Welcome to the culinary heritage trails that will take you on a path paved with tradition, history and culture. As part of the project, three types of trails were created – local, regional and international cross-border trails. A local track lasts a few hours, a regional one up to a day, and an international one a few days. You can choose the traditional trail based on your own preferences, and the service providers (agritourism, OPG, restaurant) are indicated on them, whose hospitality, dishes and culture will charm even the most demanding domestic and foreign guests. Below you can learn more about the history of the traditional cuisines of all three areas involved.
The area of Zadar County includes a very indented coastal and island belt, mostly poor land where a relatively simple Mediterranean culinary tradition prevails, the area of fertile Ravni Kotar and part of poor Bukovica, and finally part of hilly Lika. Although each of these micro-regions is partially enclosed in its Campanile framework and each of these areas nurtures its own culinary tradition, the connections of the island with the mainland and hinterland were continuous, determined by clear frameworks of diverse supply and demand.
Traditional cuisine of Zadar county relies on fresh foods, lots of fresh vegetables and legumes (lentils) with a simple preparation with the addition of olive oil and very little spices and herbs, of which onions (capula), garlic (onions), parsley (parsley) are regularly used, laurel and rosemary. As a rule, no splashes are made during cooking, nor is food traditionally fried, vegetables are seasoned only with cold olive oil. Meat was eaten once or twice a month, and fish at least once a week, but both were mostly eaten cooked (lešo), fish often grilled or grilled. Many everyday dishes have "na suho" (= without dry meat), "na slano" in their names, and many of them have the name "po domáki" (poor people's food) added to them: artichokes, bubanići (bobanci), mishancija wild plants with hard-boiled eggs).
Cakes and sweets are not a feature of the traditional cuisine of Zadar County, sweets were eaten maybe on Sundays and very simple dishes, and for holidays and special occasions, especially Christmas and Easter, they prepared are more demanding desserts, with obligatory fritters. Although such a basic diet was once perceived as poor or difficult, today it is becoming the measure of a modern healthy Mediterranean diet.
In the traditional food of Herzegovina, culture and food have been intertwined since time immemorial. The intending traveler, guest or stranger is always welcomed with open doors with all that the poor Herzegovinian karst has to offer its inhabitants. Traditional food played a special role in this, which was jealously guarded for centuries, with minimal adjustments to the times.
Culinary heritage of Herzegovina was created in the whirlwind of culture, civilization, religion and politics. It smells of the Mediterranean, but the influences of Turkish, Greek and Central European cuisine are recognizable, which continuously pervaded and blended into the already found heritage.
Since there was no refrigeration, meat and fish were smoked or dried. , and fresh meat was hung in the "chatrnja", above the water. Salt was used to season the dish. Other methods of preservation included oil, vinegar, or immersing the meat in thickened, rendered fat. Liquor, honey and sugar were used to preserve fruit. Vegetables and fruits were dried and thus used in winter. Culinary habits differ from place to place, both in the choice of ingredients, the way the food is prepared, the way it is consumed, and customs derived from food traditions. In the northern parts of HNŽ-K, the diet is slightly higher in calories compared to the southern regions, due to the harsher climate, so the proportion of dairy, meat and heavy plant foods is noticeable. Cow's, sheep's and goat's milk was boiled (varenika), pickled (acid) or curdled. Butter was most often used for seasoning. Sour milk was often drunk with meals. They made pickles, "sour" winter drinks, refreshing drinks, jams, bestilji...) and alcoholic beverages (Herzegovinian grape, "šljivovica" brandy, "himber" made from local apples, pears, plums...). The Ramski region is famous for plums and the production of brandy and plum jam, Jablanica is famous for its lamb on a spit, while in Konjic you can taste the famous Rapova cheese.
For the history of the gastronomy of the Bay of Kotor are precious lists of goods that arrive by ship, so we learn that dried and salted meat, tallow, oil, wine, dried škoranski from Lake Skadar, beškot and other foodstuffs are traded. Honey is too important, so its export is prohibited. The history of events in these areas leave traces of different peoples and governments of Illyrian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Serbian, Ottoman, Venetian, French, Russian and Austro-Hungarian states.
Bokelji kept some of the aromas of other cuisines, and in addition to exotic spices, they added local spices to the dishes, which, for the most part, they did not grow, but were picked from the nearby meadows. In addition, nature works miracles, so the collision of two climates: coastal and mountain, in the bosom and on the slopes of Orjen and Lovcen, creates the famous prosciutto, Njeguš cheese, kastradina and unique dishes made from tubers, greens, carrots, legumes and grains, so created a strong connection between coastal and continental cuisine. Njeguška and Luštica cheese in homemade olive oil, beaten green and black olives, wine that used to be exported and found on the table of the Doge of Venice, fish from Gradel, cooked in olive oil, dried, salted, marinated and simply prepared "for the corpse" with the obligatory parsley and garlic are just some of the characteristics of Boke cuisine - enough to classify it in the Mediterranean gastronomic circle. , turns everything into delicacies. Everything from the sea, vegetables, fruits and numerous edible herbs such as yellowtail, nettle, tangerine, wild carrot, čuceg, morač, kotriš, podbjel and others are an integral part of the daily menu of Bokelje. The combination of products from the rugged environment, especially meat and meat products and those from the coast - produce kastradina and black greens, bumblebees, lamb and beef tripe, offal wrapped in lamb intestines, roasted and then boiled lamb's legs, meat under the oven with the obligatory rosemary, and on wild game also arrives on the table. The Bokele kitchen was enriched by the tomato, fresh, cooked or dried, which gives color and that sublime sour-sweet taste to every dish.
In the Bokele kitchen, delicacies are often prepared, simpler to prepare, but full of citrus peels, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and other spices that stun the senses.
Boke cuisine has one characteristic that says everything about it: inheritance! Numerous aspirants reached these shores by peace or force. Everyone had something of their own that they left in Boka, and the Bokelians used it expertly, as an heir who knows and knows how to preserve and increase the inheritance.
A path that can be traveled with.