The cuisine of the region is as exciting as its history. Sandra Lougher, author of My Favourite Croatian Recipes, is your guide.
For centuries, various nations came to Croatia bringing along their culture and new influences. This has resulted in a rich and diverse culinary tradition, a mix of different types of cuisine - Mediterranean, Oriental and Central European.
Croatian cuisine can be divided into continental and coastal. The cooking of the continental Croatia is based on meat, mostly pork or veal. Smoked ham, sausages, paprika - flavoured fish stew and heavy, nourishing soups are typical.
The main ingredient of the coastal cuisine is fish. It is mostly boiled - "na leso" or grilled - "na gradele" on an open fire, and seasoned with olive oil and aromatic herbs.
Like the whole of the Croatian cuisine, Istrian cuisine is divided into coastal and inland. The cooking of the coastal regions is mostly based on excellent fish, shellfish, vegetables, olives and olive oil. The most delicious fish are grouper, sea bass and sole. They can be cooked in many different ways; there is a saying in Istria that you can have fish three times a day, but always prepared in a different way. Grouper is excellent baked over slices of potatoes, jut seasoned with olive oil and chopped rosemary, and sea bass grilled or stuffed with onions, garlic and bay leaves.