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Dubrovnik and Croatian Cuspajs with Zafrig (Paprika Stew)

I love exploring a city when it’s first waking up, as the early rays of sun skim the roof tops, long before the crowds of people arrive.

I like being among the first ones through the gates, standing alone in a cavernous courtyard, gazing up at the thick stone walls and shuttered windows, wondering about the history and lives of the people who call this place home.

I especially love it in a city like Dubrovnik, Croatia.

I will tell you more about Dubrovnik in the weeks to come, about her grand history, tragic stories, and the undeniable beauty that has earned her the name: The Pearl of the Adriatic.

But today I’m delighting in her simple moments, the ones that disappear with the first rush of tourists spilling out of buses and cars.

The worker washing his hands at an opulent stone fountain.

A vendor hastening to set up his booth in the cool of the morning.

And a simple stew of vegetables in a rich, paprika broth.

What is your favorite time of day to visit a new city?

This is my contribution to Wanderfood Wednesday at Wanderlust and Lipstick.

Croatian Zafrig

(Adapted from St. Anothony Croatian Catholic Church)


1/4 cup bacon grease
1/4 olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/3 cup flour
1 Tbsp Hungarian paprika


  1. In saucepan heat bacon grease and oil, add onion and cook until transparent.
  2. Add flour and stir until flour is dark brown.
  3. Add paprika and stir into paste.
  4. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

Croatian Cuspajs

(From St. Anthony Croatian Catholic Church)


1 head green cabbage, cubed
1 Green pepper, diced
2 cupsย  cubed potatoes
1 recipe Zafrig


  1. Add cabbage and green pepper to soup pot and cover with water. Salt to taste and bring to boil. Cook until tender.
  2. Add potatoes and cook until tender, 10-15 minutes.
  3. Do not drain.
  4. Add Zafrig and simmer for 10 minutes until mixture resembles stew.
  5. NOTE: I did not have cabbage or green pepper, so I made mine with potatoes and green beans. It was fabulous!
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Rambling Tart - How lovely, Sam. That sounds really delicious. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sam Amisch - I make white bean soup the way my mom
used to make it with many carrots & potatoes in with zaftig…..my roots are Serbian

Robin DeLucca - That looks so good, I’ll have to try it that way. My MIL is from Yugoslavia and she used beef in hers, not the peasant meal she made there, but americanized! Her cuspajz was sooo good, she added garlic to her rue instead of an onion….I’m sure there are as many ways to make it as there are families. Thanks for posting!!
ps: she also told me to add COLD water to the rue and it wouldn’t lump, then stir it in the soup….smart woman!

jessiev - OMG. anything with bacon grease, i am in. this looks fantastic! and, your photos make me want to go!!

mlle paradis - i’m totally with you on the early a.m.s krista!!!!! a friend just came back from that part of the world and i think she’s in LOVE!!!!! looking forward to more!

Krista - Thank you so much, Beth. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad you’re enjoying it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Wanderluster - Really enjoying your photographic — and culinary! — tour of Croatia!

Krista - Thank you so much, Jen! ๐Ÿ™‚ It is really lovely – so warm and comforting. ๐Ÿ™‚

Jen Cheung - the stew looks really delicious! yumms.

have a lovely day

Krista - I love paprika too, Rosa! Mmm, such a warming spice. ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - Thank you so much, Juliana! I can’t to show you more pictures of this gorgeous city! ๐Ÿ™‚

Yodler’s Fondue: A Winter Family Favorite | Electric Fondue - […] Dubrovnik and Croatian Cuspajs with Zafrig (Paprika Stew) » Rambling Tart […]

Rosa - What a beautiful place! I love paprika so that stew would be to my taste. Yummy!



Juliana - Wow, the pictures are so pretty…and the stew looks SO tasty…love paprika, yummie!

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Krista - Thank you, Mary! ๐Ÿ™‚

I love watching markets open up too! Love the hustle and bustle, the arranging of fruits and veggies. ๐Ÿ™‚

Mary - Krista your stew looks really delicious. I love very early morning in strange cities. I love to see markets being set up and coming to life. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

Krista - Thank you, Elra! ๐Ÿ™‚ The stew is so simple yet utterly delicious and comforting on a cold, rainy day. ๐Ÿ™‚

elra - Gorgeous photos, yummy stew …:)

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