There is a distinctive range of food on offer in Croatia. The food has variations in every region, reflecting the country's geography, history and culture. Croatian food draws upon a variety of major European influences. On the northern coast of there is a heavy Italian influence, further down the coast in Dalmatia there are many sea food specialties as well as strudel and schnitzels that you find in central Europe. Drinking revolves around a solid cross-section of wines and some fiery spirits.
The northern and southern areas of the Adriatic are characterized by differences in taste and preparation of more Mediterranean foods with lots of olive oil used in the preparation. The tradition of grilling and roasting fish and delicacies of the sea has been carried down by generations. In the north of Croatia, Austro-Hungarian culinary influences are more evident.
Peasant cooking traditions are based on imaginative variations of several basic ingredients (cereals, dairy products, meat, fish, and vegetables) and cooking procedures (stewing, grilling, roasting, and baking).
Grilled pork and roasted lamb are common Croatian dishes, as is beef, which is often cooked in a delicious tomato sauce. Regional differences in Croatian cuisine are quite evident and in the north of Croatia where Austro-Hungarian culinary influences are strongest – one finds meats cooked in bread crumbs and goulashes served with stuffed cabbage. Croatian cuisine includes a range of sweet foods with many different influences: cream cakes of Austrian inspiration, nut cakes of Eastern influence, vanilla and custard cream cakes, egg cakes, strudels, cream cakes or rich Dalmatian tarts.
For Croatians the most important meal of the day is lunch (ručak) rather than dinner (večera),
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