Being vegan in Croatia

When we arrived in Salzburg a few years ago, the first thing I wanted to visit was Mozart’s birth house. While I was wondering where the home of this musical genius was, my husband was looking for good restaurants.

At first, I objected to him putting food before such a historical and cultural place. It isn’t that he doesn’t like museums and cultural things, but he kept saying that “man cannot enjoy art on an empty stomach.” In his defense, he also added, “Isn’t food a kind of art too?”

Well, I have to agree. An example of someone who does both is Australian musician and chef Lisa Spykers, who can play Mozart on the piano and also create vegan masterpieces in the kitchen. She travels all over the world playing music and preparing a variety of vegan meals with local ingredients she sources, as well as making vegan versions of traditional dishes in the countries she visits.

Catering in Split, Croatia for a special event called ‘Dinner Around the World’. Lisa prepared a 3-course dinner of veganised Croatian dishes for 19 people.

When we got to one of Salzburg’s best restaurants, my husband was displeased to find that there were not many vegetarian or vegan options. Austria’s traditional food is based on meat, although that can be also said of the cuisine of Greece, Croatia, Italy, Indonesia and most of the others in the world. Being aware of that, Lisa decided to recreate (or ‘veganize’) local dishes while traveling to not only feel like she wasn’t ‘missing out’, but to also understand more about the culture she was in. The food reflects a country’s history, its climate, and geographical location, and she wanted to immerse herself in that.

Lisa recently spent a few weeks in different parts of Croatia and prepared vegan versions of some of the most popular local dishes, which she presented at a dinner event in Split. I have chosen 5 delicious vegan meals you can find on her inspiring Veganopoleio site among many other culinary masterpieces.

1. Vegan poppy seed cake (Makovnjača)

2. Soparnik

3. Savory buns

4. Sarma (It is not a traditional Croatian dish but

it is traditionally served at Christmas and new year table)

5. Vegan Fritule

In an inspiring interview for Vegan guide Maninio, Lisa Spykers discovered how to travel as a vegan in Europe, Asia, The United States, The Middle East, and Australia.