Dalmatia - Split

Dalmatia - Split

Split is home to the famous Dalmatinska Pašticada or Dalmatian stew, but also to a delicious river crab stew, savoury cakes such as the aromatic Viška, Forska and Komiška pogača and the famous luganige sausages as well as the Arambašići from Sinj, small cabbage rolls filled with beef and pork. On the island of Hvar you will find renowned wines like Vugava and Plančić and also Smutice, red wine mixed either with sheep’s or goat’s milk.

Viška, Forska and Komiška pogača

Arambašići from Sinj

Gastronomic minimalism worthy of an empire

The people of Split have a simple and impressive argument when they praise the beauty of their city and surroundings: the mighty Emperor Diocletian was able to choose from the whole of the vast Roman Empire for a place to build his magnificent palace. The location that he chose is present-day Split, the largest Dalmatian city, whose core, centre and urban origin is still Diocletian’s Palace today.

 

In the hinterland of Split the mountain massif with its frequently snow-covered peaks of Mosor and Biokovo, which ease the severest blows of the “bura” wind, the sea view of Brač, Šolta, Čiovo, in the distance Hvar and Vis, the sunniest Adriatic islands. The emperor was wise. Nature appeared to him here in all its beauty and fertility. The Greeks had already cultivated vineyards and olives on the Dalmatian islands before him, and they didn’t have to struggle with farming, they only had to hunt and gather their food: river and sea crabs and fish, frogs and shellfish, mushrooms and blackberries, wild edible plants…

 

The continuity of Dalmatian cuisine is impressive even by demanding Mediterranean standards. What the emperor enjoyed, has also been preserved for our enjoyment, and added to them have been the best ideas of hundreds of generations of chefs. In this region the principles of the so-called Dalmatian minimalism are consistently respected according to which top foodstuffs, first of all, the most prized fish, are made edible in the shortest and simplest way, by cooking, roasting or frying, in order to not ruin the perfect natural flavours of dory, dentex, bream or mullet. At the same time, endless variations of recipes are also created which require gradual multi-day preparations, of complex seasoned compositions, such as “pašticada” beef stew.

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