True Authentic Taste
Sad but true - less and less small farmers manage to survive from their farms if they don't switch to mass production with pesticides and fertilizers. That's why I have special admiration for those who still endure and offer their products like the man on this picture.
There are tons and tons of huge cheap watermelons available, but they don't taste so good, so I was very happy to find this farmer and have a chat with him while I was buying sweet aromatic watermelon.
Dolac is Zagreb's main city market. It is held on a terrace overlooking the main square, Trg bana Jelacica and you'll also have a view of the cathedral from here. You can find all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables on the terrace along with many other vendors sell all kinds of meat, breads and cheeses. Niksa (VTer, diocletianvs) and I tried some fresh bread with a local variety of young and sour cheese that might not be in existence if the EU infringes on the traditional way of producing it. I didn't care for the sour taste of the cheese, but this is certainly a great place to shop for dinner.
Various: Other markets
Check out my individual city pages for specific information and locations, but all of the cities I visited had good local markets selling everything from local craft, cheap toys, good quality produce and fresh cut flowers.
Ribarnica: Fresh fish
The word "ribarnica" just means fish market, so if you see this sign, you're close to some really fresh fish, which is ideal if you have cooking facilities while in Croatia (which might just be an open fire on the beach!!). Even in Zagreb, the fish was brought in fresh daily from the coast and was very fresh.
They sell sea shells...
The town is full of little capitalists like these two? These and other kids collect shells from the shores around Hvar Town and try to sell them on the quaysides competing with the other sellers who have stalls there. No wonder I didn?t see many shells down by the water, the kids take all the nice ones.
What to buy: Elsewhere you can find fresh lavener and also the bottled oil.Olive oil too.
What to pay: A few Kuna,or Euros or something nice from your pocket or bag (kids love shiney things with bright colours,so try bartering)
What you should bring back from Croatia ?
What to buy: What you should bring back from Croatia if you drive home ?
Sweet onions. These onions are so sweet you can eat them raw, sliced for example in tomato salads or cooked in a gratin with cheese. We find them in France only in the most southern regions and not much, so each time possible (Croatia, Greece, Spain), we bring back 15 kg of sweet onions for ourselves and for gifts. There outer skin is pinkish, the flesh white. Caution, they don't keep very well, even in a cool and aerated place but if you keep an eye on them, that will do for let's say 2 month.
Ajvar. We usually bring back a box of 24 jars of medium size Ajvar. If you don't care for the weight, the jars are better protected in a full box and it will carry easily. At home, it will keep at least 2 years. The smaller jars are perfect gifts : if your friends enjoy, you can give them some more ; if they don't, a small jar is quickly empty and they will not loaded by unwanted gifts !
Prsut (ham). At the end of your travel, on your way home, why not to bring back a whole Istrian ham ? Once wrapped in absorbing kitchen paper, in some towels and in a plastic bag, there is no problem to drive home, even if that lasts two days. You should try !
Alcoholic beverages. You have to keep an eye on what is allowed by the custom.
Dingac. For yourself, it is better to drink it in Croatia, but if you want to share with friends a testing of Dingac vs Californian Zinfandel (you should do that).
Istra bitter. Good buy
Rajki. Why not ?
If you fly home, or if you travel by train or bus, you will have to travel lighter. Ham is excluded as well as onions ! However, I recommend bringing back a few of the smaller jars of Ajvar.
Nothing in particular.: Souvenirs and Postcards.
Postcards are more expensive than what you can get in London or Paris or other big cities in Western Europe. Hence, we only got a couple. The quality of the postcards does not appeal to me for the price.
The touristy souvenirs that I will usually buy, such as fridge magnets, are more expensive in Croatia compared to Western Europe. The quality for the price is not what I am looking for...
Everywhere you go, there will be someone selling laced tableclothes, etc. They are beautiful and I suppose hand-made.
wayside stand: Fresh fruits
What to buy: You must stop in wayside stand and taste fresh fruit expecially fresh figs ( green or violet ), melon, oranges. In Europe haven't thas proud fruits.
What to pay: Fresh fruits are very chip. I payd for 1,5 kg - 1 EUR. It's worth a try.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Diving and Snorkeling
Shopping info: Shopping info
There are a lot of things to buy, such as handicrafts reflecting the rich folklore (lace on Pag, national costumes in Slavonia, embroidered tablecloths etc.), leather goods, crystal, silver filigree jewellery or jewellery made of corals and sea shells, natural sponge, ceramics, local handicrafts, hand-made goods, hand-carved items in lustrous Brac island stone paintings and sculptures by naive artists etc. And the traditional gingerbread cakes of all shapes and sizes, especially heart-shaped, are not only a gift to dear people but also as Christmas tree decorations.
Numerous small boutiques and open markets offer a good choice of clothes, shoes and bags. Of course, ties - cravats in fashionable designs are a popular buy in the country of their origin - Croatia.
While in Croatia many visitors enjoy and take home the only original marachino sour cherry liqueur and cherry brandy, excellent wines, typical brandies (based on the basis of winepress residue and herbs), sweet prosecco (sherry) wine, different products on the basis of truffles, virgin olive oil, capers, tinned fillets of salted fish, smoked ham, kulen and other smoked and cured meats, not forgetting the internationally renowed food seasoning Vegeta. Dried spices and all kinds of flowers, some of which processed into oils, particularly lavender, remind tourists of the time spent in Croatia.
Various: Original packaging
Do NOT forget to save original packagings of all goods you bought in Croatia when you come back.
Just in rare case you have to return something. Add bills haha :-))).
Look at my pic. Hmm... order a truck better.
Kras's sweets are something special. They are very retro now! Since in former Yugoslavia there was almost no other brand of candies, we were glad to have Kras (pronoun. Krash). The Kras's products you will still find in most of the shops in former Yugoslavia (also in Slovenia, Ljubljana). Kras does make some salty products also like salted sticks, salted fish shaped bytes etc. Kras hasn't changed the envelope of its products for decades and that is what makes it so special! Now we are eating this products with nostalgy, remembering our childhood when we were revarded with these candies. And we worshiped the Kras's boxes and looked at the envelopes as there was some hidden answer. Kras's factory was first established in 1911 so our parents and even grandparents share the same feelings about it.
What to buy: Featuring - these on the picture are called "ice cubes" or "ledene kocke". Those are filled chockolate cubes. Quite delicious.
What to pay: A bit less than avarage chocholate candies.
Croatian currency, kuna (1 kuna = 100 lipas), is currently (Sep 2002) rated about 7.30 kunas for one dollar (or euro). The exchange offices (mjenjacnica, if I spell it right) are common, but most of them are closed after 20:00. To exchange 100 euros or more, they require a passport or an ID; but, oddly, you can do 50, and then return with another 50 after a few minutes - or visit another mjenjacnica. You can also use major credit cards to draw money (obvious).
Motovun: Truffels in Istria
Go to the village Motovun (ore surrounding area), buy the marvelous truffel mushroom. It is expensive, but not if you comepare to the prices in Western Europe.
What to buy: Wine, olive oil, grappa, fruit and truffels
What to pay: as much as you want
Buy some of the special local drinks. There are liqueurs and slivovica type of drinks that are very good to drink or to give as a gift to someone that will appreciate them.
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