November 26, 2014

Potravlje pottery, the way it was made for ages.

(click to enlarge)

Potravlje, the blue dot on the map, 
hides one of the many hardly known secrets of Inland Dalmatia.

As here, near the town of Sinj, Cetina River and Lake Perusko, 
an ancient pottery technique has survived for ages.

Still a couple of craftsmen produce lids and pots the traditional way.
Not machine powered, but pure craftsmanship, hand shaped and decorated, which makes each example unique.

One might even have it's own text on it.
But be aware the spelling is correctly understood :-) 

(click to enlarge)

Click for short videos on Youtube (bóth highly interesting):

As seen on the picture there is a variety of shapes, one shape however needs special attention, as it's used to make the most appreciated dish called peka.

With meat, poultry or octopus plus potatoes, onions and peppers, it's a great traditional dish, grilled under such a lid, prepared on a traditional wood fire.

I tried to make it myself a couple of times, but believe me, to get and keep the right temperature ain't that easy. 
Better order it (in time) in one of the many traditional konoba's (traditional restaurants) where they know how to prepare it.
(Also the same lid is used to bake a traditional bread).

And once you've tasted this dish, 
you might want to buy your own peka lid.
If so, Potravlje is the place to go.

And since you are there (about half an hour from Split), drive to Perusko Lake, Sinj, Cetina River or Dinara Mountains.
If you have a bit more time, drive to Trilj, and than towards Grab, where a unique watermill is absolutely worth a visit.
Won't tell you more, but the place is AMAZING !

And íf you bought yourself a lid, 
get some of the flour this mill has been milling for centuries. 
You'll be tasting a bread like you've never ever tasted before in your life.

Yes, first you'll have to learn how to bake it.
But aren't we all willing to learn.

November 25, 2014

Dalmatia, gó and discóver Inland Dalmatia !

Today I "stumbled" over an éxcellent new promotion video showing Inland Dalmatia.
In about three minutes you get an impression why I/we love it here.

I took this picture from Google Maps to give you an idea of the possibilities, all of it very reachable by car, motor, bus or bike.
(Walking might take a bit longer than one hour)

With Split in the South Centre of it all and at the Adriatic coast,
it takes you LESS than an HOUR to discover the inland.

But why use many words this time, as there is now a great video:
Clicke here:

Inland Dalmatia

And remember, it's just a couple of examples,
a couple of the mány hidden gems of Dalmatia's inland.
Perfectly combinable with a beach holiday at the Adriatic,
and the ultimate way to get the real feeling of Dalmatia.

One warning !
Once you discover what we've already discovered,
you might end like we did, living in it, ten minutes from the Adriatic,
with áll the very best of both worlds.

Not a bad idea, if not the bést idea ever.

November 23, 2014

Indonesian food in Svinisce, huh.........yes indeed

(Picture from:

Yes indeed, sometimes we enjoy Indonesian food here in Svinisce.
This may be weird to you, but let me explain.

First of all, I am a Dutchman (oh, but thát explains a lot :-).
No serious, that explains a LOT.

Always, when in history there are connections between some countries, there is exchange of customs, ánd food.
Croatian cuisine for instance has it's cevapcici and soparnik from Ottoman times (yes folks, they are originally Turkish dishes), the Dutch inherited Indonesian food from being colonisers of Indonesia.
(That explains also why Americans have hamburgers, imported by their German ancestors, and the Dalmatians pizza's).

Lucky Dutch, having been connected to Indonesia (and not Germany), as once you've tasted an Indonesian dinner like the one on the picture, you'll understand (and want more).

My mother (100% Amsterdam) was a fine home cook, and from her we all learned and love good food.
Her cooking skills even motivated me to become a professional cook.
And by coincidence there were some other connections to Indonesian dinners, but than this page gets to long.

I was (and still am) cooking every day, and love to create food.
And there we go, as Croatia is extremely rich of excellent ingredients.
Fish, meat, fruits, poultry, vegetables and even a lot of spices are excellent, and crying to be become a great dish.

So they become great dishes, every day something different, always tasty, and always at least an hour or more preparing it, 
as cooking takes time, unless you love micro waves :-(
(Lucky me, hating micro waves, being retired, with plenty of time).

Indonesian food however, especially like in the picture, takes a lót of time, even up to two days, so I only do that for good friends, 
and mind you, not tó often.
IF....however I do, it's always D-licious !

The only (minor) problem is that a lot of ingredients and spices are not available in Croatian supermarkets, so once in a while I make a list of missing stuff, and organise some sort of "transport" from Holland.
(Things are slowly changing however, as Konzum's big supermarket in Split today sells coconut milk, soy sauce, fresh ginger and more of those goodies, and I grow my own lemon grass).

