Blogs > News-Herald Food and Travel

Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fish in dubrovnik and along the Dalmation coast

I’d reserved a taxi in advance since I knew I’d be jetlagged and somewhat spaced out upon my arrival in Dubrovnik. It was 1 p.m. Dubrovnik time but about 6 a.m. at home and I’d been awake most of the night flying across the Atlantic. The website delivered just as it has promised. A driver was holding up my name as I exited the airport and before I knew it I was at the Hotel Vis and ready to pay him.  I’d visited an ATM machine at the airport where I got 400 kuna (about $80),  the local currency. Not yet used to the currency I paid him partly using euro, but he quickly corrected my mistake. “That’s way more than you owe me,” he said. “Better put away your euro or you’ll be spending it accidently.”
Meeting an honest man makes such a great first impression.
 After a visit and walk around in Dubrovnik with Carol (see previous blog) from Richmond Heights, it was time for my dinner at Proto, which is known for its seafood. In the heart of Old Town, within the old city walls, it’s on a cobbled pedestrian street with other restaurants. The dinner was arranged by the local tourist office at my request so I could get up to speed on the local food. Josip Zuvela,  a culinary professor at the hospitality school in Dubrovnik, explained that the cuisine is influenced by 400 years of rule from Venice.
Proto’s menu was in English as well as several other languages so understanding it was easy. Smoked tuna, one of the ingredients in cold platter I ordered as an appetizer is colloquially called “sea ham. The platter also included octopus and marinated anchovies, which were fresh and not at all salty.
I was told to expect to be served dory, and red mullet on my upcoming travels. The professor told me I would also be having fresh sardines on my voyage among the islands and he told me I’d see grapes being picked and find olives, figs and pomegranates ripening on trees. When he learned I’d be visiting Ston the professor told me the best oysters in the world are found there.
He left me with some recipes, including a Dubrovnik style tuna.
It’s made like this: First the fresh tuna is fried after being salted and rolled in flour. After it’s cooked, it’s removed from the pan. Sliced onion, garlic, parsley, bay leaf and rosemary are  cookedin the same pan with 2 cups of water for 10 minutes, or until reduced. Sugar, pepper, wine vinegar and salt is added and the mixture is poured over the tuna and allowed to cool. The fish is served garnished with lemon slices and black olives.
Click here to see Dubrovnik's great fish


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