The recipe for a peka is over a thousand years old, but still used today because it is the best way to preserve the richness of taste. You can put anything you choose under a peka – fish, crabs, shellfish, vegetables, chicken, lamb, pork, veal, etc. It takes a true master to make a good peka and so this skill is passed down from generation to generation. As delicious as a peka is to eat, it is as equally exciting to watch it cook. Have a seat on the grass, drink a little homemade rakija (brandy), and enjoy while you wait for your dinner.
Carp on a fork
There are several hundred popular recipes and ways to make carp around the world. However, experts consider the carp prepared on the right banks of the Danube River in Croatia the most delicious. Cleaned, split open, seasoned, and attached to a large fork, the carp slowly turns over a hot grill for several hours. All that it requires in the end is some enchanting wine from the nearby terraced vineyards that also descend all the way down to the Danube.
Croats have shocked the Japanese by launching an improved version of their traditional sashimi, calling it “croshimi” (CROatian saSHIMI). The most valued fresh seafood, such as the tail of Kvarner shrimp, is served on aromatic Mediterranean wild edible plants. Then the perfect variety of olive oil is selected, such as the one from the buža olive, while a sommelier picks out a top-quality autochthonous wine to complete the harmony, and selects a Dalmatian Pošip.
Strudel was invented for Austro-Hungarian emperors and generals, but it conquered the world through peaceful means. Today, the most delicious strudel is made in Croatia, and is called a štrukl. Made of cottage cheese and cream, whether salty or sweet, boiled, baked, or roasted, štrukls are always irresistible. Ask Angelina Jolie, who had Croatian chefs come and prepare štrukls for her in the restaurant at UN Headquarters in New York.
Croats love pršut (prosciutto), and have cultivated two supreme varieties – Dalmatian and Istrian. Both varieties are dried in the Bura wind and aged for at least a year. Istrian pršut is brushed with laurel leaves, rosemary, pepper, and garlic, while Dalmatian pršut is coated with a blend of hard flour and lard, and then slowly cold smoked. With delicacies such as these you must definitely taste some top Croatian wines – Istrian Teran with Istrian pršut, and Dalmatian Plavac Mali with Dalmatian pršut.
In Dalmatia, Zadar residents have been boasting for centuries how the sour cherries from their region – the famous Marasca – are the best sour cherries in the world. Modern scientists have corroborated the claim: the Marasca is superior to other varieties in terms of share of aromatic ingredients. The ultimate pleasure in this noble fruit is achieved through the following gastronomic ritual: using fresh Marasca sour cherries make a sorbet and drizzle with Marasca liqueur – the legendary Maraschino, a drink enjoyed by the royal family, and Alfred Hitchcock. This magnificent dessert is served in a room scented with Marasca perfume.
These are but a few of the thousand faces of Croatian gastronomy. Every region in Croatia abounds in tastes and aromas that will take your breath away. So do not wait – start your gastronomic adventure across Croatia today! Whether you choose the mainland or the coast, your taste buds will not be deprived!