The eastern part of Croatia is well known amongst Croatians as gastro-enological heaven. So, if you are a foodie, you should pack your stuff and go there. What can you expect there? Well, as I have already suggested, you can eat plenty of tasty food (in Croatian: hrana), have some great drinks, spend less money than you will in most Croatian regions, meet very generous and warm people and enjoy beautiful landscapes. Even though tourism is still not very popular in Slavonia, there is a lot to discover.
Lipizzan (Lipican) horses in Đakovo by when_night_falls / CC BY-ND 2.0
If you thought Croatia is all about the healthy Mediterranean type of food… that’s only half of the truth. The other half is in this post. Here are some tips about food and drinks that you should try in Slavonia.
Kulen – A sliced piece of Heaven
Kulen by Josh Tremper / CC BY-ND 2.0
Kulen – A type of sausage (in Croatian: kobasica) made of minced pork flavoured with both sweet and hot paprika and garlic, and then smoked and air-dried. It is usually wider than a typical sausage – approximately 10 cm in diameter. It comes served in slices and usually with some bread and other specialities like cheese or sausages. Have some drinks while you are eating because sometimes it’s very, very spicy. There’s also Kulenova seka or Kulen’s lil sis that is its slimmer version but still has the same DNA (or ingredients).
Fish-paprikaš – burning Hell in your mouth
Fiš-paprikaš by Johannes Tausch / CC BY-SA 2.0
Fiš-paprikaš (Fisherman’s Soup or just Fish) is hot, spicy paprika-based freshwater fish soup (in Croatian: riblja juha) common in Hungary, but also in eastern Croatia (especially Baranja county). If you are not a fan of river fish then you can try a meat version of that meal called Čobanac.
Šaran na rašljama – fish barbecue
Šaran na rašljama by Dalibor Bauernfrajnd
Šaran na rašljama – if you like river fish then you will also like carp cooked over fire, stretched over special wooden stick which resembles a big fork. We call this apparatus ‘’rašlje’’. Yummy!
Čvarci – chips made out of pork fat
Čvarci – Especially popular in the continental part of Croatia and also in other parts of Balkan. Čvarci are a variant of deep-fried pork rinds so they are a perfect substitute for chips.
Mast i kruh – more fat on bread
Bread, lard and paprika by Ena Kokanovic (foodgasmgramm)
Mast i kruh (bread with fat) – This is a very simple meal and you can do it yourself. You just need to have a slice of bread (in Croatian: kruh) and spread some pork fat on. Then you should sprinkle some paprika on it and you are ready to enjoy it! Yep, continental Croatia loves calories!
Rakija – health in your glass
Rakija by Alex Holyoake / CC BY 2.0
Rakija – the most popular spirit in Croatia. This region is well-known for its strong spirits that will warm up your whole body. The most popular one is šljivovica made from plums, but there is also travarica flavored with herbs or viljemovka made from pears. It’s usually served as an aperitive, but if you are in a good company you might get a bit tipsy because, once again, Slavonians are very generous and they drink it even after a meal. Or in between meals. Or whenever they feel like. Older generations will suggest you have one glass of rakija in the morning for good health.
Wine – best of Slavonian grapes
Kutjevo Castle by Tobwie / CC BY-ND 2.0
Wine – (in Croatian: vino) This area has a lot of wine roads so you can choose between Baranja, Ilok, Erdut, Kutjevo and so on. If you prefer white wine, then you will truly enjoy it!
Osječko beer – an oldie but goldie
Osječko beer – don’t miss your opportunity to try the oldest beer in Croatia. You can choose between lager and dark beer. During the summertime, I suggest you try also dark radler (in English known as ‘shandy’) that is a mix between a beer and a lemon juice.
Have you ever tried Slavonian food or drinks?
Featured image (on top): Slavonija by Nick Savchenko / CC BY-SA 2.0