Looking For Croatian (Austrian) Catholic Traditions


Hi, I am looking to discover some of my heritage and culture. My grandmother arrived in this country with my great grandmother just after WWI. My great grand fathers were killed in the war fighting on the Prussion (sp?) side. My grandmother came to this country when she was 10. She spoke German and considered herself Austrian. She came from the area in the mountains that is now Croatia but when she and my ancestors were there it was part of the Austrio-Hungarian Empire. They raised beautiful horses that were then confiscated for the war.

Anyway I remember as a kid my Grandmother making palacinta for breakfast and hungarian goulash and sauerbraten for dinner. It is a shame that as a kid i never learned more from her and my great grandmother and that side of the families history. My great grandmother and grandmother were Catholic. I inherited a beautiful Catholic prayer book with awesome pictures that I adore. However it is in German.

Anyway I am in search of any specific traditiond from that region along with any especially Catholic religious traditions that might be unique to that area. Also recipe for ethnic food always welcome.

Deeny :slight_smile:


My MIL came to this country from Ostreich after WWII. However, she came from the suburbs of Linz. She was bent on becoming as American as quickly as she could. Most traditions my husband observes are Italian/ Sicilan, if they are from a foreign country. The area where he grew up in California was very diverse. He was observing Las Posadas at Catholic school along with Simbang Gabi, then going to his nonna’s and having ravioli Christmas Eve!

Have you tried googling “christmas croatia austria”?

Sorry I can’t help more.


Croatian/Australian here :tiphat:

Ooh, I could give you loads of information about food - palacinke are otherwise known as crepes - usually served with jam and chopped walnuts or almonds, yummo!

Goulash is indeed popular in Croatia, so is sarma (cabbage leaves stuffed with rice and savoury mince) or punjana paprika (capsicums stuffed with same).

Then there’s the Zagrebacki (most of the world calls it Wiener Schnitzel but we know better :wink: )

And the pogacice (hard to describe - deep-fried rounds of bread dough, kinda like donuts but not shaped like donuts). And burek (pastry rolls stuffed with cheese, spinach or meat).

Seafood too - a tomatoey seafood stew concoction similar to what the Italians call brodetto.

As for desserts - walnut roll and poppy seed roll (my granddad did them really well) :thumbsup:


I don’t know about the OP, but my tongue is hanging out at 6:30 AM central time zone, US.

My Armenian/ Irish/ German with a little French and English cousins have an Armenian recipe for sarma that is similar to what you describe. The rest- I wait with load knife and fork.


Problem for me is it’s nearly midnight here - and the last thing I need is a midnight snack :nope:


Awesome thanks guys

As for desserts - walnut roll and poppy seed roll

That reminded me my grandma use to love poppy seed danish/coffee cake

We would roll the palicinta up with cinnamon sugar when I was a kid. Yes I remember stuffed cabbage.

:slight_smile: And although my grandmother considered herself Austrian and spoke German we called her Nonni which I think is Italian for grandmother. I always wondered why until I watched a documentary on Croatia and found it also had a heavy Italian influence.


“Nonna” is the formal usage, pronounced with a long o, but my girls call me “Nonny” with a short o!

We are waiting, Lily (pulls empty plate up to keyboard with knife and fork aimed).


Nonny" with a short o!
Yep that is what we called my grandmother too :slight_smile:

I remember even asking my mom why we called Nonny, Nonny and she just said to distinguish her from my other grrandmas. It is interesting to learn where thing come from. :slight_smile:


Okies, here goes:

sarma to start off with


if you like seafood to follow, this is brodet (seafood stew) as usually served, with polenta to soak up the sauce:

or you may prefer cevapi (they’re small skinless sausages - not too spicy but yummy nonetheless) or raznjici (skewered meat - our version of the shish kebab)

and some orehnjaca (walnut roll) to finish:


Happy eating!


Croatian here! American made from Croatian parts!

Many of those delicious foods I remember from my childhood and still try to make. Some foods have been “Americanized”. A good resource is the cookbook “The Best of Croatian Cooking.” It uses American measurements. You can find it on


The website also has language books, Christmas ornaments, etc.

Do you know the specific area of Croatia your grandmother was from? Regional cooking differs just like in the US. The Dalmatian coast eats a lot of seafood and the area close to Hungarian eats a lot of game and paprika (like goulash).


Me again!

As for Croatian religious customs, the Zivili production of Christmas is Croatia is wonderful! It has music, food, dances, etc. The narrator describes the festivities from his childhood.

Our Croatian Catholic religious customs in our home in the USA became more Americanized when I was a child. Santa was introduced and we even had pinata!

When I think of more, I’ll let you know.


Do you know the specific area of Croatia your grandmother was from? Regional cooking differs just like in the US. The Dalmatian coast eats a lot of seafood and the area close to Hungarian eats a lot of game and paprika (like goulash).

My Grandmother always said she was from the Austrio-Hungarian Empire and that they lived halfway between Vienna and Budapest. Then I remember some relative saying up in the mountains (but I am not sure vague memory). I know that they raised horses that were confiscated for the War WW1. So I am quessing that northern tip area between Austria and Hungary. My uncle did confirm it is the area that is now called Croatia.
She considered herself Austrian and spoke German. (Yet as I mentioned before we grandkids called her Nonny). So yes goulash and chicken paprika were dishes she made alot. I remember she hated fish. :shrug:


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