It’s true, cuisine here is simple. No complicated or weird sauces are needed to mask the flavor. In theory, the recipes are quite basic.
In practice.. I think I still need to take a class to master the art of Croatian cooking. It’s on my “bucket list” for sure.
Until I gain confidence and hopefully settle down with my own kitchen, just picking up tips and tricks, like where to shop and what to buy at the local market. But I’m learning. Part of the “secret,” I think, is the relaxed vibe that seems so natural to Croatians, and Dalmatians in particular.
Croatian Hospitality and the “Pape Vibe.”
I’m not a fan of generalizations and stereotypes, but in general, I’ve been treated to some excellent food here, as a guest.
Being a guest in a Croatian home is much different than any restaurant experience.
I’m honored to have had the opportunity to sit down to a good lunch with friends. Of course, speaking the language adds a whole new dimension to that coveted “authentic Croatian experience” sought after by tourists.
Arguably, the most important meal of the day in Croatia is lunch, or ručak. (roo – chak) It is typically served anywhere between noon and 3 pm.
Sometimes lunches are informal and put together within a half hour.. with just a head a cauliflower, some bread, and ordinary ingredients from the refrigerator. It’s not uncommon to have a bit of wine with lunch.
Other times it is more of an event. This, to me is when it becomes no longer a mere lunch, but “Ručak” with a capital R. There are multiple dishes, tablecloths, and a fully set table for friends and family to gather.
This ritual may seem like “too much trouble” for your average American. Tablecloths? Pots and pans? Leisurely conversation? This is a rare thing in the U.S., even on weekends and holidays, as most are “to busy” with “catching up” with chores and tasks.. which often leave us too depleted to do things like cook or spend time with friends.
Granted there are plenty of quick, easy lunches and yes, lunches consisting of “leftovers” or food cooked intentionally for a few days, which is smart. People are busy here too!
I realize how much I have been missing out.. and I no longer miss my microwave.