Gablec and marenda (mid-morning snack)

Gablec and marenda (mid-morning snack)

The meal taken between breakfast and lunch is a very important and much cherished Croatian custom. In the Zagreb region and in some parts of the central region this meal is called gablec, along the Adriatic coast – from the Istrian peninsula to the Dubrovnik region – this vital social institution is known as marenda. And since this mid-morning meal is a widespread custom, the dishes served are also the most popular and mostly cheaper ones, eaten with a spoon and fresh bread which is usually dunked, and when food is especially tasty the plate is finally cleaned off with a piece of bread.

 

Popular restaurants and inns frequently have special menus for marenda and gablec, and these dishes are only cooked and served in late morning hours: bean soup with pieces of bacon, off-cuts of prosciutto left on the bone, sausages (somewhat less common is dried mutton). This is a classic dish which comes in countless variations and is just as popular as gablec as it is as marenda.

 

The second on the list of popularity is tripice, or fileki, or as some would call it, tripe. Lamb tripe, which spread to continental parts from the coastal areas, is more infrequently met but more highly regarded than tripe from yearling cattle. Kid tripe is a real rarity and a cult dish. Paprikash and goulash occupy the third place in popularity.

Bakalar
Maja Danica Pečanić

Although cod is not dried in Croatia it also enjoys a cult status among Croats, literally a must for meals on Christmas Eve. As far as marenda is concerned, it is served mostly on Fridays, usually as a thick soup with potatoes, spiced with garlic, a la white or a la red – the difference being the addition of tomato.

 

Marenda is normally accompanied with bevanda – wine diluted with water so as to be able to continue one’s labours to the end of the working day. Inland, white table wines with a higher content of acidity are diluted with mineral water and known as gemišt, and if soda water is added then it is called a špricer.

Maja Danica Pečanić