Croatia is a country known for its delicious desserts. Between the strudels, ice creams, pastries, gingerbread and cream cakes, I quickly learned the Croatian word for bakery, “pekarnica”.
From some Croatian friends of my brother and sister-in-law’s, I was referred to the town of Samobor, which is known for its crafts, hiking (including 13th century ruins) and its cream cakes. The cakes have a big reputation and visitors will even notice before entering the town billboards advertising bakery after bakery.
Roughly an easy 30 minute bus ride (depending on the number of stops) from Zagreb, I decided I had to investigate a local, legendary bakery called U Prolazu (which translates to “in the passage”). Located in a passage on the historic town square, U Prolazu is a simple two room café filled with delicacies. Menu options include chestnut cakes, donuts, strudel, cheese triangles and ice creams. The big draw, however, is the “kremsnita” or cream cake, which attracts visitors from Zagreb and throughout Croatia.
Service at U Prolazu is at the table with some English spoken and bilingual menus. Visitors will be asked by staff in yellow and white uniforms whether they desire one or two slices of cream cake. The cake will be served with water (as it is rich) and I decided to have kava (or coffee) with my slice as well. The texture of this pastry is moist and creamy, while the crispy top with powdered sugar is mouth-watering. Basically, this is a dessert of custard filling served between two crispy pastries. Some of the locals enjoying their cake had to laugh while I was photographing my slice as the kremsnita in Samobor is a form of art.
Prices for this treat run roughly 14 kuna (or roughly $2.50) for a slice with coffee. I happened to visit Samobor on a day where it was raining heavily and bitterly cold, so the cake and coffee were a special treat.
For visitors to Zagreb, an easy day trip to Samobor should be on any agenda. Between hiking, local shops and historic churches, there is plenty to see. Topped off with a slice of kremsnita, this pastry will make any visit to Samobor memorable. When I returned to my hotel in Zagreb and mentioned to the front desk that I had been to Samobor, the front desk in unison smiled and said “kremsnita”.
Trg Kralja Tomislava 5