Dalmatia, one of Europe’s most beautiful areas, is located in Croatia and known as a sun terrace

From then until now Dalmatia’s towns and villages still cultivate each own particular ways of certain dish preparation.

The Dalmatian cuisine is composed of a blend of the neighbouring Istria interior’s cuisines and the coastal region, that is rich in excellent fish and seafood. Special delicacies are scampi and calamari of the Northern Adriatic and shellfish from the Limski Fjord.

Whether sheep’s milk cheese from the island of Pag, maraschino from Zadar or shellfish from the Mali Ston Bay, Dalmatia serves exquisite culinary delight as well as beautiful landscapes.

Dalmatia’s coastal region with its 1000 km diverse mainland coast and more than 700 islands and islets appears wild and romantic at the same time.

The cleft northern mountains feature rugged canyons and thundering waterfalls – wonderful destinations, just as the many great national parks, and ready to be explored!

And Dalmatia still offers even more: 2000 years of history have left historical towns, ancient monuments and unique sights. Due to its versatility and its Mediterranean charm Dalmatia regards as an insider tip for an exceptional wine-culinary journey.

Since the socialist Yugoslavia times have passed and the Balkan peoples reassume responsibility for their future development, large-scale hospitality recurs. Throughout Dalmatia you will meet friendly people, whom the welfare of visitors seem to matter as much as their homeland.

The Dalmatian Cuisine

Because of its manifoldness, the Dalmatian cuisine is a cuisine of regions

BrodettoBecause of its manifoldness, the Dalmatian cuisine is a cuisine of regions, characterised by impacts of other countries’ cuisines. The country’s interior is more influenced by the Hungarian, Viennese and Turkish cuisine, while on the coast side you’ll find more the Greek, Latin and Illyrian way of cooking likewise the modern cuisine of the Mediterranean area, particularly the French and Italian.

The clear waters of the archipelago harbors abundance of fish, in addition to virgin olive oil and fresh farm vegetables, tasty lamb, spicy ham, cheese and figs. Besides an excellent prosciutto, cheese and olives, many restaurants offer fish soup, fish stew, prawns, seafood risotto and other traditional dishes.

fische_webThe culinary art of islands is a world unto itself and just recently the regional differences have been discovered, such as the islands of Hvar, Korcula, Brac (thus Vitalac, a dish made from lamb innards grilled on skewers) or Vis (grilled sardines in salty tart, similar to the today’s pizza).

Each tavern prepares its dishes according to their own philosophy – typical Dalmatian!

A typical starter is the prosciutto, a thinly sliced, cured ham, served with olives and white bread. Other appetisers are calamari, octopus, scampi or spiny lobster, served in different variations.

Philosophy of Modern Dalmatian Cuisine

The modern Dalmatian cuisine is distinguished by the varied fish specialities

SkampiThe modern Dalmatian cuisine is distinguished by the varied fish specialities. On the upper scale rank the so-called white fish, such as sea bass (Brancin), gilthead seabream (Orada), scorpion fish (Škarpina) and sole (List). Furthermore anchovies (Slanesardelice), marinated fish (Marinirana Riba) and salads made from calamari or octopus (Polyp Salata), mackerel (Skusa or Skombra) and sardine.

Fish is usually served grilled or as fish soup. Brodetto ist the renowned cream soup with different kinds of fish, olive oil, onions and tomatoes. Fresh sea fish (dentex, bass, mackerel, sardine, scorpion fish, monkfish), grilled or marinated, also molluscs (calamari, octopus, cuttlefish), shellfish (scampi, lobster, oyster and mussel), steamed, in stews or as a risotto.

ProscuttoAmongst the meat dishes, prosciutto is surely unrivalled – smoked and air dried, served with sheep’s milk cheese, olives, capers and pickled onions. Steamed vegetables (such as chard with potatoes, tomato sauce) are often prepared from a mixture of cultivated and self-sown vegetables and served with olive oil and vinegar or with meat.

The Dalmatian Wine

The basement stairs are the best and most pleasant way to paradise
(old saw)

Thanks to the Mediterranean climate and the lime soil, alongside the Dalmatian coastline prospers full-bodied red wine. Cabernet, Merlot and Pinot Noir grapes are mainly grown here. Particularly tannic red wines, called “Plavac”, come from the rocky and arid terrain of the islands of Solta, Brač und Hvar. To the north, towards Istria, white wines from Semillon and Sauvignon blanc are pressed at Fiume. Nowadays the vineyards offer a rich selection of wines, from which the majority are red wines.

The growing areas are divided into two distinct regions:

The inner Croatia – Kontinentalna Hrvatska – extends along the Drava southeast to the Danube and produces mainly white wines: Traminer, Riesling (Graševina), Muscat Ottonel and Pinot Blanc. The most interesting sorts derive from the slopes of Baranja, since Roman times famous as “golden hill”.

On the Croatian coastline – Hrvatsko Primorje – the red wines are noteable, above all Plavac Mali. Moreover known are Postup and Dingač from the peninsula Pelješac and Faros from the island of Hvar. Plavac is produced on the entire Dalmatian coast. To the west of Split another native sort, Babić, is cultivated on the cliff terraces of Primošten.

Dalmatia’s viniculture has a long history, as it is seen by the name of some indigenous grape varieties: for instance Grk from the island of Korčula and Prč from the island of Hvar.
To get squirted white wine (i.e. mixed with soda water) you order „Gemišt” , for a mixture with soda and red wine, you may ask for „Bevanda”.

In former times the winegrower had to bring the grapes of the surroundings of Sveta Nedjelja village (which means: holy sunday village) from the southcoast of Hvar cross the mountain to their cellars by donkeys. Today there is a tunnel to the sunny vineyards.

And this spectacular beauty spot is where Zlatan Plenkovic, an expert winegrower, now settled down. Together with his oenologist Niksa Zglav he established a vineyard with specialities like Bogdanusa, Parc or Maraština, as well as Plavac Mali and Babić. In their wine cellar ripen top-class, in barrique barrels vinified Plavac-Mali-selections.

This team of two is memorable as there is more than only premium wines that emerge out of their working collaboration. Many innovative ideas for Dalmatia’s wine culture are to expect in the near future.

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