Traditional customs and recipes in Dalmatia

Traditional customs and recipes in Dalmatia!

In this blog we will introduce you with some of the traditional dalmatian customs and recipes for „the most wonderful time of the year“.  This year the Christmas season started on 3rd December, the first Sunday of Advent. What is specific for Advent is the Advent wreath, four candles that adorn every table in Croatian homes in this time of the year. We all love that first Sunday of Advent because it reminds us that the Christmas will come soon.

Christmas Eve or Croatian, Badnjak , comes  from old Slavic words bodar or badar that means  „to be awake“. In fact it means to stay awake thought the night and wait the coming of Jesus  Christ on Christmas day. Christmas Eve is a fasting day. In Dalmatia, the traditional dish is bakalar ( Eng. dried cold fish ) and below you can read one of the recipes how to prepare it.


  • 1 dried salt cod,
  • 2 kg of medium-sized potatoes,
  • 3 cloves of garlic (finely minced),
  • salt and pepper to taste,
  • olive oil.


  • The first step is to soak bakalar into the water, ideal for three days ( changing the water daily). When softened, skin and bones need to be removed and cut out into small bite- size pieces. Cook in the large pot covered with water for 2 – 3 hours, while the potatoes need to be cooked separately. Place both into large bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix until everything is coated with oil.


  • 1 egg
  • 200 g of smooth flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • Half the baking powder
  • 180 ml yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 vanila sugar

The second popular food in Dalmatia are fritule ( eng. fritters ), a small donuts-like pastry.


  • Heat the oil in the pot. Connect the ingredients well. Shape the small balls with the tablespoon and drop it into the oil. Fry then for a few minutes until they become golden brown. Drain them and if you want pour them with sugar.

After all the food, for Christmas Eve night the locals attend polnoćka or Midnight Mass at church.

On Christmas day, it's customary to eat pašticada ( pot roast ) or sarma ( stuffed cabbage ) . 

In the afternoon, as well as the following day , St. Stephen’s Day,  it is reserved for visiting the family and friends. 

We wish you a Merry Christmas! Now let's eat!

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Traditional customs and recipes in Dalmatia

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