The Most Popular Dishes in Dalmatia, and Where to Try Them

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Where to go online to find the very best Dalmatian food and its most authentic recipes? 

Food and wine are essentials for a successful holiday, and with people travelling more than ever and wanting to find those local, authentic experiences, learning about and trying traditional local dishes is a holiday highlight for many. And while guidebooks will always give a certain amount of information and recommendations, and TripAdvisor will always rate the ‘best’ restaurants, it is often the case that such recommendations focus on food in general, and not the local dishes that foodies want to check out on their travels. Travelling to a new country to try a TripAdvisor-recommended pizza may be ok for some, but if you are looking to learn more about the dishes which locals eat, this approach is unlikely to help too much. 

Enter TasteAtlas, a new website and food information concept, which we have already featured on TCN, with an interview with its owner a few months ago

The concept of TasteAtlas is extremely simple that one wonders why it had not been done before – a global map of local dishes, with detailed descriptions on each, more than 5,000 so far – and recommendations on where to try the best examples of an individual dish. Unlike TripAdvisor, however, the reviews are not based on customers, but rather on an algorithm based on reviews by food critics. 

The site, which still has not officially launched, but which can be navigated via its search tool, has already received critical acclaim all over the globe, and it continues to grow daily, as new dishes are added. It is growing in popularity as more people learn of this new way to educate themselves and find the very best local food in the most-highly recommended eateries. 

The site is nicely arranged in various ways according to region and type of food, and the French cheese map and Italian pasta map have both proved popular, for example. Croatia is famed for its regional cuisine, and a search for Dalmatia brings up some of the lesser-known dishes which don’t appear on many tourist menus. Here is how one of the most popular Dalmatian dishes, octopus under the bell, is described, complete with 6 recommended restaurants all over Dalmatia where the best servings are to be found:

“Hobotnica ispod peke is a popular Dalmatian dish made by slowly cooking a fresh, whole octopus in its juices under a big, traditional, bell-like lid called peka. The octopus is often flavored with aromatic herbs and spices such as garlic, lemon, bay leaves, mint, chile, and black pepper. Olive oil is sometimes added in order to moisten the octopus, while red or white wine can be added to speed up the cooking process. Potatoes, onions, carrots, tomatoes, and bell peppers are usually cooked together with the octopus, making this a practical one-pot meal. The whole concoction is then traditionally placed in a fireplace, and the lid is covered with hot embers. It is recommended to serve hobotnica ispod peke with kruh ispod peke (bread under the lid), used for mopping up some of the flavorful cooking juices.”

Check out the local Dalmatian specialities not to be missed, and where not to miss them…

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