Zagreb’s Most Delicious Culinary Tradition
Legendary Esplanade Štrukli at Le Bistro
This traditional speciality from the Croatian Zagorje region, created in hilly landscapes of picturesque pastures and fields, has earned its undisputed place in the culinary selection of the Hotel Esplanade from the very beginning. Štrukli were first prepared at the Hotel Esplanade back in 1951, and it all started with the idea to offer visitors and hotel guests at gala events something appealing, authentic, and taste-tested, from different Croatian regions. Culinary experts have recognized the value of national dishes as the most attractive invitation for guests who like to enjoy local delicacies, and štrukli have ever since become a staple of the Esplanade’s menus. Making the journey from vernacular cuisine to elite restaurants, this delicious dish has reached the very top of the offer thanks to the fact that it is handmade, its quality, and place within local tradition. Since then, the Esplanade štrukli have been prepared with the same, well-worn recipe. Synonymous with tradition and quality, they are showing no signs of going out of style anytime soon. The Esplanade's štrukli have also been tasted by numerous famous guests, including foreign dignitaries, members of royal families, athletes, actors, singers, and others, who were never left indifferent to this traditional delicacy. Many media outlets have celebrated the Esplanade's štrukli and written about them in the most remote areas of the world. "Today we serve štrukli to our guests for breakfast, along with other local products such as Drniš prosciutto, Pag Island cheese, home-made cracklings, olive oil, and local sparkling wine. They belong at almost every event and catering, and are indispensable at gala ceremonies and weddings, whether at the buffet table or on the menu. However, they are most strongly associated with the legendary Le Bistro, a place impossible to visit without at least tasting a serving of delicious štrukli or getting some frozen to bake at home," said the Esplanade’s Executive Chef Ana Grgić, adding: "Štrukli are made by hand and I believe this is what makes them so valued. The dough is kneaded and stretched across the entire table until it becomes paper-thin. It is then filled with fresh cheese and formed with thin porcelain plates. First, it is steam boiled, and then oven-baked covered with fine cream until a golden colour. Guests can have them as an appetizer, a main course, or a dessert with sugar, while I still find them best when savoury, particularly in winter for when they are best suited. Our pastry shop is truly a small factory of sorts, where our hard-working girls and boys produce thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of štrukli. And this year, especially during the Croatian presidency of the Council of the European Union, I believe that the Esplanade's štrukli will be one of the best gourmet delicacies that we will prepare for our guests."