If this is your first time visiting Plitvice lakes there are a few things you must be interesting in, and one of them is probably food. As every passionate traveler you are aware how much right choice about different taste bites can elevate your trip to a whole another level. I will stop rambling and get right to the point. After reading this, I insure you will fall in love in Croatia’s cuisine right away…
So let’s start from the beginning. Plitvice lakes are placed in the region called „Lika“. cuisine from this area is reflected by life habits of people surrounded by mountains, woods and huge green surfaces. Life here is simple. Sometimes it even seems that the big technological era has bypass the area, people stay loyal to the tradition and simplicity. During the past this area has never been rich or overpopulated, people did cattle breeding, farming… we can say they all were „peasants“, but I can ensure you, they were as happy as we are now. If not even happier. So the food was reflected by the way of their living. Simplicity of the food here is what makes it amazing. All the dishes are made from fresh ingredients, fruits and vegetables are usually picked up from the gardens. Even now, most of population here has it’s own gardens, they get milk from the cows and goats from which they make the finest cheeses you can try. This area is also common by various kinds of mushrooms and herbs and, of course, by liquor called „rakija“..but we will get there little bit later.
Local cheese and honey.
Once upon a time every single family who lived here made their own cheese. It is a bit sad to hear there are only few of them left. Cheese production is time consuming and new generations don’t even know how to cheese is made, but if you dig deep deep down there are still few secret places left. The good news is that we have it! We know a man who knows a man… who makes the best cheese ever! And we have it in our restaurant. We serve it with local honey, and it is delicious! If you are just for a snack, this is definitely something worth trying!
Peka – Meat and vegetables baked under the bell
Ash dishes are traditionally prepared for festivities and holidays, and sometimes only when friends and family gather. Whereas in the past, almost every house in the Dalmatian hinterland, along the coast and on the islands, had a hearth more often smelling of bread, meat or what would become entangled in fishing nets. This dish is a staple at our menu, so I believe you need to try it.
Braised cabbage and meat
Of all the dishes we had shared with you, this one is the highlight. Our moms and grandmas used to prepare it during the winter at least once a week. And it rocks 😀 Let’s put it this way: you take a cabbage leaf, stuff it with minced meat, rice and herbs, then wrap up, make it simmer for few hours and voila! The bigger pot is, the tastier.
Pig on a spit
For some it is a little bit controversial, for some it is de-li-cious! I won’t explain this one too much, just take a look at the picture and you will figure it out. This dish is a real treat in here, people usually make it for special occasions, but we like it daily.
Bread, sausages and bacon.
Almost every single person here knows the secret of a good bread. It is wood oven (similar to pizza oven but with closed doors). We take our bread very seriously, so we make it fresh, daily. Also, the whole area of Plitvice lakes knows what a good sausage and bacon is. In our restaurant you can try all the delicious things we were making during the winter.
Honorable mentions which we make daily in our Plitvice restaurant:
Risotto with wild mushrooms, goulash (stew with bread dumplings), Homemade ravioli, Trout fish from the river Gacka, lamb chops, pork with dried plums, strukle (homemade baked salty cheese strudel) etc..
Since this post is getting to long, I will leave desserts and rakia for some other time. We don’t do fast foods! Fast food is boring, unimaginative and tasteless. We do the real stuff and we hope you will enjoy it. Important thing is – decide to travel, book your vacation, buy the ticket for Plitvice lakes National park and enjoy the best food from this area. Cheers!