Istria is a region of beautiful coastline, hilltop towns, river valleys, untouched countryside and gently-rolling waves of olive groves and vineyards which cover the undulating terrain. Istrian olive oil can be as varied as the region's geography and a range of indigenous olives, like Istarska bjelica, buža, rošinjola, karbonaca and žižolera, each imparts different tastes. If you're a first-time buyer, what you really need to know is simply that you've stumbled upon one of the finest olive oil-growing regions in the world. The size of Istria's relatively small output (compared to, say, Italy or Spain) would keep their products quite secret if they didn't keep winning so many prestigious awards on the global stage.
Incredible seafood from the morning's catch, eaten before a backdrop of the sun setting across the Adriatic near Dubrovnik. Indulgent slices of truffle shaved onto fresh pasta dishes in sight of a hilltop town in Istria. Smoke-flavoured barbequed meats served on a Split or Hvar terrace alongside smiling friends. There's a whole world of unforgettable gastronomic experiences in store for any visitor to Croatia. However, some of these are not uniquely Croatian. Similar can be found elsewhere on the Mediterranean. But, Croatia does have its own unique food produce and some of it is protected at both a national level and a European level. Three European Union schemes of geographical indications, PDO, PGI and TSG, exist to distinguish traditional and unique produce. They ensure integrity by dictating that only products genuinely originating from a certain region (often ones with unique geographical or climatic assets) are allowed to be identified as such. Croatia has several products protected in this way at European level. Here you can find out about each of them and we recommend you try as many as possible while in the country in order to gain a true insight into the great gastronomic delights of authentic Croatia.
RECOMMENDED: Everything you need to know about Istrian olive oil