On the east side of the Adriatic Sea Croatia found its place. It is a small country with a population of approximately 4 million, and it is diverse and offers both continental and Mediterranean charm.
My journey led me to the seaside, where I visited several of thousands of islands and most of the ‘must go’ places on the mainland. I started off in northwestern part of the coast, and closest spot to Italy, I started off in Istra.
Istra is a peninsula that was deeply impacted by Italian influence. Gastronomy and culinary culture are out of this world. Istra keeps some of the best truffles in the world and it is worldly known mainly because of them. They have great red wine, and autochthon species of beef called Boskarin. I visited places that weren’t crowded with tourists. I went to the inlands and visited small farms where local people happily shared old recipes with me. We cooked, we had wine, we talked. This region is all about organic farming and the promotion of the traditional way of doing things. If you are going to Istra for the first time and you are not sure what to order in the restaurant, try ‘Istarski fuzi with Boskarin beef’ and order house red, You won’t regret it!
Dalmatia was the second stop on this journey and I visited the city of Split, Dubrovnik, and island of Vis. Dalmatia is all about ingredients, no fancy dishes just pure nature on the plate. Fishes are super delicious and preparation is simple, grilled with a little of sea salt, drizzled with olive oil and served with fresh homegrown tomato salad. Dalmatians are practical and honest people, and you can tell that just by looking at the plate. The plate is not being painted, there are no decorations but the taste is some of the best in the world. No tricks, just pure quality of the ingredients.