Traditional Dalmatian ingredients are various types of fish, shells, crabs, octopus, squid, cuttle-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: "gradele", "leso", "brodet"
Fish is prepared in several ways: "na gradele", "na leso" i "na brodet". 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, pepper corn and salt. This extremely light and low caloric dish, ideal for supper, is served with boiled potatoes, Swiss chard or cabbage salad.
Brodet" is prepared with different types of fish (grooper, conger eel) that are cut into pieces and fried with onions. Afterwards, the fish is placed in a clay pot over a light fire. Garlic, parsley, laurel and tomatoes are added. When the fish become soft and the bones can easily be removed, "brodet" is ready to be served with polenta - fine yellow cornmeal cooked to a mush.
SCAMPI AND SHELLS: "na buzaru"
Mussels, oysters and scampi are prepared "na buzaru" in Dalmatia. They are placed in a pot and covered with grated parsley, garlic, bread crumbs, 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 the world famous "Postup" and "Dingac", as well as "Knezevo", "Carsko", "Rukatac" and "Sveta Ana". Every island has its own wines and winemakers. "Bolski Plavac" and "Bolski Opolo" are produced on the island of Brac, while on Hvar, the islands with the most varieties of grapes, you can try "Faros, "Ivan Dolac", "Zlatni plavac", "Bogdanusa", "Hvarski Pelegrin", "Dobrogost", "Parc" and "Drnekusa". Three excellent white wines "Posip", "Marastina" and "Grk" and red wines "Plavac" and "Admiral" can be found on the island of Korcula. The island of Vis is proud of its "Vugava", while the island of Lastovo is known for "Ladesta" and "Augusta insula". Apart from the above mentioned wines, another Dalmatian specialty is "prosek" - a sweet liquor made from grapes.