GF tips in Croatia
These gluten-free travel tips are brought to you by our company Abeona, Gluten-Free Please! You are welcome to share them with your friends, family or anyone else you may think would need them. Please also check our: One Day Gluten-Free Gorumet Excursion and Gluten-Free Cooking Classes in Istria, Croatia, Summer Season 2014. We invite you also to subscribe to our gluten free newsletter using the form at the bottom of this page.
Food in Croatia
For many people in Croatia, wheat flour is the only flour that they know of and consider proper flour; any other kind of flour is just some kind of side flour.
Bread crumbs are also very present in our gastronomy, not just for breaded steaks (a `la Viennese schnitzel) or similar breaded food, but also we sprinkle it on au gratin dishes – for instance baked beans, Macedonian national specialty gravče na tavče, very popular dish also in Croatia. You wouldn`t expect bread crumbs there, but many times they find their way on the top of the dish, just to make the crust more crunchy.
Grilled vegetables – from the personal experience: Ten years ago, I ordered grilled vegetables, some zucchini, onion, paprika, eggplants, etc… And I felt the onion had the funny structure, so I asked because I started to suspect that the onion was powdered with wheat flour. And it was, they told me, to get nicer coloring.
Beer – so far, we do not have Croatian gluten-free beer; there may be some bars in Zagreb or similar that would serve GF imported beer.
Stick to the wine – it is local, it is safe J
Grilled meat – you may get tired of it, but many times it may be the only safe meat option for you. Just check with the restaurant that the grill is not gluten contaminated.
Also, good advice is to avoid polenta in restaurants because many times, it is made out of instant mixture that contains gluten.
Be careful if you want to order national dishes, such ražnjići or pljeskavica (they actually have Turkish origin). They may look like minced meat, but often dry bread is added in order to puff volume.
Pizza – even if the pizza place does provide gluten-free option, be careful because many times they make gluten and GF pizzas in the same oven, which is not safe.
Where to buy ready packed GF products in Croatia:
All products that are sold in Croatia are imported from Germany, Italy and Austria. Just recently, a couple of new Croatian GF producers launched their products, but unfortunatelly with limited availability on the market It means that you won`t be able to buy their products in just any store.
However, all products which are GF and sold on our market have international crossed grain symbol indicating and guaranteeing that they are suitable and safe for celiacs.
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Buying GF products in Croatia
GF products are available in following chains / stores:
- drugstores dm (drogerie markt) - in almost every little town or Müller (in Zagreb, Rijeka, Osijek, Split, Pula or Poreč)
- in some of the pharmacies you can find GF products, but mostly flour mixtures
- Spar grocery stores chain – in Zagreb and larger cities
GF brands on Croatian market:
- dm has its own GF product lines (bread, cookies) from Alnavit and some of the gluten-free products from Alnatura line
- Schär is also present in dm stores, but also in some of the chains such is Konzum which you can find all over Croatia
- Riso Scotti – available in almost every supermarket you can find handy rice crackers and GF pasta
- Mulino di Ferro –pasta, polenta, some cookies
- Schneekoppe – some crackers, cookies, cakes, GF flour mixtures
- Free From, product line from Spar department store chain – wide choice of crackers, chocolate, cookies, müsli…
Abeona sells high quality gluten-free flours from Italian producer Nutrifree. For more info or to order, please contact us.
Useful Words and Phrases
Ja imam celijakiju = I am celiac.
Molim vas bez glutena = Gluten free, please.
Ne smije biti niti trunke gluten = There must not be a single trace of gluten
Što mi možete preporučiti bez gluten? = Can you recommend something gluten-free?
Brašno = flour
Škrob = starch
Krušne mrvice or prezli = bread crumbs
Pšenica = wheat
Raž = rye
Ječam = barley
Kruh = bread
Tjestenina = pasta
Riža = rice
Kukuruz = corn
Dobro jutro = Good morning
Dobar dan = Good day (which is common to great after 90.30-10.00 a.m. till dusk)
Hvala = Thank you
Molim = Please
how to read:
š = sh
č = ch
ž = zh (or Zs like in Zsa Zsa Gabor J)