Monday Meal Review: Croatia

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I gave the wine bottle opener a final twist of the wrist, dropped the bunny ears, and smiled at the satisfying "pop" as the cork released the wine to the air. I brought my nose closer and gave the bottle a  cautious sniff. I wanted it to be bad. Terrible. One step shy of vinegar would be okay. But I knew. I knew that, having paid an exorbitant fee of $5 for the wine, I was probably destined for a perfectly mediocre bottle. Darn. I took a sip and, as feared, the bottle was not terrible. … [Read more...]

Recipe: Bambus (Celebration Drink)

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Makes 1 serving Bambus is a creative way to help make poor wine pass. Simply sweeten with equal parts cola and wine. This clever technique is popular in Croatia, as well as many neighboring countries. Ingredients: 1 part cola 1 part "cheap" wine Method: Get a bottle of "cheap" wine. I was looking for Two Buck Chuck, but the liquor store I went to apparently doesn't sell booze that "cheap," so I was stuck paying $5 for this Cabernet Sauvignon. The cola was a bit easier to find … [Read more...]

Recipe: Warm Christmas Potato Salad (Seasoned Potatoes with Salt Cod)

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Serves 6 This warm salad benefits from the resourcefulness of Croatians who still enjoy preserved fish with salt. Mixed with creamy red potatoes, a bit of bacon, and green onion - this salad makes a great side dish for any eastern European meal. Ingredients: 1 pound boned, salted codfish 2 lbs red potatoes 3 green onions, sliced thinly fried bacon - 2-4 slices, crumbled olive oil Method: The day before serving: First, gather the salt cod. Salt cod is literally fish packed … [Read more...]

Crepes or Pancakes?

Morning, noon, and night, Croatians love a good pancake. There's just one catch. They aren't really eating "pancakes," ... if you define pancakes as thick and fluffy, griddle-fried, chemically leavened batter (i.e. baking soda and baking powder). Which... they don't! So what exactly are they eating? Thin, delicate, crêpe-like "pancakes." These sort of pancakes don't have any leavening at all, unless you count a splash of bubbly water.  And they aren't alone - most of the countries I've run … [Read more...]

Recipe: Croatian Holiday Nut Roll (Povatica)

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It's all in the wrist. The secret to making good Povatica, that is. This famous Croatian Holiday Nut Roll gives its maker a workout. You will be rolling, and pulling, and stretching the dough until it is thin, thin, thin. We're talkin' paper thin, like a curtain of dough, blowing in the breeze. I bet Croatian grandmother's everywhere compete for the most delicate, thin walled Povatica. (Note this bread is also common- under various names- in other areas, such as Poland, Austria, … [Read more...]

Menu: Croatia

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The leaves outside my window are gold, crimson, and brown, but have yet to fall completely to the ground.  I can't believe it is already November. In the spirit of the times, I've loaded our Croatian meal with holiday foods. So... feel free to spread the table with Balkan cheer this year. Warm Christmas Potato Salad (Seasoned Potatoes with Salt Cod) [Recipe] Red potatoes tossed with salt cod, bacon, green onion, and a splash of fresh olive. This dish is often served at Christmastime in … [Read more...]

About the Food of Croatia

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Croatia is a rambling collection of mountains and forests with bursts of plains which hide secrets of scrumptious food, wonderful olive oil and tasty, age-old wine. But what about bad wine? Well, if you happen upon such a dismal thing as a bottle of bad wine on their turf, the Croatians (and other nearby countries) know what to do. The remedy includes coca cola or fanta. You'll just have to wait a week to find out what Mr Picky and I think about that! (Officially, you'll have to wait another … [Read more...]