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Taste of Makarska

more than a year ago

The Makarska Riviera has a very close relationship with the hinterland and with Mount Biokovo - the hinterland and the coast simply can’t function without one another. Many of the dishes of the Makarska region have their roots in the hinterland. You can find excellent Biokovo cheese flavoured with fresh herbs freshly picked on the pristine hillsides. The cows and sheep reared in this region and whose milk is used to make the cheese spend their days in these idyllic – if precarious – surroundings. One speciality of the region is kaštradina – a stew made with dried and smoked lamb, mutton or goat meat. Kaštradina comes from the cauldron of the Biokovo shepherd, whose wisdom inspired Greek philosophy”, says Veljko Barbieri, a famous Croatian food writer. Another speciality worth hunting down is the Biokovo peka – four kinds of meat (lamb, veal, goat meat and chicken) cooked under an iron lid heaped with embers. Then there’s pašticada ; a Dalmatian classic - beef studded with bacon and garlic and stewed in red wine. If you come across a type of vegetable called motar you must try it – it’s samphire, a plant that grows wild in coastal areas, including on the Osejava peninsula and on the islands. It can be mixed with any combination of wild spring vegetables such as chicory, dandelion, spinach, tender broccoli spears or collard green, and it is excellent served with octopus. Or try one of the fabulous big cabbages that grow in Biokovo gardens, often whipped up by locals into a tasty tomato-based stew. Finally, a wonderful delicacy from Brela is a special cake, sweet or savoury, called blitvenjak, made with chard (mangold). The sweet version is prepared with walnuts. The locals on the Makarska Riviera are extremely proud of their olive oil, which you can buy for about 80-100 kn per litre. The olive-growing tradition in Tučepi is so strong that they have built a monument to the olive mill on the waterfront, featuring millstones used in the oilmaking process. And finally, dessert. If you come across ravioli in Makarska or Baška, they are a sweet treat consisting of light, crumbly pastry with a sweet walnut filling. And Makarska’s most famous cake is the Makarana: a harmonious blend of butter and eggs, lemon and orange peel, almonds, maraschino cherry liqueur and a couple of secret ingredients. You simply have to try it!

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