paprika filled, and your new best friend.



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Pašticada: a Dalmatian classic, this is our beef stew. Coated in a thick sauce that’s sweet yet vinegary, this is slow cooked with carrots and red wine, and usually topped over gnocchi.



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Peka: Oh the peka, our way of cooking “under the bell”, a method which is ancient yet better today than it has ever been. Usually made with veal, octopus, or lamb, hot coals are placed atop the bell like lid, and the slow cooking ensues. You’ve never tasted something so tender and full of flavor (and enjoy those fat soaked potatoes).


peka 1

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Vitalac: lamb that has only tasted their mother’s milk, and feasted on what they can find in the open pastures (but not yet tasted grass). This is prepared on a rotating spit, brushed with salt, wrapped in intestines, and is the crispiest bacon like texture you’ve ever tasted.



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Buzara: Scampi, olive oil, garlic, white wine, bread crumbs and BAM! That being the “white” version, the red type is made with the addition of tomatoes. Get your hands in there, lick your fingers, and don’t miss a drop of sauce.



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Fritula: Dalmatian fried sweet dumplings found in droves in the city of Split. Flavored with rum and sometimes raisins, it’s not a holiday or a party unless you have a table filled with these.



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Gregada: a fish stew, usually found in Hvar, slow cooked with whitefish, potatoes, white wine, garlic, and olive oil.



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Stuffed peppers: our Croatian bell peppers stuff with meat and rice, cooked in a red sauce and eating with mashed potatoes. The ultimate comfort food killer.



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Dobar tek!




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