Still, a lot of these dishes can be prepared from available ingredients, and believe me, once you dig in you wish for more and more often.
And that's my only problem, as when I start eating Indonesian food, 
I simply can't stop.

Okay, those two days in the kitchen are another problem, 
but that's all for the good cause.
And hospitality happens to be a shared Dalmatian/Dutch virtue.

Selamat makan, or in other words, dobar tek.

Anywhere on the web you can find recipes, 
for instance of "sate" or "satay", a grilled delicacy.
Having a "rostil" (a charcoal grill every Dalmatian has), good meat (pig, goat or chicken), garlic, ginger, red chilly peppers and soy sauce in any good supermarket, makes a perfect introduction to a great kitchen.
Slice the meat in cubes, marinate it in a mix of it all, 
put it in the fridge for hours or a night.
Than put a couple of cubes on every skewer, 
and grill them for a couple of minutes.
!!! Careful, any sweet (and dark soy sauce is) burns easily !!!
Dip it in a sauce made of peanut butter*), dark soy, lemon juice, garlic and water, and serve with some cucumber, 
bread, rice or french fries.
AND......a nice cold beer of course !

*) Nót the sweet, flavoured, creamy American peanut butter however, 
but genuine Dutch "pindakaas" from Calvé.

November 19, 2014

oil from the Adriatic ,don't say you didn't know !

Come one friends, come on and say NO before it's to late.

YOU, I, WE all love the Adriatic, but for how long ?
Those oil drilling plans are UTTERLY STUPID
as they may destroy the móst beautiful coastline in Europe.

Sign that petition NOW:

I can keep on blogging about all natural beauty of Dalmatia,
but what if there ain't no beauty anymore ?

I won't say please, I simply say do it, and do it NOW !

As if we don't say NO, politicians will run for the short term money,
with a high risk of ruining it all it the long term.

Yes yes, they say (bla bla bla), they say they take every possible precaution  to protect the environment, but didn't they say so about those many disasters too.

Do I have to to summarize them ?
No I won't, as Google shows them all to you in a split second.
To make things easy for you (and you politicians),
look here:

Now do go back to the first link, and sign that damned petition.
Do it NOW.

November 18, 2014

if there is no news, any news will do

(A new Olympic sport, man throwing)

Specially for those who have seen it all,
been everywhere, experienced everything (or at least think so).
Until............. you discover Svinisce,
as thán you realise you've seen nothing yet.

What to do when there is nothing to share about our life in Svinisce ?
Become a member of Facebook.

So I did, after long lasting hesitation, objection, dislike.
And must admit, it's fun, until it becomes a time consuming thing.

So DÓN'T try to become friends with me, at least not on Facebook,
as I still have some other hobbies and jobs to like.

Nevertheless, it's fun and finding this picture made me laugh a lot.
To respect the "owner", his rights and/or his temper, here it was:

So, sorry for those who think there is always something interesting happening in our hidden valley.
No, some days are just "another day", where everybody is either
working or resting, dreaming or facing reality.

So I became member of Facebook.
For those who really know me, thát is news !

Till next item than.

November 12, 2014

Budweiser vs. BUD, a good reason to visit Croatia

How does a blog page get born ?
Well, here's how.

Once in a while I have email contact with a Belgian guy called Eddy, who is like us a big fan of Dalmacija.

Recently he wrote me he took a box of Karlovacko beer all the way back home to Belgium.
Nothing wrong with that, as he can sit back, open a bottle, close his eyes and dream back to another great holiday in Dalmatia.

Than I realised I had a beer story in mind, so better put it on "paper".
First of all, there are a couple of big national breweries in Croatia, and they sell a lot of it.
In the middle of building some extra space to our modest house, we see a lot of workers, and most of them have beer when I still have my first, second or third coffee.
Must be their sunny climate, and my Dutch habits :-)

But let's put a couple of the biggest breweries in a row:
Karlovacko (owned by Heineken)
Ozusjko (owned by Inbev)
Kaltenberg ( owned by HRH Prinz Luitpold von Bayern ?)

And than there are a couple others, fighting for a market share:
Jupiler, Heineken, Bavaria and many others.

But (no, I don't mean BUD)......
my absolute favourite is Budweiser !
Ho there........., before you think I drink American beer, hell no.
As American beer is like American coffee, so forget about that.

