In virtually every gift shop and souvenir stand in Croatia, licitars are ubiquitous. The bright red, decorated hearts, birds and other shapes aren’t just colorful mementos — they’re part of Croatia’s intangible cultural heritage and a symbol of the country itself. Licitars are hard, sweet, decorated biscuits that have been made, in one form or another and with many different names, across Europe since at least the 1500s. In cultural and culinary terms, they’re considered a type of gingerbread but in reality, there is no ginger in the classic licitar recipe. And while the tradition of decorated gingerbread ornaments, gifts and keepsakes is widespread across central and eastern Europe, in Croatia, the recipe and style of licitars developed over time to have characteristics and motifs that are unique to the country.


  • Title: Licitar
  • Location Created: Marija Bistrica
  • Type: dough
  • Photographer: Luka Smuk

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