Dalmatian cuisine is known for its healthy, fresh and local ingredients. With the Adriatic on the doorstep and tasty, seasonal produce growing in the fields locally, using recipes handed down by generations of grandmothers, it is perhaps no surprise that the Mediterranean Diet has been inscribed as intangible UNESCO heritage. But what happens when it goes to something a little sweeter, like desserts?
Traditional Dubrovnik desserts are delicious, and they are made from natural products. Here are a few to check out on your next visit:
Kolač od rogača (Carob cake) – carob trees can be found all over Dalmatia, and they provide the key ingredient for one of Dalmatia’s popular desserts – carob cake. Did you know that carob seeds all weigh exactly the same, which is where the term for 24-carat (carob) gold comes from. A delicious fudge-like cake, even without the chocolate.
Dubrovačka rozata (Dubrovnik rozata) – Dubrovnik’s answer to the French creme brulee, and the perfect light finish after a fine Dalmatian meal. The best rozata is to be found in the Dubrovnik region, and although it takes quite some skill to prepare the dish, the ingredients are actually very simple – just eggs, sugar and milk. Dubrovnik Rozata has been afforded Croatian cultural heritage status – order it to find out why!
Čokoladni tart s ljutom narančom (Bitter orange chocolate tart) – Walk around the old town of Dubrovnik and you will notice a number of orange trees in the various gardens. The oranges are unusually bitter and have long been part of Dubrovnik’s culinary tradition. Their bitter taste makes them not so attractive to eat as fruit, but locals are very creative, using them to make orange marmalade, orange cake, orange liqueur, orange juice, sugared orange peel called arancini. And for chocolate lovers, the best way to try this Dubrovnik delicacy is with the traditional chocolate tart with bitter orange.
Stonska torta s bademima (Ston almond cake) – Almonds are also prevalent in Dalmatia, and they contribute perhaps to the most unusual dessert which originates from the town of Ston, just north of Dubrovnik. Famed for its salt pans, oysters and what is said to the longest fortified wall outside China, Ston also has the delightful Ston cake with almonds, which often fascinates tourists with its unusual filling – which includes pasta.
Smokvenjak (Fig cake) – Figs are an extremely popular fruit in Dalmatia, and just like the bitter oranges above, they are put to a variety of uses in local dishes and drinks. In the absence of sugar or chocolate in years gone by, an old fig recipe was used to soothe those with a sweet tooth. Traditional fig cake consists of minced dried figs made into a sausage-like cake, with additional ingredients including brandy, spices and ground almonds. Unlike many desserts, fig cake can last for weeks.
Kotonjata od dunja (Quince sweets) – Looking for some authentic Dubrovnik candy? With just four ingredients, quince candy is not hard to make and the final product is a tasty jellied sweet. All you need is local quince, water, lemon juice, sugar – and a local who knows how to make it.
Six delicious desserts, six healthy and authentic options, all 100% Dubrovnik and Dalmatia. Which one will you try first on your next visit?