Expectations of Croatian cuisine are usually based around the rich diversity of fresh fish, squid, lobster and shellfish supplied by the Adriatic Sea. Unsurprisingly, this maritime bounty forms the backbone of most restaurant menus. However it would be a mistake to assume that this was all that local culinary culture had to offer. Croatia’s coastal regions have preserved a wealth of age-old regional specialities, many of which are coming back into fashion having for decades been looked down on as simple peasant food.
Home-made pasta with a goulash-type sauce is one Adriatic staple that is found in traditional konobe or inns all along the coast. Twizzles of home-made pasta called fuži are still common in Istria and the northern Adriatic, while the island of Krk has preserved the tradition of making šurlice, succulent macaroni-like twists made from flour-and-egg dough. These traditional pastas are usually served with some kind of lamb or beef stew, depending on which form of livestock prevails. Dubrovnik and the nearby islands are famous for šporki makaruni (literally “dirty macaroni”) a meaty goulash served with home-made macaroni and dusted with grated hard cheese.