To come to Croatia and not eat something of the cold appetizers is a gourmet sin. Croatians are known as friendly people who use many opportunities for socializing within the family, with friends and acquaintances trying out its gastronomy achievements. Since we are also a country known for wine and brandy (Rakia) and many combinations of brandy with various medicinal herbs, it is also necessary to combine that with good cold appetizers. So let’s start with the most famous and best cold appetizers in Croatia. You should not miss trying it if you are in our country.
Do not hesitate to try some of the Croatian cheeses.
Croatian dry cheeses, such as Pag cheese or Krk cheese are already well known in the world, but others less known can be equally tasty. My favorite hobby in the evening when I’m done with all of the obligations is to sit by the fireplace (if it is winter) while the fire crackles, and gently light of fire illuminates the room, then with a glass of wine enjoy in nibbling of cheese with homemade olive oil.
Whatever I said about the Kulen I have to add that the Kulen is exclusively Slavonian product. Kulen is not produced elsewhere but in this flat part of Croatia. This is the most famous Slavonian specialty made of the highest quality pork meat and the trademark of every Slavonian home. All those with a delicate palate I should warn that the Kulen is much spiced with red ground paprika, garlic, and pepper. There are two types of Kulen, one is Baranja Kulen which is characterized by a great Hungarian gastronomic influence and Slavonian. Both are united in love with spicy red paprika, garlic and pepper.
Because of its ingredients, the Kulen can be a bit spicy, but with numerous Croatian wines, I’m sure you will survive.
Ok. What are the “cvarci“? Why am I writing about them? Well, because I love them. 🙂 When my husband and I joke with our kids then we ask them to bring us pork chips (pork rind). Croatian “cvarci” are traditionally made in households that prepare bacon and other delicacies for drying.
“Cvarci” are traditionally made by cooking bacon in a metal kettle. During cooking, the fat is melted and drained and small pieces of fat are fried and drought. At the beginning of cooking in the metal kettle add milk, which will give golden color to “cvarci”.
“Cvarci” are kept dry and served as an appetizer or with some dishes as a supplement. Yummy!
While Kulen is the star of Slavonia, the prosciutto is the star of the Croatian coast. Our coast is known for the strong northern wind that is ideal for drying prosciutto. Every prosciutto is good but not without reason the Krk, Istrian, Drnisian and Dalmatian prosciutto are protected by their originality in the EU.
After the prosciutto is drying on a cold wind called “bura” for few months and matures one year, is finally ready to be served.
Slavonia and Baranja are traditionally known as great lovers and connoisseurs of sausage. The basic ingredients of sausages are mostly pork meat, salt, garlic, pepper, paprika, and bacon. Of course, proportion and types of spices and types of meat make the differences in the sausages.
Every village and every region in Croatia has its own recipes for producing of sausages, someone loves more red paprika and someone more garlic. One of the most famous sausages is “cesnjovka” (garlic sausage).