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MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE

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DUBROVNIK REGION

Try the Ston oysters and mussels here, which are considered to be some of the tastiest and finest shell fish in the Adriatic. Asides from lamb and veal cooked in embers under an iron bell, this region’s gastronomic chapter consists of eel and frog stew from the Neretva valley. Maybe more than anywhere else on the coast, the Dubrovnik region offers special sweet pastries where the most famous are Rožata and Kotonjata as well as the Mantalata and Arancina cakes. All this should be accompanied with top quality wines such as Dingač and Postup from Pelješac, Pošip and Grk from Korčula, as well as Dubrovnik’s malvasia from Konavle.

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SPLIT REGION

In Split, try the famous “dalmatinska pašticada” [Dalmatian stew], a meat dish that takes two days to prepare. If you want some more simple tastes then there are the aromatic Viška, Forska and Komiška “pogaca”, savoury cakes which go wonderfully with a glass of wine from Vugava and Plančić from the island of Hvar. If you need extra invigoration then drink a glass of Brač or Hvar “smutice” – red wine that is mixed either with sheep or goats milk. In the regions of Cetina and Sinj, asides from the stew made out of river crabs, there are the famous “luganige” sausages as well as “arambašić” from Sinj – small cabbage rolls filled with mutton.

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ŠIBENIK REGION

Start with a morsel of cheese ripened in a lamb sack and Drniš prosciutto washed down with a glass of red wine from Primosten's Babić. For the main dish, asides from a rich fish menu that ranges from small sardines to slices of fresh tuna on the grill, you should not miss out on the so-called “Skradinski Kumbasice” [Skradin sausages] and the famous “Soparnjak”. Made from a simple pastry filled with a mixture of olives, figs and olive oil, the cooked and rolled Soparnik is served and eaten cold. For pudding asides from dry figs, jujube and cakes made from almonds, you can try some cake from Skradin.

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ZADAR REGION

For an aperitif, try a glass of the famous Maraschino, a desert liqueur made from the autochthonous Maraska cherries. Follow this with some Pag cheese, which is the most highly prized cheese in Croatia made from the small sheep who eat the aromatic Mediterranean plants on the island of Pag. For the main dish, order “brodet” [stew] that is cooked in a thousand different ways and is made from a number of different types of fish mixed with crabs and sometimes shell fish or even fish on the grill salted with Pag and Nin salt. There is also the “Ninski šokol” made from a specially made dried part of the pork neck that is soaked in red Benkovac wine.

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ISTRIA REGION

In Istrian inns the order of things is as follows: first an aperitif of mistletoe, rue or honey schnapps, followed by cheese and prosciutto accompanied with Istrian soup, and during the spring scrambled egg made from asparagus. In terms of the main dish, you can choose from either continental or seafood dishes. If you are tempted for a taste of the Mediterranean then you can eat fish, crabs and shellfish cooked in a thousand different ways. If you prefer continental food then start with a spoon of minestrone with broad beans, then eat some pasta with truffles, sauce of game or even ordinary goulash all the way to pork loin and sausages. For desert, try the kroštule, krafi or fritule pastries.

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KVARNER REGION

The key eno/gastro words of Kvarner are Vrbnička Žlahtina, Trojšćina, Kvarner scampi, lamb, “šurlice”, chestnuts and Rab cake. Vrbnička Žlahtina is a famous autochthonous white wine from Vrbnik, as is Trojšćina from the island of Susak. The scampi from Kvarner are the largest and the best in the Adriatic, whilst lamb with sheep cheese is the most famous gastro product in Kvarner.'Surlice' from the island of Krk is pasta and is eaten with all types of goulash or seafood. There are also the Lovran chestnuts and filigree Rab cake.