Dalmatian cuisine, due to its ingredients and preparation, meets all medical and nutritional recommendations for a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Traditional Dalmatian ingredients are various types of fish, shells, crabs, octopus, squid, cattle-fish, olives, olive oil, vegetables, wild herbs, almonds, figs, grapes, honey, raisins and citrus fruits. Particularly delicious are Dalmatian “prsut” – smoked ham that is dried in the “bura” (north-eastern wind), best served with sheep-cheese, and “janjetina ispod peke” – lamb prepared in the traditional way. Furthermore, Dalmatian wines, both red and white, are a must with every meal and some of them are among the world’s top ten.
Fish is prepared in several ways. Fish “na gradele” are grilled fish where particular attention is paid to the type of wood used to make the fire and to the adding of aromatic herbs. The fish (the best are dentex and gilthead), cleaned, salted and oiled, are grilled and basted with rosemary soaked in olive oil. The grilled fish are then covered with finely grated parsley, garlic and oil, and is served with vegetables or salad.
Fish “na leso” are fish (the best are grooper, dentex and hake) boiled in water containing oil, wine vinegar, onions, laurel, peppercorn and salt. This extremely light and low caloric dish, ideal for supper, is served with boiled potatoes, Swiss chard or cabbage salad.
Scampi and shells
Mussels, oysters and scampi are prepared “na buzaru” in Dalmatia. They are placed in a pot and covered with grated parsley, garlic, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, wine and oil. They are left on the fire in their juices until their shells open. They are served in their own juices with bread or polenta.
Dalmatian desserts are made with fruit, dried figs, honey, raisins, almonds, eggs and liqueur. Some of them, such as “rozata” and “fritule” can only be found in Dalmatia. “Rozata” is made with eggs, milk and caramel, and is very popular in Southern Dalmatia. “Fritule” are made with dough, raisins and liqueur, shaped into plum-sized balls and fried in hot oil. “Krostule”, similar to “fritule”, can be found on certain islands. They are made with the same dough but are formed into long strips by skilled cooks and then fried in hot oil.
Dalmatian wines, known since ancient times, are produced from autochthonous varieties of grapes. A photograph of the picturesque vineyard close to Primosten, where the autochthonous grape variety used to produce the “Babic” red wine grows, can be found in the lobby of the United Nations building. In northern Dalmatia you will be served “Babic”, “Merlot” and the rose “Opol” produced in Sibenik vineyards. On the Peljesac peninsula, known for its wines, you can taste.