Peka is a traditional way to prepare a slow food in Dalmatia

Photo: Anze Furlan
Peka, traditional slow food in Croatia

August 02.2019.

Foods to try in Croatia: Dalmatian Peka is a slow cooked wonder

If your friend from Croatia offers to make a Peka for you, that means he likes you a lot. Preparing a food in a traditional way, under a heavy iron-cast bell is time consuming and requires a lot of time of perfecting a recipe. Everyone who masters a Peka has his own unique twist, but the food is allways mouth-watering

Blog written by Matej Duspara Passionate world wanderer, always taking the road less travelled

One of the most popular meals in Croatia’s Dalmatia region is peka, a blend of vegetables and meat drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with herbs, and then baked to perfection under a bell-like dome, or ispod čripnje. You’ll see it listed on menus throughout the region, and if you are lucky enough to be invited into the home of a Dalmatian family, it’s likely that you’ll feast upon it for dinner. It is traditional for Dalmatians to cook peka in their fireplaces at home. Many Croatian families, especially those in the countryside, even have a special oven outdoors for cooking.

One of the interesting things about Peka is that you can make with any kind of meat you like, also in restaurants you normally have option to choose between several kinds of meet. Veal, chicken, lamb or octopus are placed with vegetables inside a dish with a heavy metal lid. The dish is then cooked in an open fireplace by the hot coals and embers which are placed over the lid. The dish is left to cook slowly in its own juices until the meat is tender. 

Traditional Croatian Lamb Peka Recipe

Dishes under the iron bell are some of the top gastronomic offers in the Dalmatian cuisine. The food is basicly easy to prepare, but it taskes a lot of experimenting to get the right mix of ingredients …

Peka is one the menu in more or less all traditional Dalmatian restaurant, so this is for sure something you can try during a vacation here in Croatia, be aware that Peka has to be ordered up front as it takes more than an hour and a half to two hours to prepare, if everything is set-up in advance.

That juicy taste and aromatic smell of the meat will leave you speechless. Homemade traditional ‘peka’ with a glass of quality wine is an ideal chance for gathering and music.

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