No, this Budweiser is the original from the Czech Republic, and that's a perfect reason to visit Croatia :-).
Simply said, because that makes a HUGE difference.
For details, see:

As despite many legal fights between those big Americans and "tiny" original Budweiser here in Croatia it's Budweiser and nót Bud.

And thank heaven we've got Budweiser, the original Budweiser, 
the one and only true Budweiser.
And not only the blond version, but also a dark one.
One for summer, one for winter so to say.

Tasty, refreshing, a mild little bitter, and a pleasure to drink.

Cheers, or to say it in Croatian:
Zjivio (if saying cheers to one man)
Zjivila (to a single lady)
Zjivali (to a group of man, women, mixed).

And Eddy, thanks for the inspiration. question remains:
How dare you take Karlovacko to Belgium, to beer drinkers paradise :-)

There is only óne good reason to order a Heineken:
When you have to clean your glass before you fill it with béér).
And I am allowed to say so, coming from Holland.


November 11, 2014

Zadvardje, Tuesday bazaar

Zadvardje's Tuesday Bazaar.
It's worth to put on your bucket list !

Every Tuesday, all year round, but certainly in summer, 
there is a market in Zadvadje.

If staying let's say between Split and Makarska, it's easy to get there.
Between those two cities there is a road going up towards Zadvardje, Sestanovac and the highway, you simply can't miss it.

Get up early, as the earlier the more you'll see.
Here they sell whatever you (may not) need, from donkeys, cows, fruits, vegetables, cheese, and a lot more.
Some even try to sell their mother in law :-)

The bést however, is the grilled lamb or pig, 
as those two are mouth watering !
You tell what part or how much you want, than step back, as they portion the meat with a kitchen axe, so juices are splashing around.
Our personal favourite is the young pig, straight from the grill, and it's crispy skin is worth killing for (which they already did for you).

Like I said, you order and pay, than take your portion to the terrace next to it, find yourself a free table and sit down.
The waitress will give you a dish, bread and spring onions, and cutlery, but those you don't need, as it's perfectly normal to use your hands.
Of course you get a serviette too, don't worry. 

Having such an absolutely delicious early lunch or late breakfast is a thing you won't easily forget !
Accompanied by a glass of local wine (or mineral water) 
your Dalmatian day get's thé perfect start.

Waiting for a new owner.

Don't stand to close.

Tools in every shape and size.

Once a month there is also a big market (bazaar) near Benkovac, but to be honest, our's in Zadvarje is much more pleasant.
And besides, it's not as far as Benkovac.

After visiting the market, you can go for a look into the deepest part of the Cetina Canyon, or return to the coast (with a stunning panorama), and go for a lazy swim.
If so, turn right direction Omis, and after about fifteen minutes you'll see a sign called Brzet on your left.
Turn left here, drive on till you see the restaurant Zvizdan down right.

As you already had an early lunch, ignore the restaurant and head straight for the beach.
It's a perfect place to be lazy, and once you get hungry again, you can sit at the terrace and order whatever you like.

Don't leave to soon, as later in the afternoon/early evening it's a fantastic place, seeing the sun go down over Omis.
And......but no guaranty, you might see some dolphins too.

So again, you know now why we live here :-) 

November 10, 2014

about pigs and REAL dalmatian prsut (smoke/dried/ripened ham).

The pigs still alive and growing,
but in about a month happiness comes to an end.
For the pigs that is, as than the fun starts for us humans.

Ho ho, stop for a moment.
As before the fun starts, and I mean the REAL fun of tasting a slice
(or two) of that unique delicacy I better explain a bit about the
Dalmatinski Domaci Prsut .

The whát ????

Guess I don't have to explain the word Dalmatinski (Dalmatian),
so on to the next two words than:
"Domaci", as that means Home Made, and nothing else.
And this type of Prsut (pronounced as "purshoot"),
is the unique result of a time consuming traditional process. 

This summer I discovered much so called "home made" hams, 
neatly sliced and packed, ready to enjoy the "real" Dalmatian taste.
Well, sorry to say, some of it are just good products, many however are not even copies.
From Italy, Spain, Istria, Slovenia, even Germany or Holland.
Mind you, nót from Dalmacija, and íf they are, not the real thing.
So when wanting to taste real Domaci Prsut, don't rely on fancy names.

As what makes a traditional:
Dalmatinski Domaci Prsut

First of all the pig !
As this pig has been eating dried figs, herbs, clover,
potatoes and a lot more, 
to change in quality and taste, not even growing thát much.

And when the pig stops being pig, it's time for tradition.
As everyone has his own traditional recipe for salt and spices.
Salt to extract water and conserve, spices to add to the flavour.
The hams during that process are pressed to get rid of
as much watery content as possible.
(As in the end, it must become a smoked, dried, ripened ham, right ?).

