From meat, fish, pasta, cheese to vegan and chocolate festivals, Croatia has it all
Since Croatia has a unique and diverse palette of delicacies to offer, it is not a surprise there are plenty of food-related events throughout the year in different parts of the country. Through numerous happenings, locals showcase their tradition in the tastiest way possible. This way, curious (and hungry) visitors can learn about Croatia while taking a bite into a yummy piece of heritage.
The 19th of March, in Mali Ston, is dedicated to the finest oysters in Croatia. On the same day as the festival, there is also the Christian celebration of St. Josip. In Dubrovnik and surrounding villages, it is a tradition to honor this day by not eating the meat. Therefore, tables are full of seafood, and oysters are in the center of attention. You can try fresh oysters prepared in various ways – fried, stewed, boiled. If you want to get the natural flavors of oysters, you can taste it without any heat treatment, only with a dash of lemon juice. During the Oyster Festival, except for the majestic flavors, you will enjoy the performances of local musicians.
In the second half of April or in the early days of May, when the sun starts to shine more brightly, it is time for festival Korčulanske pjatance. This festival gathers renowned restaurants from Korčula island in the South Dalmatia. Each of the participants presents their creative twist on the island’s traditional dishes inspired by spring nature and the Adriatic sea. Considering Korčula is one of the most attractive wine destinations, you can expect selection from local wineries to complement the gastronomic specialties.
Usually, from late April to the end of May, Krk island in the Northern Adriatic is hosting a Food Fest. Similar to the Korčulanske pjatance, during the Krk Food Fest, local restaurants are in charge of making your stomach full. Some of the dishes on the menu include cheese made from sheeps’ milk, prosciutto, olive oil, organic vegetables, and aromatic herbs picked from the untouched Krk nature. From more than 100 different dishes prepared for this occasion, you will find something for your taste.
Crikvenica, a small coastal town in the region of Kvarner, celebrates The Blue Fish Month. As the name of the festival says, in this town during June, you can try various fish-based meals. Previously, this event lasted a week and was called The Blue Fish Week, but one week was not enough time to honor local fisherman’s tradition. Also, probably, it was not enough time to taste all of the blue water fish dishes prepared by the Crikvenica chefs. Some of the delicacies you should not miss while going to The Blue Fish Month are Bonito in olive oil on arugula, Homemade black noodles with anchovy sauce, and Tuna in Mediterranean salsa with polenta. While Crikvenica is celebrating all of the blue water fish, Rijeka dedicates its happening only to sardines. Festival Srdela je in takes place in the first week of June and features traditional and modern recipes with sardines.
The beginning of July is reserved for The Festival of Istrian Pasta, which takes place in a historical ambient of St. Mihovil church in Žminj. Under the chestnut trees on rustical looking stands, local pasta artisans show off their skills. Visitors can watch, taste, buy, or participate in the making of traditional Istrian pasta. Who knows, you might even get a secret recipe from the pasta masters that you can add to your cookbook. Pitouresque Tinjan, also in magnificent Istria, hosts a two-day Festival of Istrian prosciutto in July. This event is dedicated to smoked and dried meat protected by European designation of origin.
Saltern in Nin has a 1500 year tradition of producing ecological salt. For more than eight years saltern opens the door to the public for a Festival of Salt. Each visitor can explore salt fields, observe hand-picking of salt, and learn more about the production of salt.
Dalmatia, just like Istria, has its high-quality prosciutto, dried on bora, and seasoned by Adriatic sea salt. Come to Drniš, try out this award-winning delicacy and learn how to cut (and eat) a perfect slice of Drniš prosciutto.
Near the Pakoštane coast, locals celebrate fig, or as they call it 'the queen of the summer'. During this one-day event in late August, you can feast on cakes, jams, and cookies made from this Mediterranean royal fruit.
Even though there are still numerous events in Istria and Dalmatia during September, tourists from other parts of Croatia are headed back home to their responsibilities. While doing their everyday tasks, they still want to enjoy life (and good food). This is why continental Croatia in September is filled with diverse food happenings.
The first week of the month brings festival ZeGeVege located in the capital city of Croatia. The main square for two days becomes a market for healthy food and organic products. The idea of this festival is to promote a sustainable way of living without hurting animals, nature, or other humans. Therefore, learn more about veganism while eating healthy and delicious food.Croatian desserts
Still in the first week of September, in Baranja, you can attend Najveća fišijada u Hrvatskoj in Beli Manastir. Fišijada is a competition in making traditional spicy fish stew made from various freshwater fishes. Competition is held in the open, and stews are cooked for several hours in a large copper pot hanged over the open fire. Visit Beli Manastir and search for a perfect fiš.Bake Traditional Sweet Bread
The last days of September save for Zeljarijada in Vidovec near Varaždin. Every year chefs make mega sarma, which is meat and rice filling wrapped in cabbage. This traditional dish is usually prepared in Croatian households during winter months and especially around Christmas and New Year. In 2019 on Zeljarijada, they made 1 480 meters long sarma. Visitors could then take a portion of this traditional dish and savor its sour flavors.Staying in a Luxury Croatian Villa
Nothing says Autumn more than chesnuts. Habitants of Oprtalj think the same. Therefore, they dedicated a whole festival to this natural good. While on the festival, you can enjoy chestnut desserts and other chestnut-based dishes, participate in the baking workshops, or see an art show.
The second thing that crosses your mind, while thinking of Autumn, are probably pumpkins. Just like Oprtalj has a chestnut festival, Ivanić-Grad, a small town near Croatian capital, has a pumpkin festival where you can taste, among many pumpkin-based specialties, bučnica.
In October, you can learn more about region Turopolje on a one-week festival, which includes numerous dishes prepared by restaurants from Velika Gorica. Get the taste of Turopolje cheese, Turopolje pork chops, or traditional chicken soup ajngemahtec.
November event called Days of Young Olive Oil in Istrian Vodnjan counts more than 100 presenters. Vodnjan three-day festival showcases the finest extra virgin olive oils through traditional and modern recipes. During the happening, watch spectacular gastro shows which gather the best cooks and chefs from Istria and Kvarner region. The star of every prepared dish is local young olive oil, which you can purchase from local producers and use incorporate into your meals