The first European cook-book from Croatia
Do you know that the first European cook-book is regarded to be De re coquinaria (The Art of Cooking), written by Marcus Coelius Apicius. The cook-book, found in the Vatican Library, contains detailed description of about 500 recipes from the time of Diocletian, Roman Emperor from the 4th century. A group of electrical engineers from Split published a selection of 50 recipes in a booklet under the title Sto su jeli stari Splicani (What Split's first inhabitants ate, in Croatian). All the recipes have been carefully tested. And our electrical engineers propose to open a restaurant in Split where dishes would be prepared exclusively "a la Diocletian." New, extended edition of the book is planned, with Latin original, and Croatian and English translations.
For more information see an article On Cabbage and Emperors devoted to Split, published in the review "World & I" of "The Washington Times", July 2000, pp 142-151, written by Linda Joyce Forristal.
The hilly area around the town of Ilok, is known since Ancient times as "Delicium Mundi", due to high quality white wines from their wineyards. The most famous is TRAMINAC, known as Royal Wine. It was served during the coronation of Queen Elisabeth, and is still represented in the Queen's collection of wines. The town of Ilok suffered very much during the Greater Serbian aggression on Croatia in 1990s.
Martin Bogdanovich arrived to the USA as a young fisherman in 1908. After years of hard work he became the proprietor of the fish factory "Star Kist" in San Pedro, the largest in the world.
Lidia Bastianich (born in Croatia, in Istria), was proclaimed the best cook in the USA in 1999. She is chef of her own Felidia restaurant in Manhattan (New York), and coowner of another two restarants in New York, and one in Kansas City.
Zinfandel was often called the "mystery" grape because its European origins were oddly uncertain. Bottled wines bearing the varietal label "Zinfandel" appeared as early as 1883 in California. Hence, Zin is known as "California's grape". However, since recently (2001), due to joint efforts of the USA and Croatian specialists, we know that the american zinfandel originates from Croatia, more precisely, from Kastel Stari near the city of Split. There it is known under the names of mali plavac and crljenak.
The search of the origin of zinfandel has been initiated in the second half of the 20th century by mr. Miljenko "Mike" Grgich, one of the greatest american winegrowers (born in Croatia, on the Peljesac peninsula, famous for its "double insolation" of grapes: simultaneously from the sun and from the sea reflection). As a young student of agronomy in Zagreb, dissatisfied with the communist rule in ex-Yugoslavia, he emigrated to the USA. With the advent of free Croatia in 1990s, he returned back to his homeland.
Mr. Miljenko Grgich had first drawn worldwide attention in 1976 as a result of the famous "Paris Tasting" in which an all French panel of judges chose his 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay over the best of the white Burgundies in a blind tasting. His wines have been enjoyed not only on special occasions by world leaders such as Presidents Reagan and Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II and President Francois Mitterand. His wines are being offered on tables of the White House in Washington. For more information see Grgich Hills, and also at HIC (in Croatian).
The Croatian name for a cook is KUHAR. It is interesting that in Istria (important peninsula on western part of Croatian coast), near the town of Zminj, there is a small village of Kuhari (= cooks). Moreover, mr. Josip Pino Kuhar, born in the village of Kuhari, is outstanding kuhar in Croatia.
The world's biggest truffle was found in Istria, weighing 1.3 kg!
The Pag Cheese
Creative cooking at Podravka, Koprivnica
Croatian cakes and sweets, by Maja and Mladen Sokele (in Croatian)
Gastronaut - Croatian cusisine
La cuisine et les vins, ambassade de Croatie en France
King of Chips