Croatian cuisine is heterogeneous, and is therefore known as "the cuisine of regions". Its modern roots date back to Proto-Slavic and ancient periods and the differences in the selection of foodstuffs and forms of cooking are most notable between those on the mainland and those in coastal regions. Mainland cuisine is more characterized by the earlier Proto-Slavic and the more recent contacts with the more famous gastronomic orders of today - Hungarian, Viennese and Turkish - while the coastal region bears the influences of the Greek, Roman and Illyrian, as well as of the later Mediterranean cuisine - Italian and French.
A large body of books bears witness to the high level of gastronomic culture in Croatia , which in European terms dealt with food in the distant past, such as the Gazophylacium by Belostenec, a Latin-Kajkavian dictionary dating from 1740 that preceded a similar French dictionary. There is also Beletristic literature by Marulic, Hektorovic, Drzic and other writers, down to the work written by Ivan Bierling in 1813 containing recipes for the preparation of 554 various dishes (translated from the German original), and which is considered to be the first Croatian cookery book.
Although you will find intriguing differences from island to island, the cuisine of Dalmatia is overwhelmingly Mediterranean in style, borrowing influences from the trade routes that have passed its shores for centuries. Many claim that the seafood of the Adriatic is some of the best in the world owing to the sea's unique geographical position.
The secret lies in the simplicity of the preparation - for thousands of years locals have perfected the technique of grilling seafood even down to the woods used to stoke the fire. A key ingredient is the local olive oil cultivated by farmers along the coast in picturesque groves of ancient trees. Hence grilled fish, lobster and shellfish will feature highly on most menus, but the spit-roast lamb and locally grown vegetables should not be overlooked.
Other specialities are the many types of island cheeses and prsut, the local version of Parma ham. There will be culinary delights to tempt you but a healthy diet can still be enjoyed.Whatever your preferences and tastes we are confident that once sampled, the local cuisine will provide you with ample excuse to return.
Dalmatia 's wines
Wine is as important today as it was when the Emperor Diocletian built his holiday palace two thousand years ago. In his work the Banquet of Scientists the Greek writer Athenaios writes, “On the island of Vis a wine is produced that no other wine equals.?The vines thrive in rocky soil and are blessed by year round sunshine producing high quality wines. Alternatively locals may tempt you with their “home-brew?but this is recommended only for the brave!
The region has a number of grape varieties that are native to the area but the more well known varieties have begun to become established. Some of the more successful of these currently are Dingac and Postup from the Peljesac peninsula, Posip and Grk from Korcula, Marastina from the island of Lastovo , Plavac, Plavac Mali as well as Babic are just some of the popular wines you may come across.
The more adventurous can aim to master the local eau de vie, Travarica. This is a local spirit made from grapes similar to the Italian grappa, mixed with local herbs and flowers and hence gains its faint amber/green appearance. It is also highly potent and freely offered as a welcome drink to guests, sometimes with interesting results.
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