Croatian Cuisine (aka the story of how I ate all the fish in the Adriatic Sea)

If you follow this blog, you may have noticed that it has been a while since my last post. This is because I traveled to Croatia with my boyfriend where we’ve spent our days tanning, drinking great wine, and eating literally all the fish. The Croatian coast lies along the Adriatic Sea which brings a lot of seafood into Croatian cooking. Nearly every night my boyfriend and I ate seafood and attempted to “out-order” each other at the restaurants. Needless to say, I was on a winning streak for most of the holiday until he beat my seared tuna with a monkfish in tomato sauce, sad times.IMG_4610.jpgOn our first night, we went into the Diocletian’s Palace [pictured above]. It was built in the 4th century by Roman emperor Diocletian, and now home to many of Split’s restaurants, cafés and bars. The palace has many small streets and alleyways and was a maze to us at first. After wandering through a few alleyways we spotted a cafe with seats on pillows going all the way up a set of steps called FIGA. Here we had a seafood platter with tuna, monkfish, sea bass, king prawns, mussels, and various grilled vegetables which we both enjoyed very much [pictured below].IMG_4612At first we didn’t quite know what to expect from Croatian food. Thinking it could either be like Italian or other Eastern European cuisine. In fact it is neither. A large part of Dalmatian cuisine revolves around the grilling and barbecuing of fresh fish, meats and vegetables. In addition to the grill, Croatian cruising also features in seafood and lamb stews, which are to die for. One night, we went to another restaurant in the Diocletian’s Palace called Mazzgoon. Here, I had a traditional Dalmatian stew called Gregada which features sea bass, potatoes, herbs, and white wine. My boyfriend had an octopus stew, which was a lot more photogenic [pictured below].IMG_0056.jpgIn Hvar, our apartment owner, Teo, suggested we go to a small local restaurant called Lungo Mare, just down the street where they specialised in grilling. Out on the patio, the chef had a large grilling pit where you could see all the food being grilled, right in front of you. Fish were grilled whole and then filleted skilfully by the waiting staff at the table. Pictured below is a map of Hvar, annotated by Teo with great food recommendations, but also great suggestions of things to see and do in this small seaside town.IMG_4739.jpgAs well as stuffing our faces with seafood, we spent our holiday at the beaches of the Pakleni islands, ordering 80¢ espressos to use cafe wifi, devouring gelato (him – not me!), chilling beneath waterfalls in Krka, fangirl-ing over the tour guide who plays a slave in Game of Thrones (me – not him), sailing with drunk Americans, and all in all just having a great time! IMG_4670.jpgOh, and we took about a thousand selfies.