Traditional dalmatian food: Peka

Food & wine

The most popular slow food in the Mediterranean is well worth the wait.

One of the greatest hits of Mediterranean cuisine is food prepared under the bell (ispod peke).

Peka is a round cooking tray, but more commonly, it’s a name for dishes prepared in an open wood-fired brick oven (komin), under an iron bell/lid (cripnja), which is covered with ashes and embers.

The great thing about peka is that it’s great for preparing any kind of meat, but the most popular are certainly octopus peka, lamb or veal. This slow-cooking method leaves the meat beautifully soft. Dalmatian peka is a very old way of cooking food and it takes a certain amount of skill to do it right. It is a traditional way of preparing food and is exclusive to this part of the Adriatic.

First, you need to select the proper wood, like hornbeam or beech, al let it burn into ember. Then, you take your ingredients: meat, carrots, potatoes, onions, spices, and put them in a round tray. The round tray goes into the oven, is covered by the bell, and the bell is covered by the embers. The whole thing cooks for an hour, and that’s when the expert peka chef comes in: the cook assesses the remaining cook time, adds some white wine and lets it cook to perfection, with all of the flavors marrying together.

Food prepared under the bell does not use any additional fats and it’s cooked in own fluids. It almost exclusively contains some of the greatest ingredients commonly used in Dalmatia, and we have already written about their benefits.

Once you’ve decided that this slow food is something you definitely want to try, pair it with some exquisite wine. Learn about Croatian wine in most popular Croatian wines.

Fortunately, you don’t have to stray far from your camping spot to try this delicacy, check out the restaurants in the Camp, as they offer octopus under the bell.

Are you hungry yet? Satisfy your vacation craving!

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