When Homemade Food Knocks on Your Door

As long as there have been restaurants, there have also been takeout and delivery services. At the moment, their business is blooming like never before thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For the time being, all the eateries in Croatia are closed, so virtually everyone who wants to keep the business afloat is forced to switch to takeaway and delivery. But there is also another food-related niche gaining attention these days. Their concept is a relatively new one in Zagreb, not directly stemming from the current dire situation, but certainly benefitting from it. It's a combination of ready-to-eat meals, a deli and a takeout, focused on quality and sustainability. The pioneers of the trend are Jedem doma, a relatively new company, and Rougemarin, already a well-established restaurant.

“As good as grandma’s, but actually ready-to-eat sarma.” Image credit: Jedem doma FB

Imagine a day when you don't feel like cooking, or have no time for it. Or several days, a whole week, who knows... Restaurants are closed, and you don't want an unreliable, over-priced or lousy delivery meal. Ready-to-eat supermarket meals don't really appeal to you. You want a well-balanced, home-cooked meal with fresh, good-quality local ingredients, something familiar and seasonal. Comfort food, but also something that pleases your inner gourmand. Sounds impossible or too expensive? Not necessarily! Imagine going to a shop filled with pre-made and semi-finished meals like just described, none of them frozen or canned. With a shelf life flexible enough for you to make longer-term plans, even though the food is free of any artificial preservatives. And you can even choose dishes usually associated with grandma's kitchen, like sarma, krpice sa zeljem, sataraš, chicken soup with peas and dumplings or pašticada.

“You don’t feel like cooking, but you like fine food? Take your pick!” Image credit: Jedem doma FB

Jedem doma started as a home-cooking service, bringing professional cooks to prepare meals for clients at their home. Later they launched their own ready-to-eat meals, for employed people who craved nutritious home-cooked office lunches. The idea was obviously well received, and soon enough the team started making delicious and healthy pre-cooked meals that you can order and prepare at your home when you feel like it. The menu includes some classics and some seasonal entries, but focuses mainly on Croatian dishes. Jedem doma, which means I eat at home, takes pride in using local ingredients, and no wheat flour or white sugar. You need to finish most of their meals simply by heating them up. Online ordering used to be, and still is, the main way of doing business, but a few months ago, in the midst of the Covid and the post-earthquake crisis, they opened a shop in Ilica Street, near Britanski Square. A valuable addition to the area that is becoming the foodie district of Zagreb, with several excellent food shops literally one next to the other.

“If food is important to you, you want forget the first time you step into Rougemarin Doma.” Image credit: Rougemarin Doma FB

Rougemarin is a popular restaurant that soon after its initial success turned into an ambitious project including several other ventures. Downtown branches, catering service, food trucks, artisan butchery, organic market... A very active bunch of people. Their downtown branch in Petrinjska Street closed down in summer, but rose again recently as Rougemarin Doma – Rougemarin at Home. A very smart and logical step, actually. The huge kitchen in the original restaurant is now a big factory producing semi-finished and pre-packaged meals, deli products, pastry, pasta, pickles, snacks, spreads, desserts... The selection ranges from Croatian food to popular international standards. You name it, they probably make it. From scratch. And everything goes straight to their downtown shop. Of course, you can also order it online, but then you would be deprived of all the pleasures and excitements of browsing through a genuine little foodie heaven.

“Don’t worry – you can now easily prepare Rougemarin’s famous mini burgers at home.” Image credit: Rougemarin Doma FB

The times are tough and the dining scene does not exist, but that doesn't mean you can't eat well at your home, even if you're not cooking. A warm home-made meal or a gourmet treat is still an option. A very safe option. Maybe not every day, but indulging yourself every now and then is not only important – it's also very practical.

“No fuss Christmas turkey? Yup, that’s possible, too.” Image credit: Jedem doma FB

Header image credit: Jedem doma FB

Author: Morana Zibar / Taste of Croatia