As after this step, the hams are hanged in what 's called the black kitchen.
Black indeed, from many years of smoke from wood fires.
And even the wood to create the daily amount of smoke drying,
adds a personal touch.

Lucky hams, because they are not alone, as at the same time a variety of bacon, sausages and other delicacies are hanging out,
in mild warm smoke and chilling cold dry air.
Not just a single week or so, no, for weeks and weeks and weeks. 
How long is a matter of experience, enough is never to much.

Than, as I am telling about DOMACI !, the hams keep hanging
for at least half a year.
Only touched by the winter winds, dry and cold.
And even better, the very best are like good wine, the longer they ripen, the more intense colour and flavour become.
Some even are one or two years, and those are the véry best.

In the end, as like in a good film there is a happy end,
the moment comes to slice some of it.
Colour ruby red, tending to reddish brown, and structure and taste a delicate mix of sweetness, saltiness, not even a smoky taste.
In one simple word: D.....LICIOUS !

As soon as processing starts, I'll add a series of pictures to this blog.
No pictures for vegetarians, but the animal dies after a good life,
ánd for the good cause.

Dalmatinski Domaci Prsut

And sorry to say,
but that has a quality you'll néver find in a shop or supermarket.
Better become friends with someone who is willing to share some.

Sorry again, I haven't, but I dó have some good friends :-) 

November 09, 2014

Advent Riva Split

November slipping away, some rain, some sun,
but still very pleasant temperatures.
The summer crowds have gone home now,
so good old Split belongs again to it's own citizens, 
including those tourists who discovered it's a nice town, all year round.

And Split, like any other big city, is getting in the mood for December,
decorated with stars, snow flakes and candles.

And at the Riva, Split's famous boulevard under palmtrees at the Adriatic, little white houses are being built, where typical Dalmatian winter specialities are presented and/or sold.

I found a special video, in time laps on Youtube, I simply had to share.
Have a look, here it is:

The pictures reminded me of a famous time laps film in 1982, 
called Koyaanisqatsi, with music by Philip Glass.

Hope you like it, and don't worry, 
people in Split are normally not moving as fast as seen in the video, 
especially not during this time of year :-).

So if you like a more relaxed atmosphere, why not hop over,
from wherever you read this.

November 07, 2014

getting wet for fun

Thanks to the brave photographer of Slobodna Dalmacija today, 
I can share this picture with you.

Here's the link to their newspaper:

At the very moment it's stormy, rainy weather here, but that's nothing compared to the current conditions at the coast,
or in Italy for that matter.

Roads closed, ferries stopped, and I guess even the seaplanes from stay inside.
Only military helicopters still fly under these conditions, taking a pregnant woman from Hvar to Split's hospital.

A stormy weather system called Benjamin is passing over Southern Europe, so anybody with just a tiny bit of brains stays inside.
Except......except the man on the picture, and looking at the way he behaves, even he seems to have a moment of doubt.

Yes, clearly the long lasting Indian Summer is over now.
But the good news (there is always some good news)
is that Benjamin is leaving our region.
Thank heaven it was Benjamin, and not his big brother :-)

Sunday, monday, tuesday the forcast promises*) fairly pleasant weather, so one of those days even I might go out,
without getting wet.

Used to grey Dutch weather conditions, where the rain never seems to stop, our Dalmatian weather is a blessing.
Ok, except today than :-)
Still, thanks to Slobodna Dalmacija, pictures like these are great.

*) Never trust a weatherman, they are even worse than politicians. 

November 06, 2014

Dalmatia, and sharing our love for it.

Don't worry, this blog will continue to be my first choice. 
But the world being bigger than this blog, 
I decided to share some of my local experience on Trip Advisor too.

If you like to see what I wrote there, click on the link below:

As there I commented and/or wrote some items 
that make your choice from the unlimited amount of  places in our area a bit easier, some of them not known at all, 
until I wrote about them.
You won't find tourist traps or clichés in my pages, that's for sure !

So on Trip Advisor, being the ideal platform to share my local knowledge, I'll add a couple more special places and/or areas, which to my best knowledge are worth to be on your bucket list when visiting the surroundings of Omis. 

Once again, I only do these things because we love it here, 
with no strings attached.
So should I write or comment about some place, location or restaurant, I only give you my personal unbiased impression, being the local I am.

As sharing the fun still is the greatest fun, 
and all I want is to let people like you know:
Dalmatia is múch more than only a beautiful coast.