1. Our coffee culture
Croatians love drinking coffee and taking their time, and we tend to take our coffee culture very seriously. At home, we make Turkish coffee, and outside we drink Italian, simple as that. We like our coffees very strong and mostly black, nothing fancy. The only acceptable additions are milk and sugar, no fancy sweeteners or syrups allowed in Croatian households. Another thing about our coffee culture is that we take our time and sip it slowly. It can take hours to get through one cup of coffee because we are in no rush. Drinking coffee in Croatia is a carefree and relaxed part of our culture that we embrace daily.
2. Rakija fixes everything
Rakija is considered to be the magic fix for any trouble in Croatia. Do you have a sore throat? Take a shot. Did someone break your heart? Take a shot. Do you have a fever? Maybe don’t take a shot, but you should soak a towel in Rakija and put it on your head. Did you hurt yourself? Have a shot and disinfect the wound with Rakija. It is an all-around problem solver in Croatia.
3. Family comes first
In Croatia, there is nothing more important than family. It’s normal for children to leave the nest very late and live with their parents until they get married. Most people also stay in their hometown, so they see no point in moving out. It’s just how things have always been here, and family is number one always. At home, you are known because of your parents, and your name determines your value and social status. In Croatia, it’s very common to be asked “who are your parents,” especially in small towns because people really do know everyone.
4. Cooking with Vegeta
If you enter any Croatian household and don’t have Vegeta, are you really in a Croatian household? Vegeta is a vegetable seasoning used daily in any Croatian kitchen and on everything you can think of. It simply is an all-purpose seasoning that is a staple in any Croatian household.
5. Seafood Fridays
Seafood on Fridays is very popular in Croatia because of our religion, so you’ll notice that most restaurants have some seafood specials every Friday. Most people follow it even if they aren’t religious, and in a Croatian household, you cannot and should not be eating meat on Fridays. It mostly consists of fish, but it’s considered acceptable for as long as it’s from the sea.
If you’re from Croatia or have been to any Croatian household, you’re aware that propuh is pretty much illegal. Propuh is a wind that blows right through the house, and doors and windows shut almost immediately. It’s a habit we have gotten used to here, and we associate propuh with being extremely dangerous because you could easily get sick, and we do our best to avoid it. When propuh occurs, the whole household goes into panic mode to close the entire house immediately as if the world is falling apart.
7. We eat everything
Croatian cuisine is diverse and offers the freshest products in its regional dishes, and menus vary accordingly by season and region. Strangely enough, Croatians do eat everything from dormouse, Vitalac (Skewers made of baby goat or lamb’s entrails such as lungs, liver, or spleen), beef tongue, and frog legs are a few unique delicacies in Croatia. Don’t judge it until you try it but maybe don’t ask the waiter to translate the dish when ordering and go with it.
8. If it grows, we celebrate it
Squid fishing festival (Hvar)
As simple as that. Croatia has plenty of food festivals all year-round to celebrate delicious natural food. Some of these may sound silly, but we take our food festivals very seriously across the country. They vary from squid fishing in Hvar, Lavander festival in Hvar, Beans festival in north-eastern Croatia, to Chesnut and Paprika festival. In addition, there are lots more unique natural food festivals which you can explore to dive into the best of the best Croatia has to offer.
9. Hair drying rules
In Croatia, we take our hair drying rules very seriously because we are taught from a young age. You must always blow dry your hair, or you’ll get sick, and when you do blow dry your hair, you have to wait at least an hour before going outside. Our parents and grandparents will probably get a heart attack if we leave the house with wet hair, even in the middle of summer. Also, you cannot be sitting next to an air conditioner or a window with your wet hair, it’s just a big no from Croatian parents. Letting your hair dry naturally doesn’t exist in Croatia and if you’re brave enough to do it, prepare for some arguments with your Croatian friends and relatives.
10. The Dalmatian grunt
The way of greeting people across Dalmatia places is unique and confusing for both locals and tourists, known as the Dalmatian grunt. The greeting is very basic, and the same one can be used to say hi to a friend, give a compliment or even say bye. Mostly heard along with the Hvar dialect, the island people keep their vocabulary very simple; shouting “ee!” or “ej!” can mean many different things. Check it out in the video below.
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Find out more about Croatian food here HERE.