Dalmatian Cuisine

Dalmatian Cuisine Foto: Gverovic-Orsan

The main characteristic of the Dalmatian cuisine is simplicity in food preparing. In order to preserve the origin and the natural taste of food which is always very fresh (fish is usually caught the previous night; vegetables are picked the same morning, etc.).

Dalmatian cooks do not use thick and hot sauces. For this reason, in Dalmatian cuisine meat and fish are usually roasted or sautéed in a sauce consisting of vinegar, olive-oil, wine, or prosecco, combined with garlic, parsley, laurel leaves and rosemary.

Fresh sea fish (red snapper, sea-bass, grouper, etc.) grilled, boiled, or marinated; then mollusks (squid, octopus), crustaceans (shrimps, lobsters) and shellfish (mussels, oysters, date-shells) boiled in a fish stew or as a risotto are typical dishes of the Dalmatian coast.

Besides grilling and boiling, standard ways of preparing food in Dalmatian cuisine, are:

- “brodet” (several kinds of fish sautéed in a tomato sauce with garlic and spices);

- “buzara” (crustaceans or shellfish cooked and flavored with a lot of Mediterranean spices);

- “rizot” (mollusks, crustaceans, and/or shellfish cooked with rice );

The traditional appetizer in Dalmatia is a kind of smoked ham, “prsut” (pork leg smoked and dried by the “bura” -northern wind), as well as dried mutton “kopsica”, served with dry, mostly sheep cheese and salted green and black olives, capers, pickled onions, and “motar” Among usual meat dishes (roast beef and beefsteak),very highly appreciated are the lamb and goat dishes, usually served with potatoes, and prepared on an open fire, in the “peka” (a metal bell covered with hot charcoal). Dalmatian pasticada (beef stuffed with bacon and roasted in wine and Mediterranean spices) with potato gnocchi and cabbage cured meat and sausages “Green Menestra” are other traditional dishes offered by many restaurants.

Lightly boiled vegetables, as well as a large variety of fresh salads are also featured in the Dalmatian cuisine.  The most popular vegetable dishes are Swiss chard with potatoes, beans and pasta, lentils, asparagus and artichokes.

Typical Dalmatian desserts are very simple and usually not too sweet. The usual ingredients are almonds, nuts, figs, raisins, oranges, honey and eggs. Flour is mostly left out. The most recommended deserts are Dalmatian “Rozata” (Creme Caramel), Kontonjata (a hard gelatinous dessert), “Torta od Makarula” (Nuts-And-Pasta Cake), “Prikle” (a kind of donuts).

More in this category: Secret Dalmatian Recipes »
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