Anthony Bourdain No Reservations: Floored in Croatia

bourdain_croatia_bts_ss_018_596x334.jpg
The Travel Channel
Tony's on a boat..after eating a lot of seafood.
Croatia at first may not seem a prime vacation destination idea, but in reality it's the 18th most popular tourist destination in the world. Beaches, mountains and plenty of leftover shrapnel works, it seems.

Tony is on the Croatian coast, on the Adriatic sea. The mostly temperate climate and relatively clean waters yields tons of mussels and oysters. "Welcome to Tony's raw bar," he tells us as he eats copious amounts of the bivalves, then washes them down with grappa (more about the wine later). As his new friend Mate Jankovic from MasterChef Croatia (yes, Virginia, there really is a MasterChef Croatia) makes a mussel dish using olive oil, breadcrumbs, and white wine, Tony says you could train a chimpanzee to make these mussels. But you really don't want their hairy paws in the food. A combination of the grappa and the thought of primates in the kitchen makes Tony admit his two real fears in life -- clowns and Steven Segal's hair which looks like a possum fucked on his head.

Allow me, for a moment, to point out to Bourdain that Croatia was ravaged by a terrible war for independence in the not-too-distant past. Yet he was witty and snarky -- a crime that he accused me of just last week.

Want a reason to go to Croatia? How about white truffle hunting? Tony points out that Shotsy the wonder pooch is a champion white truffle sniffer. The fungus goes for about $55 an ounce and grows in a state-owned forest. Anyone can come searching for them. But Shotsy has the best chance of getting one. Equipped with a doggie cam, he sniffs until he finds one. It's tiny. It's probably worth about $200. It's used in abundance at the Mondo Konoba restaurant, where you can find truffle omelets, truffle pasta, and truffles with truffles -- all for about the price of a burger in Manhattan (or Miami, for that matter). What do we learn? Truffle oil is bullshit.

We now get to the Tony-on-a boat sequence. There's a wind from the north blowing and it's cold on on the water. Tony's not fishing for the money fish -- sea bass. He's out to catch the shit fish that fishermen eat -- small sharks, mullet, bonito. These are the new "in" fish in Croatia: seared bonito, raw lobster tail (still moving), shark liver pate, and monkfish tripe. Tony's never had fish tripe before. Fish brains and sperm? Why yes! But never tripe. And I'm thinking that the only way I'd eat fish sperm is if I were lost at sea with only my docksiders and a big tub of fish sperm to eat. After the shoes were ingested, I might go for the sperm. What would it take for you to eat the fish sperm?

A visit to a tuna farm and Tony literally swims with the fishes. Which is what many chefs in New York wanted him to do figuratively when Kitchen Confidential came out, so it all comes full circle. Speaking of circle -- these tuna are high grade sushi tuna, designed to die and be sent to the famed seafood markets of Japan. Tony demonstrates how they're killed and it's pretty barbaric. Hooked by the eyeball, the tuna is dragged up and a spike is inserted into its brain. "Lobotomizing a tuna -- as easy as confusing a Kardashian," Bourdain states.

Apparently Tony can read Croatian, because he's in the local paper and helpfully translates an article that states he has a freakishly large penis and is shacking up with Lindsay Lohan. More seafood, with a little lamb tripe and a lot of wine.

So let's get to the wine. And the war. This particular winery has been around for five centuries. The vines are grown at basically the same soil and latitude as in Tuscany. Which makes for amazing product. The winery was burnt down during the war, but it's been rebuilt and no one really wants to talk about the time neighbors fought neighbors. So they drink more wine. And more wine. And Tony's down. Like Dean Martin always said, "You're not drunk as long as you can lie on the floor without holding on."

One last boat ride before we leave. "If you haven't been here, you're a fucking idiot", says our intrepid traveler, as he drinks in the sea air to alleviate his wine-induced hangover.

Follow Short Order on Facebook and Twitter @Short_Order.
My Voice Nation Help
12 comments
Rich3608
Rich3608

Go to culinary school, you'll manage a Boston Chicken.  In the '90s, it was forensic science and fashion design.  In the '00s, it was solar.  Get a real education, then you can tell the cook, excuse me, the Chef, what to do.

Rich3608
Rich3608

Total bore.  He can't complete a sentence without fuck in it.  His idea of success is drunk.

Mickie Moses
Mickie Moses

Great show !!  My grandparents are from Zadar, Croatia and the food / people are amazing.  No doubt my background and shows like this have inspired me to attend culinary school.  Croatian / Dalmatian food products are still pretty rare in the States ... I've had luck w/ olive oil at http://dalmatiankitchen.com and (believe it or not) amazon.com  ... Keep it clean and raw, Mr. Bourdain!

Marko Tolic
Marko Tolic

here is a local croatian speaking,everybody is welcome,and thewre is much more for you to see and taste....anyone looking to invest,small or big feel free to get in touch

Yvonne Bartolović
Yvonne Bartolović

Did he go to Slavonia or anywhere else that wasn't the coast? I am not in the US, so haven't seen the show as of yet. He would have found many delights amongst the flat golden plains there...nasa "Zlatna greda". :)

Debbie Goozner
Debbie Goozner

Must of been a great foody episode. My best girlfriend called afterwards and now we're planning a trip to Croatia in 2 years (already planning Ireland next year).

Debbie GoozCarolina Beach, NC

Mark Krzos
Mark Krzos

Tony is right. Croatia is the most beautiful country in Europe. It's too bad he didn't show viewers more of it. He mostly stayed in Istria (north) and he didn't take us through some of its most beautiful locales like Hvar Island, Dubrovnik or Korcula. He also didn't take us through the city of Zadar, which was a bit odd because he was there. I sure hope he got to see and hear the sea organ in Zadar.

Carole Del Monte
Carole Del Monte

Good show. He makes everything seem delicious, as he enjoys the exotic (?) dishes. This show opens our minds to new adventures in eating. His comments are hilarious, especially at the Tuna farm. I love that NJ sweatshirt, too.

Laine Doss
Laine Doss

 He stayed on the coast for this episode!

Blabla
Blabla

 You can watch the short on discovery travel & living if you are in Croatia.

Drapedinstyle
Drapedinstyle

My family is from Croatia and we head back every other summer or so....Funny to hear words like "exotic" when describing our home style cooking!

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...