Being only second generation American, I enjoyed many of my grandparent’s stories of their homeland the alluring Dalmatian Coast. Before moving to America, my grandparents made their living from the land with their large orchard. Leaving the beautiful Dalmatian Coast behind, they settled in a bucolic Pennsylvania farm community aptly named, Scenery Hill. It has always been my dream to embark on a culinary adventure to visit my ancestral roots.
Cooking on the farm was always a fun adventure. The first recipe my grandmother taught me was strudel. A recipe that might seem daunting was never challenging to me. The only challenges were seeing who could stretch the dough the thinnest and create the best filling.
With its influence from Italy, Slovenia, Hungarian and central European cuisine as well as Turkish and Arabic cuisine, I find the cuisine of the Dalmatian Coast to be most intriguing. Another recipe that my grandmother always made was Pasta with Prsut. Even though she could not get her favorite Dalmatian Dry Smoked Ham in the states she made the best she could with prosciutto. She always told me you will have to go the Dalmatian coast to experience the taste of the fresh pork leg that is cured in pure Adriatic seawater, smoked and dried over the winter in the bura winds. I promised her someday I would visit her beloved homeland.
My dream is to trace my culinary roots down the Dalmatian Coast by exploring picturesque villages searching for local artisan food; exploring the mountain farmland and enjoying farmhouse kitchen dining; driving along the coastline dotted with historic towns and discovering the classic Dalmatian specialties; exploring islands off the coast to visit the newest resorts and experience the culinary creations of the new generation of chefs; and ending the trip with a classic pig roasted on a spit on the beach with my new family and friends.
From Scenery Hill to the scenic Dalmatian Coast, my culinary heritage would come full circle.