I just got back from one of the best vacations of my life. I actually have no idea how I made it back here, by here I mean Qatar(the desert) It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to do for a while. From its breathtaking islands, to the picturesque seascapes, blooming lavendar fields, pulsating waterfalls, bountiful green valleys, Croatia is definitely one of the top countries I have ever visited. I spent approximately 8 days, between Hvar, Spilt, and Dubrovnik, and every single day was more magical than the other. But one thing that I could not get over is Croatia’s cuisine. I can still taste every one of my meals.
“This is world class food; this is world class wine; this is world class cheese. If you haven’t been to Croatia, you are a fucking idiot.” Anthony Bourdain.
AMEN to that.
Have you heard of that famous saying ”love goes through the stomach” – yeah well I’ve developed a straightforward relationship between love and food. Not only was I fascinated by the architecture, the turqouise beaches, and the way of life, but I was spellbound by the fantastic local cuisine that was offered to me in every single restaurant I dined in, and trust me they were many. Its not until you sit down and treat yourself with a Croatian delicacy, do you really get to know and fall inlove with a foreign country just as much as I did.
For the people that know me well, you would might know my obsession with grillled vegetables and my love for the sea. Well, I made it to the right place. During every meal, I could never decide which was more spellbinding, the view or my food. It was just too good to be true. But I have to tell you about the one ingredient that made everything taste just right. Olive oil. Croatia is known to have one of the best olive oils around the world, but trust me, you wouldnt appreciate it until you try it. Olive trees are the Croatian “postcard”. They are found in every single shop, every meal, every corner. Its an out-of-this-world olive oil. Rosemary grows like a weed! It is used as a fence for houses. It also infuses the food with the most lovely piny aroma and flavor. Their cheeses, figs, wines, and salami. Oh my. I have no words.The fresh fish and octopus ..freshly caught…as sweet and flavorful as it can get. I had octopus almost everyday of my trip. And with the squid ink they make the amazing black bread. YUM. Their cold fresh pressed juices; ginger, apple, cranberry, strawberry, melon, I can say I found my new home. But there was one place I will never get out of my head.
One restaurant that just completed my trip. Dalamtino. We found this restaurant on Trip Advisor, it was ranked number 1 resto in Hvar. So we had to check it out. We waited around an hour if not more to get our table, but hell yeah, it was worth every god damn second. From the waiters, to the atmosphere, location, service, everything was top notch!
The food literally goes off in your mouth like a firework. I started with the house wine, and with a blink, my food was gone. It was perhaps the single most delicious thing I have ever tasted, and it is gone in a second. There has been a lot of food over the past five days . There have been sugar loaded pastries, fresh breads, gelatos, steaks and salads but nothing can compare to this single mouthful. So you might be wondering, what I ate ? The best meal of my life. Whitefish and garden vegetables were the the main ingredients. Salted sardines, marinated fish, steak dipped with red wine with a whole lot of fresh mushrooms, octopus salad, and garden of the freshest greens. It may not sound very exciting or complex, but it’s the simplicity, the quality of the raw materials that makes these dishes so freaking good. And it’s also the time , effort, and the love the chefs have towards their food that makes it everything just so unique.
Everything about this trip was so magical. I realized my love for food.I realized I will not and cannot live in a place that has no sea. Croatia, I’m coming back for you soon. Thank for you the tons of food inspiration, you are a gem.