The base of the traditional Croatian cuisine is Slavic, with the influence from the neighboring countries which played a part in forming the country's history in the distant or more recent past. Due to its heterogeneity, Croatian cuisine can be described as «the cuisine of Croatian regions».
The dishes in the inland regions are based on the produce from the land such as meat, pulses and cereals. These dishes often have a central European flavor (influenced by Austro-Hungarian cuisine).
On the coast, where fish, seafood and vegetables are widely used, the Mediterranean flavors of Italy and particularly of Venice, are dominant.
An important part of the traditional cuisine are special dishes prepared for various holidays, festivals and special occasions (harvest time, grape picking, weddings, baptism etc.) and religious holidays. Some of the specialties not to be missed are prsut (prosciutto, home-cured ham), cheese from the island of Pag, cream cheese (sir i vrhnje), Kulen (a spicy-paprika sausage), Strukli (a pastry and cheese-dish) and various other meat and fish dishes.
The cultivation of grapes and the production of wine is a centuries-old tradition in both continental and coastal regions. The spectrum of high-quality wines and brandies is indeed wide (there are up to 700 wines with protected geographical origin). In the south people customary drink «Bevanda» with their food (heavy, richly flavored red wine mixed with plain water), and in the north-western regions, «Gemist» (dry, flavored wines mixed with mineral water).