What's for lunch? / što je za ručak?

As someone who eats porridge every morning like it’s my religion, I have a tip for you if you ever have the pleasure of being invited to a Croatian’s home for lunch: Skip breakfast and go with a healthy appetite! Be warned: You will be encouraged to eat past your physical limitations!

 

In Split you will most likely be greeted with a welcoming, “si I I”… Slang in Split for “Sit and eat” with encores of, “jedi, jedi” (eat, eat) when you feel like you can “jedi” no more!

 

In Croatia, lunchtime is the equivalent of dinnertime as I knew it. Actually I’m not sure this is entirely true as I don’t know many English friends and families that serve up 3-course meals every day, but that is certainly the case here.  A couple of hours after waking, people are discussing what they will be having for lunch. As I’m becoming more familiar with the language I’m noticing that discussing food is a BIG part of daily life. Maybe it’s comparable to the way the Brits like to talk about the weather. Many times Ante’s mum (I call her Mama Franić) will recite what she has growing in her garden like a shopping list.

 

So what can I tell you to expect for lunch? Generally speaking, I can tell you that you will have soup as a starter. It doesn’t matter the season. They are still serving soup here in the summertime when the temperatures are a solid 30+ degrees. Ante has often told me that a sandwich at lunchtime is not enough for him because “Croats need to eat something with a spoon.”

 

A platter of meat and or fish with seasonal vegetables and salad will be your main course. Good luck to you if you are vegetarian because it’s not really recognised in most Croatian homes.  And once you believe that there is no room left in your belly… that is when coffee and homemade deserts appear!

 

To this day, I still can’t visit any of Ante’s family for dinner without leaving feeling uncomfortably full. This should indicate to you just how good this home cooking is!

 

These days I skip most evening meals because I am still full from lunchtime but I admit that I do enjoy this style of “reversed” eating.  In Britain we are snacking at lunchtime and usually eating our main meal in the evening.  I guess there just isn’t the time to place this kind of emphasis on lunchtime meals.  This is one of the biggest differences in our cultures and one that I’ve adjusted well to nicely. I’m finding that I sleep so much better these days because I’m not going to sleep on a full stomach.


Another thing I can guarantee, is don’t EVER expect to leave lunch empty handed! In the same way that children leave a party with the obligatory party bag, you will leave with tuppaware containing various leftovers.  You will also invariably leave with gifts from the garden: various seasonal vegetables. Perhaps some domestic wine or olive oil if they make it themselves. Often neighbours are trading what they have grown in exchange for what they haven’t got.  In my case the trading is a bit one sided but I like to think that I make up for the lack of produce with my entertainment value!

 

Great ingredients make great food and it doesn’t get better than organic and homegrown! There is a real connection and passion to food here and it’s difficult not to fall in love with this style of living.

 

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što je za ručak? -   Preveo Mario Miše

 

Kao netko tko jede zobenu kašu svako jutro kao da mu je religija, mogu vam dati savjet ako budete imali zadovoljstvo biti pozvani u hrvatski dom na ručak: Preskočite doručak i idite s tekom! Imajte na umu: Poticat će vas da jedete preko svojih tjelesnih granica!

 

U Splitu će vas najvjerojatnije dočekati s riječima dobrodošlice: Sii i i!, splitskim slengom za: Sjedi i jedi! , s poticajima: Jedi, jedi, i to kad osjećaš da više stvarno ne možeš jesti!

 

U Hrvatskoj je ručak ono što je meni večera. Ustvari, nisam baš sigurna da je ovo istina jer ne znam mnogo engleskih prijatelja i obitelji koje serviraju obrok s tri jela svaki dan, ali to je ovdje svakako slučaj. Par sati nakon buđenja, ljudi već raspravljaju o tome što će biti za ručak. Što više upoznajem jezik, to više primjećujem da su rasprave o hrani VELIKI dio svakodnevnog života. Možda to mogu usporediti s načinom na koji Britanci razgovaraju o vremenu. Monogo će vam puta Antina mama (Zovem je Mama Franić) izrecitirati što uzgaja u vrtu kao da je lista za kupovinu.

 

I što vam mogu reći da očekujete za ručak? Ukratko govoreći, mogu vam reći da ćete imati juhu za početak. Bez obzira na to koje je godišnje doba. Ovdje još uvijek serviraju juhu i kad temperature prijeđu 30 stupnjeva. Ante mi često govori da mu sendvič za ručak nije dovoljan jer Hrvati trebaju nešto jesti žlicom.

 

Meso ili riba sa sezonskim povrćem i salatom bit će vam glavno jelo. Sretno vam bilo ako ste vegetarijanac jer vegetarijanstvo nije baš prepoznato u hrvatskim domovima. I kad mislite da nema više mjesta u vašem trbuhu, pojave se kava i domaći kolači!

 

Do dana današnjeg, ne mogu posjetiti nikoga od Antine obitelji, a da ne odlazim osjećajući se nekako neugodno puna. Ovo bi trebalo govoriti o tome koliko je domaća kuhinja ovdje dobra!

 

Ovih dana preskačem većinu večernjih obroka jer sam još uvijek puna od ručka, ali moram priznati da mi se sviđa ovaj način obrnutog jedenja. U Britaniji u vrijeme ručka grickamo, a navečer jedemo glavni obrok. Valjda u Britaniji jednostavno nema vremena da se ručak „proširi“. Ovo je jedna od najvećih razlika između naših kultura i jedna na koju sam se vrlo dobro priviknula. Primjećujem da spavam mnogo bolje ovih dana jer ne idem spavati s punim želucem.

 

Još vam jednu stvar mogu jamčiti, a to je da NIKAD  ne očekujete da ćete otići s ručka praznih ruku! Na isti način na koji djeca odlaze s rođendanske proslave s vrećicom sa slatkišima (party bag na engleskom, u Engleskoj je to normalna stvar), vi ćete otići s Tupperware kutijom s raznim ostacima od ručka. Također ćete otići s darovima iz vrta, raznim sezonskim povrćem. Možda i s nekim domaćim vinom ili uljem ako ga sami čine. Često se susjedi trampe za ono što nemaju s onim što imaju. U mom je slučaju ta trampa nekako jednosmjerna, ali volim misliti da taj manjak povrtnog materijala nadoknadim svojom zabavnom vrijednošću.

 

Dobri satojci cine dobru hranu, a ne postoji nista bolje od organski uzgojenih domacih namirnica! Ovdje postoji prava veza i strast za hranom i tesko je ne zaljubiti se u ovaj nacin zivota.