June of this year allowed me my first taste of backpacking when I embarked on a three and a half week trip travelling Croatia, starting in Zagreb and ending right at the bottom in Dubrovnik. Now, I admit, initial preconceptions of the country don’t scream culinary haven, but I was pleasantly surprised when I was greeted with fresh, homely, good food.
The feature image at the top of the post is the refreshing watermelon served in one of the beach clubs in Pag, perfect in the searing heat.
To the right is the picture of the smoothie I had on Zlatni Rat Beach that changed my breakfast routine for good! Prior to Croatia, my relationship with fruit was a rocky one – only really eating watermelon, or blueberries on top of my porridge. After being persuaded into trying this simple banana, raspberry, strawberry, blueberry smoothie (with greek yoghurt and honey) I realised what I was missing out on! Now almost every morning I have a smoothie with added protein powder before the gym!
But, controversially, the best food experience Croatia offered: the ice cream. Hand on heart, every stop we made (Zagreb-Plitvice-Split-Bol-Pag-Dubrovnik) served the most amazing ice cream in homemade waffle cones from little stalls that littered the towns and cities. Flavours ranging from the classics – vanilla, chocolate, dulche de leche – right through to Nutella, Kinder Bueno, and Snickers. The milkshake trend that has swept the UK – where you can create any combination of your favourite chocolate bar and turn it into a dreamy drink – seems to have taken to Croatia in the form of pure ice cream. For three and a half weeks I had at least one ice cream almost every day. That’s how amazing it was. When in Rome, as they say…
Speaking of Rome, I’ve been to Italy many a time (it’s my Mum’s favourite country) and I have experienced their gelato all over, from Venice to Lake Como; and yet, I would challenge anyone to find ice cream nicer than that I had in Croatia. So if you’re planning on a visit any time soon, go not just for the amazing clear waters and plush green national parks, but also for the best ice cream experience within Europe.