Before you decide which of the many dishes from the rich Dalmatian menu you are going to enjoy, you should have a sip of Dalmatian grape or herb schnapps. The choice among the culinary specialties will thus be made easier for you! Characteristic of Dalmatian coastal cuisine is its digestibility and simple preparation. Yet the idea that simplicity means anyone anywhere could prepare a good Dalmatian meal can be deceiving. The tradition of grilling and roasting fish and delicaties of the sea in this region has been carried on from generation to generation, whereby the proper grilling technique often depends on the type of wood or wood briquets chosen. In addition to this comes the tantalizing Dalmatian olive oil and the particular taste of the fish.
No matter how much you eat in Dalmatia, you´ll hardly gain a pound. Most of the Dalmatian specialties are prepared with very little fat and oil. Don´t pass up dishes like mussels, shrimp (scampi), roast fish, delicious fish stew with rice, and meat specialties like sour marinated beef (pasticada) with noodles (njoki, gnocchi). To top it off we recommend a reifend dessert like “krostule”, egg cake (rozata), or of the rich Dalmatian tortes. Further essential ingredients used in Dalmatian cooking are prosciutto, sheep cheese, salted sardines, roasted lamb, beef cooked in tomato sauce (salsa), and sauteed greens with potatoes. Also do not forget the wine, known for its special taste of the south, which has been cultivated for centuries in the caring hands of wine makers in the rocky Dalmatian soil.
The best Dalmatian brodetto (fish-stew) is made using assorted fish of various kinds, e.g. rock-fish, dent-fish, sea-bass, dory, congercel and tuna. Cut the bigger fish into slices, leaving the smaller ones whole. Use 1/8l of olive oil per kilo. Fry a chopped onion on oil, add fish and fry it a while, adding chopped garlic and persley. Put in some salt and pepper and 1 tea spoon of concentrate tomato juice and, depending on the season, some sliced fresh tomatoes. Cover the fish with water and let it boil before adding the vinger. Cook for 1-1,5 hours, letting it simmer over a low fire. Do not stir – shake the casserole gently instead so that the ingredients should remain in layers in the same order they have been added. Brodetto is best served with boiled maize-flour (corn meal), rice or spaghetti (pasta). The cuisine of Dalmatia and the islands follows the trend of modern nutritional norms. The brief thermal preparation of foodstuffs (mainly boiling or grilling) and plenty of fish, olive oil, vegetables and self-sown herbs found near the sea is why this cuisine is considered to be very healthy. Although every area has its own way of preparing certain dishes, the cuisine of the islands represents a separate world, their distinguishing features having been discovered only recently, such as the cuisine of the Hvar island.