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Croatia, thru Nov 2017


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#1 CheeseMonger

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 09:30 PM

When was the last time you've heard anyone mention a deciliter? For me, it was middle school, back when the commies were trying to make us red-blooded 'mericans go metric. ;) We showed them by rejecting their sensible base 10 system.

Sure, I've seen a 750 ml bottle labeled as 75 cl in Europe and Asia, but I haven't considered the lowly, forgotten deciliter, which is alive and well here. It's actually pretty helpful- eliminates the question of the short pour- you order 1, you get a deciliter for that price. For house wines, it's about 20 kuna, or $4.

Here's a shot of a wines by the glass menu in Split:
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So far we've been to Zadar and Split, and I'm so glad we came here (Ryanair makes it easy and cheap to look at their route map and say- why not go to ____?). It's wonderful, and Split is one of my favorite places ever. It's shoulder season, so not clogged with tourists, and the old town/Diocletian's palace area is amazing. More importantly, the food is good! I'll get more pics uploaded and post more soon.

#2 Stone

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 10:08 PM

When I was on Korcula, I picked up an amazing bottle of homemade olive oil at the market in front of the town gate.  I think it was sold in an old milk bottle or something.  The most fragrant olive oil I ever experienced.  Also a bottle of homemade rakia.  Lugged them home with 4 bottles of lousy wine from Blato.


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#3 CheeseMonger

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 10:15 PM

Yes! We are staying in studio apartments ( much cheaper than hotels), and have been able to make basic meals. First purchase was some nice Dalmatian olive oil. A splurge, but good value for the quality.

#4 Rail Paul

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 12:26 AM

Thanks for mentioning Croatian olive oil. Dee and I enjoyed some during our brief visit to Split a few years ago.

 

 

For the second year in a row one of Dalmatia’s leading olive oil and wine producers, Frano Miloš, has taken out top spot at New York International Olive Oil Competition…

Miloš’s mixed sort variety beat 651 extra virgin olive oils from 25 countries in the world to win gold this week in New York. After winning an award at last year’s competition, this year’s gold medal is more significant for Miloš, as he was awarded gold for the best “robust” olive oil in the northern hemisphere, from a panel of judges which included experts Paul Vossen, Dr. Antonio G. Lauro and Fabienne Roux.

 

An adjacent blog post mentions that Croatian olive oil has taken a financial hit following the nation's entry into the European Union. Local customers prefer cheaper Spanish, Italian, Greek etc olive oils over the Dalmatian variety.

 

http://www.croatiawe.../tag/olive-oil/


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#5 Stone

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 02:19 PM

One of my favorite travel moments was when I arrived at the bus drop off just north of Dubrovnik and walked up to town.  The sun was setting as I approached, and it seemed like the entire city was glowing.  It was spectacular.  I wish I'd spent more time in Croatia and taken one of the day trips into Bosnia (which I think was still at war when I was there.  Or maybe Kosovo).


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#6 CheeseMonger

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:14 PM

Starting from the beginning in Zadar. We arrived mid-day, checked into our apartment, and went out in search of food. We were conveniently located just across the pedestrian bridge, so getting into the old town was easy. We had heard/read that restaurants were for tourists, and that Croats don't eat out. We really felt this in Zadar.

There are some really great things in Zadar- the Sea Organ for one. A public art installation where the waves play pipes installed into the water, and the sound comes out the steps. The sensation goes from cool, to annoyingly repetitive, to meditative and haunting. Like whale songs. When a large boat would send a wake to the point, new high pitched sounds and whistles would be heard. Most people gather there for the sunset, deemed by Hitchcock as the best sunset in the world, so it's flocked at night. What a stupid reason. But the sunset is pretty great.

It's early shoulder season, so not too crowded. But also, the food market inside the walls only has a few vendors now. Only along that far side.
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We picked up some fantastic kumquats and strawberries, and asked where to get a nice fish soup. Hoping for a recommendation for a place where locals go, we were recommended the most expensive restaurant in town. Sigh. Of course, where the locals go is called "home", and we weren't invited there.

