Split, the island of Hvar and Šibenik – Croatia

Upon meeting our couchsurfing host, Mladen, who turned out the be the best host in the entire world, I soon learned a very important saying in Croatian:

“u picku materinu” which should be pronouned “U bitch ku materay nuu”

Our host assured us it was a very common informal exclamation used with old buddies, people you haven’t seen in a while or during a heated game of cards.

Let’s now reference the Urban Dictionaries definition of the phrase for a moment:

1. u picku materinu-“in your mothers pussy” You are mad at somebody or about something, if you are Serbian, you will usually say U PICKU MATERINU 🙂

Oh boy, definitely used that one a lot over the course of the week while my traveling partner, you all know her as my friend Katy, and I adventured throughout Croatia. She is also my photographer when her busy schedule allows to do work for a plebeian such as me.

We ate well with local food being influenced by Italy, the bordering Slavic lands and of course the surrounding waters bring plentiful fish and seafood to the tables. OR SO YOU’D LIKE TO THINK! It turns out that during the summer season the local fisherman cannot supply enough seafood to keep up with tourist demand therefore almost all of the fish is imported. As it was explained to Mladen by a Chef, “Well the Cod they are eating probably flew in on the plane with them from the North Sea so there, LOCAL!”Since apparently the Adriatic Sea has no dangerous sharks and going topless is legal on the beaches you know it got wild. We flew RyainAir into Zadar, took a bus to Split and spent everyday thereafter swimming, eating and exploring. Walking through the local Market within the ruins of a Roman Empirers 2,000 year old summer palace, exclaiming with every swim at how salty and bouyant the seawater was, finding fresh aloe vera to soothe the sunburn, and happening upon some awesome event every single night. In case you need some proof -we even found ourselves printed in an embarrassingly accurate state in the local newspaper the next day..

Within the inspired Italian Cuisine and Slavic recipes, it was not hard to find gluten free foods. Follow the routine and all will go well. ALWAYS tell your waiter you can’t eat wheat/gluten.The one time I assumed steamed Mussels were okay without saying anything, they came out with breadcrumbs on top which totally sucked, because that’s all I wanted to do to one of those big hard juicy mussels.  Lucky for me I have awesome friends who are always willing to trade me dishes when culinary adventures go astray, such as katy swapping  her seafood risotto that was the best variation of that famous rice dish I have ever eaten. Clams, mussels, whitefish, octopus, calamari moist and tender nestled within al dente arborio rice cooked to perfection in a red parmesan sauce and homemade fish stock.

The real culinary highlight of the trip was Restaurant Nostalgia in Šibenik. Cool, young and hip this is the place to go for mouthwatering cuisine, which is priced just right. We tried the bacon, arugula and fig salad with white wine marinated anchovies, bosnian meatballs with house made aioli for dipping, grilled swordfish steak and crunchy salted sardines. If you stay at the Globo Hostel (http://hostel-globo.com/hrv/index.asp) like we did you get a free shot of local honey liqueurs at dinner, and cheap breakfast.

KRKA national park was a delightful retreat, swimming in iridescent turquoise waterfalls. Fresh water which then flows out and meets the sea, this is a sanctuary for fish breeding and relaxation.

Just in case there is DM is all over croatia as well offering gluten free packaged breads, cookies, pastas, ect. There is one right down the street in the port at the main bus station in Split. (http://www.dm-drogeriemarkt.hr/cms/servlet/segment/hr_homepage/)Below is a slideshow of more photoshots from our incredible trip. I really hope you get to enjoy Croatia like I did!

u picku materinu!

The Gluten Free Traveler

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One thought on “Split, the island of Hvar and Šibenik – Croatia

  1. Dallas did end up getting mussels near the Krka National Park. She was starving and we had just missed the once an hour ferry to the local waterfalls by mere moments (as per usual). She then proceeded to find a little sit down restaurant in a town she’d never been to, eat an ENTIRE plate of specifically ordered, not-breadcrumbed mussels, and still get us to the ferry before the next hour’s departure. There are not many options for fast gluten free food, people. Traveling GF often means running to catch the next transportation because you were searching desperately for NOT pizza or a sandwich. All part of the adventure.

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