8 Croatian foods you must try on your sailing holiday

Perhaps more than anywhere else, Croatian food is distinctively different in each region of the country. Over the centuries, foreign influences have left their mark bringing with them new flavours and tastes. Some of the finest Croatian kitchens are found along the sunny port towns and cities where the menus are dominated by fresh catches of the day. Once you’ve moored up, kick back on the terraces of one of the waterfront eateries and gorge on fine Croatian specialities accompanied by the evening breeze and glass of two of local Croatian wine. Keep an eye out for one of these 8 Croatian plates.
Pag cheese
The island of Pag is world-renowned for its award-winning cheese called paški siri. The island’s sheep are some of the smallest in the Med and graze on the island’s coastal herbs making their milk naturally salty. The cheese is often melted into pasta or polenta. Or try it covered in honey and stuffed into pancakes.
Black risotto
Black risotto, also known as the unpronounceable crni rižot, is a classic Croatian coastal dish made from local olive oil, garlic, squid or cuttlefish and the ink which not only gives the risotto its name, but also imparts a deep seafood flavour. It’s well worth the temporary discolouration of your mouth.
If you’re sailing along the Croatian coastal regions of Dalmatia or Istria, be sure to stop for a hearty bowl of brudet. While every restaurant has its own unique recipe, you’ll always find a rich seafood broth topped with locally caught fish. Often served with polenta with soaks up the fishy goodness.
Once you’ve moored up, keep an eye out for one of Croatia’s favourites – sarma. They are not as common as you might think, but sniff around some of the local eateries and you should be able to find someone offering this dish of rolled cabbage stuffed with minced meat.
Head a little inland and you’ll often see signs along the road advertising janjetina. If you spot one, stop immediately because you’ll not going to want to miss trying melt-in-the-mouth slices carved off a whole spit-roasted lamb which has been basted in its own juices as it revolves over hot smoky coals.
It’s unthinkable to visit Croatia and not try peka, a dish made from lamb, veal or octopus slowly cooked for hours with vegetables. It’s often cooked over hot coals which impart a slightly smoky flavour.
A firm favourite in the north of Croatia, boškarin is the long-horned ox which grazes on the lush pastural lands in Istria. It’s a local delicacy which is best eaten with handmade local pasta called fuži and generously topped with slices of local Istrian black truffles. Alternatively, pick up one of the cured boškarin salamis in the market.
Those with a sweet tooth can complete any meal with fritule, a type of doughnut filled with apples and raisins and often covered in rich chocolate sauce. You’ll find fritule in most eateries across the land, particularly along the coastal cities and towns. The perfect way to complete a classic Croatian meal.