K Chows….What to Eat and Drink! in Croatia

Figured something out: if I don’t imbibe or munch on something every 2 hours during a vacation, I quickly can transform into a daughter of Medusa, where spectators ice over from my confused irritation. Not pretty or pleasant, but why travel if you can’t receive a constant stream of carbohydrates? I NEED FUEL, PEOPLE!

First, let me remind you of this gal’s best friend: WINE. And Croatia (like Portugal) has unsung heroes in its wine. I had never sampled wine from the region before the trip, but HELLO!

Now, they may be on my permanent dance card. They’ve been making it for 1000 years, but due to multiple political challenges, the wine production is just now returning to its former glory.

Let me tell you a little about their wine: The most popular wine in Croatia…At Kozlovic, http://vinocroatia.com/de/kozlovic/ the best wines were the whites, and the area was known for its Muscat variety the best. I usually don’t go for this grape, not caring for its sweetness. But the balance and butter on this vinter’s palate truly surprised me.  Very happy to get a bottle of this, which won a medal, and will make a perfect dish for me to bring at the next meal I am invited to! My favorite wine, however, was Kabola’s dark red, Terran. SO YUMMY!

If you don’t like wine…then, why not try your hand at its stronger brother? GRAPPA! The people LOVE this stuff, and I had NEVER tasted or sampled it before. RECTIFIED now, let me tell you. I sampled 5 grappas in a store, before settling on FIG flavored….and what followed was sampling home-brewed grappa on a bike tour, in the salon of Hotel Kastel, in the home of my hosts in Solta. At least daily, this lady sipped and later slurped.

Beer….a special someone’s passion is fueling the expansion of my middle region, which really is a pleasing experience. Those that have beer bellies truly are happier. If you haven’t tried beer tasting, then you are missing out on a HUGE piece of culture. Lucky for him, I am a cheerleader of some sorts when it comes to searching for new finds, and we sampled over TEN new beers on the trip. The most pleasing to my palate was one of the countries most

I think I averaged 3-4 drinks a day on this trip. Half a beer, a (or two? or three?) glasses of wine, and a grappa.

Zivjeli! (pronouned Jiv-a-lee!

Now, onto the chow….overall, Croatia shined in Italian inspired Mediterranian fare. Vacillating from very complex, layered flavors to simple dishes spotlighting one ingredient….Three Pounds later, let me reveal to you my favorite bites:

Appetizers

My favorite bite was polenta perfectly cooked creamy-ness with an intensely smoky black truffle sauce….paired with a Kabola Terran. SUPER!

Pasta

Who couldn’t be enamored by plump homemade gnocchi with white truffle cream sauce?

Fresh White Fish grilled by our host in Solta, searing with peppery crust and giving way to a nutty center.

Cheese: Croatia cheese tends to be heavy on the harder variety of sheep cheeses, which happens to make me sing. Think somewhere between a manchego, and a parmesan.

At this point, I think I just put my camera away, thus forgetting to snap pictures of mass amounts of carbohydrates I consumed. Wonderful slices of take away pizza, sure…but more importantly, the bakeries there (Pakara) has these chocoloate stuffed breads that had the consistency of bagels that I loved.

My favorite? Anything with truffles…so earthy and bold and yet delicate all at once. What was your favorite travel bite?

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