So off to Fosa we went. (more in a bit)

#7 Wilfrid

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 08:00 PM

I come from a country which largely adopted the decimal system, but I've never seen deciliter used as a measure.



#8 nuxvomica

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 12:02 AM

Looking forward to reading this thread as by the end of the summer maybe I'll finally be able to go somewhere (other than NJ on biz) and we were thinking Croatia since i don't think i can make it in Sicily's heat in late August. (that's the trip we were to make next week but had to cancel as we're chained to the desk right now.)

 

great to hear about the olive oil. the deciliter is funny, we vodka by that measure at home  :lol:


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#9 Steve R.

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 02:00 PM

In the article I linked, Matt Long references a "cafe culture" in Zadar that has folks eating leisurely dinners away from home…. so, maybe there's some hope?  You might want to drop him an e-mail.

 

http://landlopers.co...7/croatia-food/

 

I also came across this, with a couple of Zadar places listed:   http://www.tasteofcr...a.org/eateries/


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#10 CheeseMonger

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 07:34 PM

The glasses (at the more *ahem* economical places) are even marked.

We are in Grabovac, just north of Plitvice National park at the moment. Boy, do prices cut in half when you leave the coast!

Don't worry- not shorted here, I took a sip first. It's a nice malavazija wine. 20 kuna per deciliter in spilt, 8 in Knin, 10 here. (5.4 kuna to the USD). This is a double, but priced on the menu by the dl.
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I'll try to get more posted soon, been busy exploring. Driving up to Budapest tomorrow. Only 5 hours.

#11 balex

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 07:58 PM

I come from a country which largely adopted the decimal system, but I've never seen deciliter used as a measure.

 

Switzerland uses dl particularly for vins ouverts.

Can't think of anywhere else; here in the UK is is all 125ml or 175ml



#12 Orik

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 06:34 AM

It's a Soviet thing. 


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#13 Wilfrid

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 12:33 PM

The supervisor for my doctoral thesis was Croatian.

 

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#14 Sneakeater

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 02:18 PM

One of my best friends is Croation. (OK, Croation-American.) His parents came from an island where every male had my friend's name (he's named, of course, after his father), and every female had the feminine version of my friend's name. He invites me to come along every time he visits, but the scheduling has never worked.
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#15 CheeseMonger

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 05:49 PM

Okay, back to Zadar. I wish I had some of the info that Steve posted before going, especially the taste of Croatia one- we might have made some different choices, but.... I can talk to the ones we did make.

Fosa. As I said before, we were hoping that the fruit vendor would pass along some special secret tip to us, but instead directed to what all the guidebooks/websites consider the finest restaurant in Zadar. We decided that we would do better research later, and go now to the place we knew good things about.

What we wanted was fish soup. We ended up ordering the prix fixe menu for 125 kuna, which included the soup. We were expecting a bouillabaisse type- chock full of seafoods, but we have found at Fosa and other places (sample size- 3), that fish soup is more of a consommé, with some white fish, a little starch (rice, mostly), and maybe something else. The something else at Fosa was some finely grated carrot. The broth was quite orange, we figured from saffron and probably a hit of turmeric. In any case, it was a very good soup.
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Next up was "grilled fish" with a potato leek mash (the grilled fish is in quotes because I never could discern what fish it was, not that I questioned that it was actually fish). Nicely cooked, the skin had a salty crunch that my husband enjoyed more than I did, but he is more of a fish skin eater than I am in the first place. The mash was very good, but it's pretty hard to make a potato thing I won't like.
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Dessert was a little bit of a let down. Apple pie. Hmmmm. Okay. The ketchup and mustard looking sauces were jarring in appearance, and tasted of almost nothing. I assume they were supposed to be a raspberry and.... Lemon curd? mango? Who knows, there was no flavor there. Sad really, there are many things that would have both tasted and looked better.
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random local flavor: a group of old men playing chess in the shade by the beach.
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