The true Dalmatian cuisine enables long and healthy life and it is above all tasteful. Any housewife always has at least a bottle of olive oil and a wine in her kitchen. Because fish and salad are never consumed without a drop of olive oil or wine ( during and after cooking). But, besides fish, the Dalmatians are very good at preparing meat.
The old Dalmatian dish is an unmistakable union of the past and the modern age. So, let’s see deeper in the past. What are those dalmatian traditional and old, maybe forgotten meals!
ALWAYS COOKED AND DOMESTIC INGREDIENTS
Perhaps the most iconic traditional food of this region, the dish known in modern Croatia as kaštradina was called castradina Schiavona during Venetian times, the same as the basket-hilted schiavona sword. It is thought that both earned their name from the soldiers from Dalmatia and the Balkans who fought bravely to protect the Venetian lands. Anyway, kaštradina is very old dalmatian dish, usually smoked mutton or goat meat cooked in sauerkraut, season vegetables and a domestic slice of bread by side. You’ll find it in the hinterland and on Pag island in winter, the time when fresh meat is scarce. It’s a warming dish that is great washed down with strong local red wine. These days you can eat it in Solin in one of the famous family taverns and some villages in Dalmatian Zagora.
“Šporki”, translated as “dirty macaroni” date back from the time when doges walked in Dubrovnik. The term “dirty macaroni” came as a result of the way of serving this dish. When sauce with pieces of meat had been eaten, the guests would have been only left the pasta “macaroni” covered with sauce, or dirty. That way the macaroni absorbs the gravy instead of just coats it. The very cheap old dalmatian dish for a big dalmatian family.
Flavours of the sea: Brodet, Brudet or Brujet
Since meat was eaten only on Sundays and holidays and special occasions, the fish was very often on the menu. Brodet was the simplest way to make enough for everybody. And still, very delicious and healthy.
It is not native and original to Croatia; just like borders and languages, the cuisine is very closely interwoven with history it can be found in many Mediterranean destinations in various forms. But in the end, the essence is always the same – a tomato-based fish stew. Usually, there are two versions. While brodet on a nobleman’s table would have a rich array of seafood, those with less, made their brodet with less. A recipe exists for making brodet with stones, porous stones to be more precise, which often hide sea life or plankton adding flavour and protein to the dish. remember – you will probably never taste the same brudet twice! By the mouth of the Neretva where you may be surprised to find eels and frogs in your brodet; in Central Dalmatia, the Islanders will proudly fill their brodet with octopus, cuttlefish, squid; even adding crab, scampi or various shells isn’t a faux pas.
OLD DALMATIAN DISH AS UNESCO INTANGIBLE CROATIAN CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION
This is the first Croatian meal that enjoys the status of the cultural heritage. The recipe comes from the Dalmatian hinterland that has not changed since the rule of the Turks, and it is worth trying.
Today it bears the mark of the protected geographical origin so that the original soparnik is only the one made by the given recipe and the ingredients that are produced in the area of Poljica. Although it was once a meal for the poor, today is known as a true gastronomic treat. If you are ready for a gastronomic day off, go to Poljica and learn how to prepare it and taste it, or in Split, just walk to the main vegetable market and buy a peace one for 1 euro!
O, my dear, we truly hope you’ve heard for sarma. If you haven’t, find five minutes to google it and find some restaurant or home to try it. And then, be involved in a story of ‘a little brother’ of sarma – the very famous old dalmatian dish! The most famous speciality of Sinj cuisine. The dish’s name is probably derived from Turkish words harami – sinful, unlawful, and başi – head, leader, i. e. harambaša, the leader of the historical hajduci, a group of bandits. This is a variety of meal sarma, but here you don’t mince the meat but instead cut it with a knife. No rice, just several spices. Arambaši is one of the most important festive old dalmatian dish, cooked on the occasion of Easter, Christmas, Assumption, the Alka. Make the rolls wrapping up the mixture of meat and spices in pickled cabbage leaves.
Vitalac is an old dalmatian dish, traditional from the island of Brač. It is made with lamb or goat innards as the key ingredient. Liver, spleen, heart, and lungs are skewered, salted, and wrapped in lamb’s sheath. The combination is then turned over coals, and the skewers are wrapped in lamb’s intestines and turned over coals for another hour.
When vitalac is ready, it is typically cut or sliced and consumed with bread and spring onions, most often while waiting until the whole lamb is baked. So, if you are planning to visit the island of Brač ( on 45 minutes from Split by ferryboat) be stubborn to find this meal. You won’t regret
Sir iz mijeha (mišine) is a Herzegovinian cheese that’s encased in a large sheepskin sack – locally called ‘mišina’. It’s made from raw sheep’s or cow’s milk, or a combination of both. The size of the sheepskin sack dictates the size of this cheese, which can weigh from 30 to 70 kilograms. Sack cheese is aged from 2 months to a year, and during the process, it becomes white or pale yellow. The cheese has strong aromas of sheepskin and it’s traditionally served as an appetizer with boiled potatoes, ham, and uštipci (fried dough). You can find it in many villages on Zagora, as well on some islands. Every old dalmatian dish you can compare with one of the 100 types of indigenous dalmatian wines we offer in www.diocletianswinehouse.com.