After a few days in Croatia one would think the national dish was pizza. No really, I'm serious, it's everywhere, in every restaurant we pass or dine at. Though when you stop and think about it, way back when Italy controlled this county before it was given its sovereignty and thus their food seems to have had a big influence on food here. Plus, there are tourists everywhere, in every coastal town we pass and as with places in the US, pizza appears to be the go to easy winner. But the other thing we've noticed is the abundance of pekara/pekarnicas--that's Croatian for bakery. Of course being the sweet toothed, pastry loving, baked goods kind of guy I am, I made a point to try and stop in as many as possible. A feat I found out is impossible as they are as ubiquitous to Croatia as Starbucks are here in the US.

These places are chock full of donuts, pastries and anything else you can think of that is made of dough. From the looks of things here, it appears that gluten free is not an option and there doesn't seem to be anybody asking for it either. Here's some of the donuts you can get.

They weren't bad, but not wow-ish either. Very cakey and the ones with the cream filling, they just put the squirt either on top or right in the middle center, thus it isn't spread throughout like it should be. And they make liberal use of powdered sugar on many of them which makes it tricky to eat while riding in a car with the windows down. Poof! Right in the face! But one of the things about their baked goods that stands out is their prominent use of phyllo dough--for practically everything from sweet to savory. Herewith then are some of the things we tried from all types of dough baked goods. 

The first has a hot dog in a baked bun, the next is like a pizza slice but with prosciutto and cheese on bread and then the snake things have two types of cheese in one and ground spiced meat in the other, both made of phyllo. I really liked the cheese on the best. The SO liked the beef and I thought they tasted pretty good when mixed together. The other two, eh, kind of simple and basic, we've had better. But let's face it, for me it's all about the sweet stuff. 

We saw lots of croissants filled with chocolate that tasted a lot like Nutella, though again it suffered from not enough filling, sort of a squirt in the end. Same goes for the roll with chocolate, I guess it's for folks who want a biscuit like thing instead of a croissant? And then surprise, lots of things made with phyllo and covered in sugar. These are like 4 types of strudel things they make: long form, square form, circular form and horseshoe form--I'm sure if we looked harder we could have found more. The strudels came with cherry, apple, cheese, chocolate (again probably Nutella) and weirdly poppy seed. The poppy seed was back so thick with seeds it almost looked like chocolate until you looked really closely, anyone who eats it would have serious problems passing a drug test it was so dense. I have a soft spot for cherries and it was my favorite of all the ones we tried no matter what shape it was in. Each one I had was jammed packed with the fruit and they were a tangy, tart and sweet treat. 

Overall, each pekara we hit was pretty consistent and just about everything we tried we liked in one way or another. Basically nothing really sucked and if nothing else, I was always able to get me some cherry something or other. When I'm on vacation all eating rules for me go out the window and so far our driving journey down Croatia's Dalmation Coast is keeping me on pace to pack on some pounds as I go. With this many bakeries and sweets to try, by the time I get to Durbrovnik I may not exactly be in bathing suit form, but then after the Europeans in speedos we've seen so far in our travels, I don't think it's really going to matter too much. Bring on the strudel!!