A few holiday faq
1. No visa is required for entry into Croatia.
2. No special vaccination is required.
3. Croatia boasts, with reason, the best drinking water in Europe.
4. Croatia has on average 3000 sunny hours a year! That is out of a possible 4380 daylight hours in a year!
5. On the coast winters are very mild, rarely falling below 10ºC. One can see lemons on the trees in February!
6. In summer it's hot but not too hot, the average July temperature being 29ºC.
In the coastal regions of Croatia the cuisine has a rather Mediterranean flavour, as you would expect, with lots of olive oil used in the preparation. However, Croatian cuisine does have its own distinct identity, especially in regards to the cooking of fish. The tradition of grilling and roasting fish and delicacies of the sea has been carried down from generation to generation, where the taste of the fish depends on the grilling technique and the type of wood chosen. There is also the tantalising Dalmatian olive oil method of cooking, gradelavanje, which gives the fish a particular and fantastic taste. All along the coast and the isles, the fish menus are unrivalled - even the humble sardine will never taste quite so delicious. Many Croatian fish restaurants have their own fishing boats, so you can be assured of the freshness of the fish. Also, it is not uncommon to choose your own fish from a selection of different species kept on ice in the centre of the restaurant.
Croatian cuisine isnt restricted to fish, they have many delicious meat dishes too. Grilled pork and roasted lamb are common dishes, and beef too, which is often cooked in a delicious tomato sauce, although you can, of course, have your steak straight. Regional differences in Croatian cuisine are quite evident and in the north of Croatia Austro-Hungarian culinary influences are strongest. One finds meats cooked in bread crumbs, goulashes served with stuffed cabbage, and a dish called sarma, a winter delight of a rare excellence. In the region around Zagreb, strukli, thin sheets of cheese cooked in water, is a speciality. In Slavonia, the speciality is kobasice, or pork sausages. Along with the many types of delicious sausages on offer, there is the famous kulen, which is very similar to salami.
Connoisseurs of cheese must try all the different cheeses on offer. In the markets one finds a thick white cheese svjezi sir sold in little plastic sacs and usually eaten, as an accompaniment to a salad, with salt and pepper. Paski sir, a hard cheese from the isle of Pag, is an excellent cheese and one of the most reputed.
Part of the magic of Croatia is its food. Its wines and beers are good too.
Those who have sweet teeth will not be disappointed when it comes to choosing something off the shelves of the slasticarne. So many different influences: cream cakes of Austrian inspiration, nut cakes of eastern influence, kremsnites dripping in honey, rozata egg cakes, savijace strudels, delicious cakes oozing with cream, or one of the rich Dalmatian tarts.
|The wines & beers of Croatia|
Among the top quality red wines are Postup, Faros, Babic, the Dingac red from the Peljesac peninsular, and the Teran wine of Istria. Among the first class whites are Posip, Grk, Bogdanusa, and the well known sweet desert wine, Prosek. Even the regions drinking water, which flows from the rivers Jardo and Cetina, is a speciality. Thanks to its purity and pleasant taste it is considered not only to be healthy, but is also mixed with wine to create Bevenda.
Not to be forgotten is the wine, known for its special taste of the warm south. Croatian wines were already reputable but they are becoming more and more renowned.
The Croatian beers most frequently drunk are Ozujsko pivo and Kariovacko pivo, both of which are excellent. Foreign beers tend to be more expensive, so unless you have a preference for a particular foreign beer youll do no wrong choosing Croatian.
Finally you must try, before or after enjoying one of the many varied dishes from the Croatian menu, the different sorts of schnapps. The water of life, Rakija, when made from a base of plums is Slivovica, from grapes is Loza, and from herbs is Travarica.
Cafes & restaurants along the Baska Voda promenade
In the resorts cafes and restaurants abound. From cafes you can order any type of beverage and almost all serve meals, which could be anything from a cheese sandwich or a delicious pizza to something a little more extravagant, like one of their fish specialities. Eating out in Croatia is not expensive; for a family of four each having a pizza (usually superb) plus a drink, the bill probably wont come to more than 20€. Children are welcome in all establishments and youll find that cafes and restaurants are invariably spotlessly clean, including the toilets. Most importantly, your hosts will be friendly and provide a service which is second to none. Finally, the drink driving laws are very strict in Croatia, the alcohol limit being comparable to that in the rest of Europe. Happily, most accommodation in Croatia is within walking distance of a good restaurant.
There is a very good site on the Cuisine of Croatia at www.voyages-gourmands.com. The site exists in both English & French versions
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