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We try Croatia’s unique pizza crafted with thermal water

Pizza at  Pizzeria Bernarda in Varazdinske Toplice

(Photo: Private album)

Varaždinske Toplice, renowned for centuries for its therapeutic hot springs, has a history dating back to Ancient Rome when it was known as Aquae Iasae.

Today, this charming town is not only a haven for wellness but also the home of what many consider to be the best pizza in Croatia.

Here, you can sip healing thermal water from a spring, and just 200 metres away at Pizzeria Bernarda, enjoy an exquisite pizza made with that very prized water.

Zero Zero Flour and Thermal Water: A winning combination

Mario Presečki, the prize-winning pizza maestro at Bernarda, uses the water from the nearby spring.

The thermal water, which emerges at 56 degrees Celsius, is then cooled and used to make the dough. The ratio is precise: 7.2 decilitres of water per kilogram of flour.

The dough is left to rise and ferment for 48 to 96 hours.

Pizza at  Pizzeria Bernarda in Varazdinske Toplice

(Photo: Private album)

“We use zero zero flour and thermal water. Thermal water does not contain chlorine, it’s softer, and has a distinctive smell, but once it cools and the pizza is cooked, you can’t notice it at all,” Mario tells us.

He reveals that the pizzas are topped with only quality ingredients primarily sourced from Italy before being placed into a special pizza oven, also from Italy.

A Master of the Craft

Mario has won numerous medals and was just about to set off to take part again in the Pizza World Cup in Naples.

“We employ a long, cold fermentation process, use high-quality ingredients, and put in a lot of effort to ensure everything is perfect. The more hydration you have and the faster the dehydration the better the pizza will be,” he explained to us.

With nearly 20 years of experience, Mario is a pizzaiolo who deeply respects his craft, which is evident in both his pizzas and his thoughtful approach to making them.

Of course, we tasted the pizzas ourselves. The dough is extremely light and airy, slightly chewy and elastic. The pizzas are not overloaded, and every topping has a purpose. You also don’t feel overly full after eating one.

Pizza from Bernarda at Varazdinske Toplice

(Photo: Private album)

Currently, there are 13 different types of pizza on the menu, ranging from the classic Margherita and Capricciosa, to Bresaola and Burrata and seafood. Prices range from €6.70 to €12.90.

If you are in search of some of the best pizza in Croatia, head to Varaždinske Toplice, where the unique combination of thermal water and top-notch ingredients creates an unforgettable pizza experience.

Inside Bernarda Pizza and Pasta in Vrazdinske Toplice

(Photo: Bernarda)

Pizzeria Bernarda

Kralja Tomislava 3, Varaždinske Toplice

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