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  • 19. Apr, 2020.

Pasticada - Authentic Dalmatian meal

Pašticada is a traditional Dalmatian dish served in special occasions like weddings, New Year’s Eve and other festivities or celebrations. We can call this moment in world’s history special occasion as well, right? #coronayear2020 

There are a lot of details in preparation and ingredients that make one Pašticada different from the other one. This is basically the dish that causes a lot of discussions and comparisons. Here are just some of them – Is it better to use wine or dessert wine Prošek?; Which fruit is better – figs or prunes? Which is the best ingredient to marinate the meat? The list of such questions is long. Every household in Dalmatia that makes Pašticada will say that theirs is the best one, but the truth is that each Pašticada is a bit different because of the spices and seasoning before and during cooking.

We believe that each Pašticada is very good, especially if it is prepared in the way our grandmothers used to do it. Dalmatian Pašticada is definitely the meal to be considered as a real pearl of Croatian gastronomy and also a maturity test for the ones who like to brag themselves about their gastronomic experience and are proud of their cooking skills.

 

Preparation:

Pierce the meat with a sharp pointed knife randomly and then prick it with garlic slivers and small pieces of pancetta (bacon). Put the beef into a large bowl, cover it with vinegar and leave it to sit for 2 or 3 days in the fridge. 

After removing the meat from vinegar, season it with salt and pepper. Put it into a roasting dish together with olive oil, lard, onions, celery root and carrots. Cover and roast for 45 minutes. Take it out of the oven and separate the meat from the sauce. 

In a large pot fry fine chopped onions, garlic, carrots and bacon. After about 6-8 minutes add meat, tomato puree, Prosek (sweet wine),red wine, a bit of sugar and vinegar ( feel free to use the one used to marinate the meat) and the vegetables(you can blend them) used when cooking roasting the meat in the oven. 

After about 2.5h of cooking, cut the meat into 1 cm thick slices and put it back into the sauce together with prunes. Cook until the meat becomes tender (let’s say another 45 min). Serve it with potato gnocchi. If you like, you can sprinkle it with some grated parmesan cheese when serving.

 

Ingredients:

1,5-2 kg beef round

5 garlic cloves, sliced

100 g pancetta (bacon), cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Vinegar 

1 tablespoon lard

1/2 cup olive oil

3 large onions

2 carrots

1 celery root 

4 cloves

2 tablespoon tomato purée

100 ml dessert wine Prošek

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup red wine

3 bigger dried prunes

salt and pepper

 

I evo ga, (and here it is) 

Dobar tek! (Enjoy your meal) 

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  • 19. Jan, 2021.

Picigin in Split

Picigin has a tradition of playing in Split for 100 years! In recent history, the game has evolved to true sporting proportions, forming the first open-air competitions such as the World Cup. In addition to the sports side, picigin is much more noticeable as social entertainment that connects people every day. Our guide, Mijo Bebic when not training or working (actually some people consider this game as a serious exercise and training) spends time playing picigin on Bacvice beach. The goal of this game is to impress the watchers by keeping the ball dry while doing crazy stunts in shallow water.

 

Regardless of the season, it provides immeasurable satisfaction to its lovers. Winter does not really mean swimming in the sea, but at Bačvice beach, because of the everyday picigin, you will always see people ready to joke and play in Christmas and New Year’s attire that gives an incredible contrast of summer spirit in the winter environment.

 

Check out the gallery of Christmas picigin;

 

 

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Mijo in his "zone"

   

 

 

Ho-ho-ho

   

 

 

Besides picigin you can play na male branke - balun! Football

   

 

 

Mr. Julio in action 

   

 

 

At the Bacvice beach 

   

 

 

Vedran Segvic - famous Split photo chronologist. All photos on this post belong to Vedran and we want to thank him for letting us use them and thank him for good work of capturing the real beauty of Split 

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  • 20. Nov, 2020.

Private Villa Experiences in Croatia

The changes the world has experienced in 2020 awakened the imagination of our product team. During the quiet period of spring 2020, the team was busy collecting information and preparing logistics to support our new service – Private Villa Experiences. 

We handpicked the best villas and private accommodation that are offered along the entire Croatian coast and added our own touch. Since we are an outdoor and active travel company, we place our main focus on activities that include cultural, historical and gastronomical adventures all over Croatia. Besides a fantastic and relaxing stay in your own private oasis, we are happy to organize for you a wide range of services in order to take you to all these fantastic spots. We provide top quality bikes (and overall support such as guides, transportation), we can hike/walk, we can use private boats (motor or sailing) for island hopping. We can even bring chefs to your villa, if you wish to learn to prepare delicious Mediterranean meals! If you want to do yoga each morning let us find you the best teachers, if you need entertainment and care for your kids and babies, if you want to have cultural guides for visits to historical sites – we have it covered for you! 

