What makes wine & gourmet holidays unique?
Do you remember what the beach looked like in that lovely tourist place you visited fifteen years ago? But you sure remember those kebabs you ate in Turkey, the paellas or churros you tasted in Spain and all those Belgian beers you sampled in Brussels. Why does pizza taste best in Italy and why can you get extraordinary patisserie all across France? The answer to this question is simple: centuries-long traditions have enabled these nations master their skills in the preparation of their signature dishes and drinks.
Everyone knows that there is no such a thing as Portuguese vodka or Russian port wine. You would not go wine tasting in Ireland, nor would you beer binge in France. It is a common sense.
So, what attracts so many people to traditionally made beverages and food?
Is it the fact that these things are considered best when consumed in the place they originate from or the desire to try the typical ‘stuff’? Perhaps they want to ‘live like the locals’ for a couple of days?
All these reasons seem perfectly legitimate, but the underlying motive is to make memories. Visual memories and the ones in your taste buds. Because you know that Mexican food in your home country does not remotely taste like the traditional dishes they prepare ‘here’ in Mexico. And because the ‘industrial’ cider you order in your local pub never tastes like the ones made in British cider breweries. Many food delicacies have gained global popularity and have become available in many countries worldwide, yet mass production seems to have ‘spoilt the magic’. We somehow still crave the ‘real thing’.
Croatia has had the privilege to keep all its delicacies exclusive. That is, its best known gourmet products are not available everywhere – only in specialised shops and, yes, at hefty prices. You will have to save up to 80 EUR for a bottle of premium Plavac Mali wine or up to 20 EUR for a kilo of the legendary Drniš prosciutto. The traditional Kulen sausage from Slavonia will cost you around 40 EUR, while a kilo of a fine sheep cheese from the Pag Island will cost just as much.
Nevertheless, you do not have to buy the whole prosciutto, Kulen or cheese block to enjoy in these delicacies. There is no need to buy 10 bottles of different Malvasias just to taste them. The best way to get all-round experience of Croatian wine making and culinary traditions is through day trips to carefully selected wine establishments and typical eateries which will give you a taste of the country’s popular delicacies. With a small bite of everything, you will easily find your favourites and choose the edible ‘souvenirs’ you will bring home with you.
If you are looking for a way to have lots of fun, treat yourself with something special and make fond memories of Croatia, check out our wine & gourmet tours!