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Eating in Dalmatia – Explore and enjoy the culinary side of Dalmatia

Eating in Dalmatia – Explore and enjoy the culinary side of Dalmatia

The taste of Dalmatia!

In this day and age - with all the hectic and modern lifestyle - a regular eating schedule is rare, especially in big cities. If we want to loosen up and enjoy life, then we do it best in the southern way. Traditionally meals in Dalmatia are more celebrated than just consumed.
Of course, bread, fish, seafood, fresh seasonal vegetables, locally produced foods as gammon, cheese and pickles are on top of the meal plan.

If you have booked one of our villas in Dalmatia to be in this country for a short period only, you should concentrate on the local specialities and try them whenever you have the opportunity.

Let’s start with Northern Dalmatia, in the region of Zadar. Driving along the old coastal road, you can barely overlook them: The label signs saying “JANJETINA” - roast lamb. This whole lamb roasted on a spit, never has been an ordinary meal. It has always been prepared for special occasions as childbirth, weddings, Easter…

Instead of heavy side dishes, spring onions or a fresh salad is served. More than this simply isn’t needed.
What is known worldwide, as well, is “Paski Sir” from the island of Pag. This cheese is made of the milk of domestic sheep. The secret of its special taste lies in the island`s vegetation, consisting less of grass than of herbs, on which the sheep feed on.
To complete a good meal we recommend a piece of “Zadarska Torta” with almonds and oranges and a sip of home-made Maraschino liqueur.


After a short virtual after-dinner walk we’ll move on to Central Dalmatia…
When you ask around, most of the people here will mention the legendary dish “Pasticada” (spoken: pashticahda), what is not - as expected - a fish dish, but braised beef larded with spices and vegetables, often served with handmade gnocchi.
Split is the city which is also known for its famous “Soparnik”, a flat cake made with silverbeet. If you need a little in-between meal during your city tour, then soparnik is the best choice.

braised beef called pasticada served with handmade gnocchi on a plate

From the backland of Sibenik, more precisely from Drnis, comes one of the best gammons in the country, the “Drniski Prsut”. Its quality is the result of the local microclimatic conditions. In 1952 it has been served at the coronation ceremonies of the Queen of the United Kingdom, Queen Elisabeth II.
“Sibenski Rafioli” - little dough pockets filled with almonds and maraschino – and a glass of wine will make this meal perfect. While you’re on the go to our next stop, take “Krostule” with you… they have them in almost every bakery. ;)

flat cake known as soparnik made with silverbeet served on a hand towels

Dubrovnik-Neretva-Region, a little more south, is just by itself worth a culinary journey and you should take the time to enjoy it to the fullest. Gourmets will get their money`s worth right here! All around river Neretva you will inevitably meet the “Neretva Brodet” made with eel. Brodet, a fish soup can be made of other or mixed sorts of fish and is usually served as a starter. A local speciality are frogs’ legs and escargots. Prepared in different kind of ways they are a real treat!

A culinary detour to the peninsula Peljesac and the islands nearby offers us a variety of fish, mussels, scampi and shellfish
Especially the inconspicuous town Mali Ston holds unexpected gastronomic treasures. Oyster soup, Black Risotto, great scallops au gratin, blue mussels “na buzaru”, “Vongole” with pasta, “Brudet” with scampi and lobster, “Peka” with octopus… Why this is as described, you will realize, when you take a look at the sea. The oyster farms are known worldwide and fishing is one of the traditional professions in this region. Everything comes directly out of the sea and is freshly prepared.

Dubrovnik itself has its “Green Menestra”, a vegetable stew made of different sorts of cabbage, potatoes and a variety of dried meat and sausages. “Sporki Makaruni” - literally translated it means “dirty pasta” - is a kind of ragout with macaroni.
Due to the ideal geographic position – it is almost essential to just try fresh grilled fish with only a little bit of olive oil with garlic, silverbeet and a piece of freshly baked peka-bread. Simply delicious!

But for the ones who cannot survive without a dessert: the whole region takes care of you, too! Little sweet snacks like Arancini (sugared orange sticks), sun dried figs or home made roasted almonds you can find near Opuzen literally at the roadside – in one of the numerous sales booths.

traditional Dalmatian dessert, with caramelized sugger served on a glass plate

“Rozata”, the dalmatian version of crème caramel you should let melt in your mouth. A big rival is the “Makaruli” cake from Ston, which is made of macaroni, carob, walnuts, almonds and apples.
I hope, I have opened your appetite for your vacation in Dalmatia. And always remember:

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” (Francois de La Rochefoucauld)

Enjoy your meal! ;)

Daniela Vuleta

+385 1 222 70 50