TYPICAL GASTRONOMY OF THE REGION
The gastronomic tradition of Šibenik-Knin County is widely known. The similarities with Italian and Turkish cuisine are quite obvious, which is connected to the long Venetian and Ottoman rule in this area during the Middle Ages. The main characteristics of local cuisine are fresh food and in most cases simple preparation, with not too much spices and aromatic plants (except parsley, garlic, onion and bay leaf), and it can be divided in two major varieties, the one connected to the coastal and insular part and the other characteristic for the continental part of the county.
The cuisine of the maritime part of Šibenik-Knin County is based mostly on the ingredients like fish, shells and various other seafood. Homemade olive oil is the main spice in most dishes, whereas salt and pepper are being used in minimal quantities. The most famous specialities are roasted fish, "buzara" style mussels, brodetto, as well as risotto with seafood. Šibenik Bay and tributary Zaton Bay are one of the best-known places on the Dalmatian coast for mussel breeding. It is generally known that the mussels of Šibenik grow three to five times faster than mussels in other parts of the world. The main condition for the outstanding mussel breeding is the brackish water that comes from the sea water of the bays being mixed with Lake Prokljan, several nearby springs and the Krka River.
The hinterland of the region inclines to the continental cuisine mostly based on meat and potatoes. The specialities of this part of Šibenik-Knin County are roasted lamb and pork with roasted potatoes and assorted salad, which you can find on the menu of every local restaurant. They are traditionally prepared for a couple of hours under "peka", an iron bell filled with meat and potatoes and covered with ember. To the list of the most famous specialities of the region we must certainly add autochthonous cheese ripened in a lamb sack and smoked ham. The smoked ham from Drniš in particular has been awarded many times and internationally recognized as one of the highest world quality products.
DESSERTS AND SWEETS
The most traditional desserts of Šibenik-Knin County cuisine are: "rožata", a cake made of eggs, milk and caramel; "fritule", mini doughnuts made with raisins and liqueur (little balls formed to the size of a plum and then fried in hot oil); "kroštule", made in a similar manner as "fritule", only in the form of long bands; and "mandulat", a dessert made by mixing almonds and honey. Some of the more contemporary desserts include: carob tart served with tangerines, ripe peaches or early slightly grilled figs; and refreshingly innovative "vlaška čaša", an olive oil mousse mixed with melon jam and almond biscuits.
WINES AND APERITIFS
"Babić" wine, produced in the vineyards of Primošten, is a renowned red wine of the highest quality, and a picture featuring Primošten's vineyards is permanently exhibited in the main building of the UN in New York, representing hard human labour through the centuries and struggle with Dalmatian stone. Several excellent dessert wines such as "prošek" and "maraština" are characteristic for the region, as well as the great local "rakija" (homemade brandy) prepared in many varieties, e.g. "lozovača" (grape brandy) and "travarica" (fruit brandy with aromatic herbs). "Rakija" is mostly served with dried figs as a welcoming aperitif and a symbol of hospitality to all guests and passers-by alike.