Croatia produces some extremely good prosciutto – dry-cured ham, which is known locally as pršut. The production of high-quality pršut has a long tradition here as one of the most prized delicacies, although four regions have managed to go beyond by protecting it with special certifications of excellence and geographic origin, including Krk Island, Istria, Dalmatia, and Drnis. Although each version is slightly different, all are prepared using traditional techniques with high-quality meat with an artisan undertaking rather than mass production. Try it in Istria as it’s the only prosciutto that’s also been awarded the mark of authenticity, using fresh ham from locally raised animals. It’s spiced with rosemary, laurel, fresh garlic, black pepper, and sea salt. In the small town of Vodnjan near Pula, the Bursis family estate is one of the largest producers and has a tasting room and restaurant for trying pršut and other cured meals along with other traditional Istrian dishes.
Fritule is a traditional desert of the Dalmatia, Kvarner, and Istria regions. Each village has its own recipe that claims to be the original and the best. Makarska in Central Dalmatia claims that the first factory to make fritule, run by the Vukovic family, is here. While that can’t be confirmed, you can decide for yourself when you visit. Just a little over an hour from Split, it’s the main town on the beautiful Makarska Riviera which features many secluded coves and picturesque beaches for swimming in the turquoise water. Summer brings a carnival atmosphere with many unique events like donkey races and stone-throwing, along with the Makarska Cultural Summer Festival. With fritule often served at many festivals, you’re likely to find some delicious offerings here.