Sailing the Adriatic is a magical experience. The crystal clear water, thousands of islands, wonderful, preserved nature, and tons of things to see and do will make this a once in a lifetime experience, but what's special about Dalmatia is its amazing, traditional cuisine.
The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets of the world. With lots of fish, olive oil, vegetables etc. It offers one of the best balances of micronutrients and vitamins. Dalmatian cuisine takes the best out of the Mediterranean way of cooking, but spices it up a bit with influences from continental Croatia to create something beautiful and unique. Here are some of Dalmatia's most mouthwatering dishes.
1. Pršut – The traditional appetizer in Dalmatia is of course Dalmatian prosciutto, known as pršut. Cut and served in thin, long, delicious slices, pršut is dry-cured ham, which is smoked, giving it a unique smoky and salty flavour.
2. Paški sir – You can't have pršut without a side of cheese from the island of Pag. This world renowned cheese has a strong, sharp flavour. The cheese is made out of milk produced by the sheep which freely roam the island of Pag and eat its aroma rich vegetation. The milk gives it a unique flavour, and it is definitely a must try!
3. Crni rižot – Black risotto might look a little weird, but don't let the look fool you. This dish gets it distinct black colour from the cuttlefish, which is one of the main ingredients. This dish is a Dalmatian favourite, and it is best eaten with some grated cheese on top.
4. Grilled fish – Grilled fish doesn't sound spectacular, but Croatians have a way to make something seemingly plain beautiful. What gives grilled fish in Dalmatia its mouthwatering flavour is the fact that the fish, spices and oil are all grown locally. The fishermen bring the fresh fish to the restaurants, and the cooks season it with home-grown Dalmatian herbs, and grill it all with some local olive oil. Squeeze a bit of lemons, and add some potatoes and you've got a delicacy.
5. Peka – Peka isn't really a specific dish, it's more a method of preparing food, but one so unique it deserves a place in this list. The ingredients (usually potatoes, octopus or lamb) are put in a massive cast-iron pot, and then they are covered up with a heavy lid with hot coals, prepared beforehand, on top of it. The whole process lasts a few hours, but it is well worth the wait. The food cooks in its natural juices, with just a hint of olive oil, and the end results are breathtaking. Bon Appétit!
6. Rožata – A traditional Dalmatian desert, originating from Dubrovnik, rožata is a dish similar to flan. What gives rožata its name, and special taste, is the use of Dalmatian rose liquor called rosalin. Creamy, sweet, refreshing and tasty, rožata is the perfect desert for those hot summer Dalmatian days.
Besides all this amazing food, Dalmatia is also renowned for its fine wine. A true vacation for mind and body. Enjoy!