I think it is safe to say, eating and drinking is crucial to any good holiday. EasyJet’s inflight magazine recently referred to Korcula as a Treasure Island for gastronomy. So what should you be feasting on during your visit to Korcula?
Firstly if you’re fortunate enough to be invited to someone’s house for dinner, two pieces of advice for you. Go with a very hungry stomach and when you think there are no more courses to come, remember there is always more! However, if you don’t bag an invite there are plenty of fantastic restaurants to choose from.
Many dishes you’ll find on Korcula are typical across the whole of Dalmatia. Not surprisingly with a heavy emphasis on ingredients from the sea. You will also be able to taste island specialities.
If you take a walk through the countryside of Korcula you’ll no doubt stumble across a goat or two happily chewing away. Home-made goats cheese makes a great starter, drizzled with local olive oil and served with freshly baked bread. Bire winery in Lumbarda makes a particularly tasty cheese, which makes a wonderful accompaniment to the village’s unique white wine, Grk.
Local ladies catch up on village gossip whilst preparing this island dish. Originating from the village of Zrnovo, zrnovski makaruni is a pasta dish where the dough is shaped around wooden skewers at an impressive speed. There is certainly skill here. The pasta is then typically served with a rich beef sauce or tomato sauce, however you can serve it with anything you like. Many restaurants offer variations and one the best places to try it is at Belin Konoba in Zrnovo. If you fancy having a go at shaping the dough, why not join us on a culinary tour on Korcula and try.
Peka or Pasticada
It is said that the best things in life are worth waiting for and this includes two delicious Dalmatian dishes. If you love meat, try peka or pasticada during your holiday on Korcula.
Peka can be made up of various meats such as lamb, veal or chicken, but also octopus. The meat is seasoned along with potatoes and vegetables, a healthy glug of olive oil is added and everything is then placed on a fire-proof plate. The plate is then covered in a metal “bell” and placed onto burning embers for a a couple of hours until the meat is tender, juicy and utterly delicious. You will need to pre-order peka from a restaurant in advice because of the long cooking time required.
Pasticada is a beef based dish mixed with a secret concoction of ingredients (everyone’s recipe is slightly different). For sure you’ll find some root vegetables, cloves, dried fruits such as plums, bacon and red wine in there. The key is in the preparation, with over-night marination of the meat being crucial. Once the meat has taken on flavour it is slow cooked for around 2 hours. You won’t find this on every menu, but you can order a delicious version from Maslina restaurant.
You can’t come to Korcula and not try fresh fish and seafood. Fish options are endless and include sea bass, tuna, mackerel and sardine. Just ask what the catch of the day is. Fish is usually simply grilled with salt and olive oil and served with a dish of potatoes and swiss chard.
The seafood options are just as limitless. Some dishes to look out for: black risotto, it’s distinctive colour coming from the cuttlefish ink, octopus salad and lobster buzzaro. For something special indulge in oysters from nearby Ston, a town located on the Peljesac peninsula.
Now for the more unusual options you won’t see on the menus of restaurants and you’ll likely need the help of a local to find them. Urchins (those spiky creatures you can see on the sea bed) and small limpets covering the rocks in the shallow waters, are Korcula delicacies. Good washed down with a glass or two of wine!
Spend any time on Korcula and you will quickly spot the Italian influences. From the architecture, to the language, to the food. So you probably won’t think of pizza as a Croatian speciality, but you’ll find stone ovens across the island ready to bake. There are many pizzerias and pizza makes a cheap and tasty quick choice. Order a bottle of Croatian beer such as Ozusko or Karlovacko to go with it. We love Torkul in Lumbarda and Tedeschi in Korcula.
Passed down through generations, every family has a collection of recipes for sweet breads and biscuits. Cukarin, a dry crescent shaped cookie; klasun, a pastry biscuit with a walnut filling; and lumblija, a cake with a love story behind it originating from the town of Blato; to name just a few. The aptly named “Cukarin” shop in Korcula is a good place to check out some of these sugary delights.
So we hope we got your taste-buds tingling! There are many other delicious things to try but this is just a small list to get you started.
Have you been to Korcula, what did you enjoy eating?
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