Branding Dalmatian Culinary Heritage

For a long time we have been watching how the Istrians are light years away from other Croatian regions when it comes to branding their wines, olive oils, gourmet scene, traditional produce, almost anything. They made all the right moves, they are unified and they are skillfully selling their story. We wanted so badly to see the same thing happening in Dalmatia, a beautiful region with so much diversity and such a great tradition. And, let’s not forget – the region which gets most tourists. But then again, unity is the word…

It seemed that Dalmatia would always be like a promising sports team with several brilliant individuals, but which no coach can handle and bring out the team spirit. Until we heard about “Pravo dalmatinsko” (“Real Dalmatian”) project! It seems very promising and ambitious, and it’s a good thing that a neutral, non-political agency is behind it.

In a nutshell, a mark of excellence will be given to selected produce (wine, smoked ham, cheese, olive oil etc.) and services with the highest standards, originally Dalmatian and based on their rich tradition. The first in the line is the traditional Dalmatian tavern – konoba. We’re head over heels about this idea because we just love the feel and the atmosphere of the real, old-school Dalmatian konoba. And God knows that nowadays there’s absolutely no criteria; anyone can name their shabby little tourist-trap restaurant konoba and sell a non-existent story of family, tradition, history, authentic food, yadda-yadda.

The guys behind the “Pravo dalmatinsko” project organized a workshop at Vinistra wine festival in Istria (note the irony), to pitch the idea around and get some publicity. Zlatko Gall, famous journalist and cookbook author from Split, Srećko Radnić, direcor of RERA agency, and Jakov Bedalov, winemaker from Kaštela, did the cooking and decided to amaze us with a few very simple, very traditional and, unfortunately, not so easy to find these days, typical konoba dishes.

Needless to say, the food was finger-licking good, it paired excellent with quite wild and rustic indigenous Maraština wine, the fun was great and good vibrations were all around. We won’t jump the gun and rejoice too soon, but hopefully the marks “Pravo dalmatinsko” will start appearing soon, to all those who rightly deserve them, and serve as some kind of guidance on the chaotic Dalmatian restaurant scene, especially during the summer season. Good luck with that!

Read more HERE….