 

For inspiration see some of our examples below;

 

  Island Korčula 
     
  Island Vis 
     
  Island Korčula 
     
  Center of Split town 
     
  Marjan hill  - Split 

 

Use our expertise and local knowledge to add special bonus to your vacation. Some of the experiences we provide:

 

  • Cycling – from simple bike rental to supported tours 
  • Hiking/Walking – self guided or supported/guided
  • Sup, sea kayaking, sailing, diving and other water-based activities – daily or weekly excursions 
  • Care and entertainment of kids – babysitter services, excursions and activities for the small ones 
  • Yoga classes 
  • Culinary experiences 
  • Yachting – motor or sailing boat excursions and transfers 
  • Cultural sightseeing, guides and various visits 
  • Travel planning assistance, airport transfers 

 

 

Of course, you can just relax with your family and friends in the privacy of your “home away from home”. 

For more info do not hesitate to contact us or check our dedicated Villa webpage

 

 

 

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  • 04. May, 2021.

Prošek or prosecco?

 

Sweet or sparkling wine? Croatia and Italy, countries that are proud of the quality and authenticity of their wine and many other products. If you are a wine lover or someone who likes to try different things when on the trip, and if you traveled to both Croatia and Italy you might have found yourself in a confusing situation ordering prosecco or prošek. 

 

Even the two names sound pretty much the same, these products are very different. Generally speaking, prosecco (prəˈsɛkoʊ) is wine made from grapes. It resembles sparkling wine, but again it is not. Croatian prošek (pro-shek) is a dessert wine made from local grape varieties. Their origins, ways of production, the products themselves differ quite a lot from each other.

 

 

Prošek

 

Prošek is a sweet wine with a controlled origin from coastal Croatia. The proof of its early origins goes back to 303 AD, with Emperor Diocletian mentioning this unique product.

 

For making a high-quality prošek it takes 7 times more grapes, in comparison with wine production. This is the reason why in the past it was always produced in small quantities and therefore kept for special occasions.

 

The production of prošek is based on the passito method. After regular harvesting, overripe grapes are collected and dried on straw or plastic substrates for approximately 1 week. The loss of the liquid raises the amount of sugar and further fermentation continues until the alcohol level is at 15%. This is the minimum for the production of a good quality Prošek. 

 

The most commonly used grape sorts are Bogdanuša, Maraština, and Vugava, with added smaller amounts of other, mostly local varieties.

Prošek produced from Bogdanuša is characterized by light and lively notes, while prošek made out of Vugava is reminiscent of sweet sherry. The most prominent in quality are those made from Plavac Mali, and Bogdanuša and Vugava cuvée.

If we had to compare it, Prošek most closely resembles Santoo - a traditional wine from Tuscany. The product is thick, almost like a liqueur, and varies in colors from dark gold to dark red and brown.

 

 

Prosecco

 

Prosecco is an Italian, geographically protected white wine originating from nine provinces in the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions. It was named after the village of Prosecco, and it is produced from the grapes of the same name, which was later renamed Glera.

 

Prosecco is usually produced as sparkling (spumante) or semi-sparkling (frizzante) wine, but it falls into the category of prosecco as a still wine (tranquillo) as well.

 

For the production of quality Prosecco, the Charmat - Martinotti method is usually used, where the wine ferments for a period of up to about 9 months (Charmat Lungo). To be eligible, 15% of Prosecco wine must be a mixture of Verdisa, Bianchette Trevigiane, Perere, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianca, Pinot Grigio or Pinot Noir (vinified white). The amount of alcohol is usually around 11 - 12%. Sparkling wine is light in texture and its light golden color.


 

Name issues

 

When Croatia joined the European Union in 2013, the European Commission raised the issue of using the name "prošek" as it recalls a name that is already protected by Italy (prosecco). However, according to the provisions of the Ministry of Agriculture, the name "prošek" may still be in use after Croatia's accession to the European Union. This resolution stopped the discussion about the new potential name which, as everyone agreed, will hardly describe the product that is known as prošek since the start of its production in the 19th century. 

One thing is certain, these two names will continue to be the subject of misunderstandings for many travelers and wine lovers, so pay attention to the correct pronunciation because in the end - the names are similar but not the same.


 

Prošek is still a very local and traditional drink that very few guests know about. On the other side, there are locals who still keep good bottles for special occasions and always have a small glass of prošek after Sunday lunch. This is, of course, because Dalmatians find prošek as an excellent remedy for different conditions and they all swear in the positive effects it brings.

 

On the side of confusion, these two drinks are in many ways different, and in fact, each of these two names originates from different periods and other reasons, and as such have every right to be used in their traditional form.

 

And as per confusion, expect the unexpected! Mistakes bring new experiences, revelations or cold served prosecco, I mean prošek ;)

 

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