Dalmatian cuisine is characterized by fresh ingredients, simplicity, less intense, spicy flavors, and the use of many fresh herbs and wild plants. If you are a lover of healthy and fresh food, this cuisine will grow on you as well. Here you can learn more about each dish and its preparation. We recommend you try as many as you can dalmatian dishes during your stay in this region to get a real insight into the great gastronomic delights of authentic Dalmatia.
by LET’S TRAVEL
Dalmatian cuisine is packed with delicious healthy flavors of olive oil, seafood, garlic, and sweet local wine. All these ingredients are essential for preparing one of the most authentic Croatian dishes of the coast, called “buzara”. “Buzara” is usually made with scampi or mussels. Mussels “na buzaru” is similar to classic French steamed mussels known as moules marinières in French.
For this, you heat some oil in large pot, stir-cook finely chopped garlic in it for a few seconds, then add the scampi, prawns or whatever other shellfish you are using. Discard any shells that remain closed. Add chopped fresh parsley and breadcrumbs and adjust the seasoning. As shellfish release seawater when they open, salt is probably not needed, but for scampi and prawns it might be. Serve immediately.
One of Dalmatian cuisine ‘s most iconic dishes is crni rižot or black risotto made with cuttlefish or squid. During cooking the cuttlefish ink is used to color the rice black and that’s where this risotto gets its name. Besides rice and cuttlefish, the recipe may also include various kinds of shellfish and squid.
Clean the cuttlefish or squid thoroughly inside and outside. Carefully remove the ink sacs and put them in a small dish with some water. Then, cut the cuttlefish or squid into small pieces. In a saucepan, soften the onion in the olive oil until is tranlucent, and then add the garlic and pieces of cuttlefish or squid. Stir and cook until the pieces become white.Add a bit of stock of water if necessary. Cover the cuttlefish or squid pieces and cook until tender, which can take half an hour or more. Keep an eye on the liqud, making sure that there is always just enough liquid to cover the cuttlefish or squid.
Add the rice and stir. Gradually poor the wine and let it evaporate. Squeeze the ink out of the sacs and stain it, together with the water it was in, into the rice. Keep stirring and adding the stock or water, a ladle at a time. Make sure that risotto is moist, it must not dry. Adjust the seasoning. When the rice is ready, add a tablespoon of butter and then sprinnkle with parsley and freshly ground black pepper before serving.
Fish on gradele is a traditional way of storing fish on the Croatian Adriatic coast. The fish, dried from excess moisture, is placed on the grate of the “gradele” (grill with wood or charcoal grill), which has been previously heated to a high temperature, and while it is roasting, it is smeared with rosemary soaked in olive oil . When the fish is done, it is placed on a plate still soft and hot and doused with a special mixture of homemade olive oil, vinegar, finely chopped garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.
Skradin is cute little Mediterranean town with narrow cobbled streets, passages, arches and stairs. It is one of the oldest settlements in Croatia. Olive trees and vineyards cover the hills that surround Skradin and help create a beautifully sheltered marina, which is one of the most beautiful on the coast.
The crown of Skradin cuisine is the unique Skradin risotto and the famous Skradin cake. There is a tradition from the 14th century tied to the Skradin cake. On the day before their wedding night the brides used to bake this cake. The brides showed their baking skills and impressed their future husband with the cake on their wedding night.
Skradin cake is baked using no flour. The basic version is made from walnuts, almonds and eggs. According to the recipe, women add some cinnamon, honey, lemon and orange peels, rose liqueur or rum. Try this cake and let its intense aroma make you fall in love all over again. We bring you a secret recipe of this famous Dalmatia dishes from restaurant from Skradin.
Baking time: 60 – 70 minutes
Temperature in the oven: 180C
Round cake pan with a diameter of 30 cm
Separate the yolks from the whites. Preheat the oven to 180C. Add sugar, vanilla sugar, baking powder, brandy, prosecco, rum, honey, salt, cinnamon, and grated lemon and orange peel to the mixture with the egg yolks and mix. Add ground almonds and walnuts and continue mixing for another 10 minutes. Beat the egg whites until stiff and gradually fold into the egg yolk mixture with a spoon. Grease and flour a round cake pan and pour the batter into the pan and bake in a preheated oven for about 60 – 70 minutes. When the cake has cooled, pour melted chocolate over it and add some butter or sweet whipped cream. If desired, decorate the cooled cake with seasonal flowers, decorative asparagus, or lemon balm leaves.
One of the most famous Dalmatia dishes is definitely the traditionally prepared “peka”.
Once upon a time, the fireplace was the central point of every house in Dalmatia, a place where long conversations were held and people met while preparing delicious meals. Today these gatherings do not take place so often, but they are definitely not forgotten. Throughout history, the “peka” has fed many generations and that is why it has kept its famous status in Dalmatian families.
The secret of perfect food preparation under ‘peka’ lies in the quality and fresh meat and live coals obtained from the high calorific wood. The meat is fried in its own juice with lots of vegetables. After salting it and adding various spices, the meat is covered with a tin bell, which is then covered from top to bottom with live coals. Throughout the roasting process, it is necessary to keep adding new charcoal to the tin bell in order to keep the temperature the same throughout the process. It is necessary to keep “peka” from two to two and a half hours under the coal. Traditional “Peka” is made from veal or octopus meat . The succulent taste and aromatic smell of the meat will leave you speechless. Homemade traditional ‘peka’ with a glass of quality wine is an ideal occasion for socializing and music. This is one of the most famous in dalmatian cuisine dishes that you must try when you come to Dalmatia.