Korčula/island of Korčula
Although the islanders always led a very simple life and ate simple food, a varied and tasty cuisine nevertheless developed here. It was adapted both to their economic possibilities and to the resources that were available. Vegetables and fruit were grown in the sparse island soil, and both were important in everyday nutrition. More select and expensive traditional foods were prepared for holidays or special family events. What is more, there were rules about when certain kinds of food were to be served.
Homemade olive oil is used for cooking. Since there is a lot of wine, the island population use it not only as a drink but also as a condiment. The homemade lozovaca brandy is improved by the addition of various aromatic herbs: aniseed, rose petals and the like. Many kinds of aperitifs and sweet liqueurs are prepared in this way.
The most popular meats are lamb, kid and mutton, which are considered delicacies, as are dried (smoked) ham, known as pršut, game and beef. Fish is eaten much more often, especially the cheaper oily fish. Sardines and picarel are salted, which is very tasty, especially in winter when the catch is poor.
Fish are grilled, fried or steamed, and an excellent fish stew with vegetables, known as brodet, is especially popular.
Brodet is served with polenta, a porridge of coarsely ground maize. Milk is obtained from sheep and goats, and the islanders make very good cheese.
Prikle are the most common sweets: doughnuts with raisins and almonds fried in oil. They are considered a food for fasting days and are made on Good Friday, Christmas Eve and on similar occasions. Sweet bread called sirnica is baked at Easter, lojenice are made on St Martin’s day, and lumblija, a sweet bread made with must and a lot of spices, on All Saints’ Day in Blato.
On the most festive occasions, like weddings and christenings, cukarini, klasuni (cakes filled with almonds), krokant (ground almonds in browned sugar), hrostule (doughnuts fried in hot oil), kotonjata (quince jelly) and other foods are made. Local herbs are used as medicines and to make herbal tea: rosemary, bay, basil, sage, mint, marjoram, orange and lemon leaves.
Many of these and other specialties are served in island restaurants, cake shops and wine cellars. RE