The history of food and wine in Kaštela
Even though Kaštela in its current form is known as the picturesque 7 villages between Split and Trogir, they do have their own identity, culture and even a rich history of local food and wine. The combination of dry and rocky soil, the abundance of underground water due to the Kozjak mountain, the sunny climate and the closeness and safety of the Bay of Kaštela provide a background to this rich history.
Traditionally the people living in Kaštela were either farmers, who had to work very hard to grow food on the dry soil, and fishermen, who had to compete with other fishing villages along the coast. A typical homecooked meal, even today, would consist of a fish soup and boiled or grilled fish swimming in olive oil, with a side of swiss chard and potatoes. This basic formula is then slightly changed up by using local calamari or beef instead of fish, and sometime Italian rice instead of potatoes.
As many of the labourers working in the fields consumed dried figs, almonds and citrus fruits the combination of those ingredients became an integral part of domestic desserts such as Kaštela cake (Kaštelanska torta). Dishes such as pašticada, peka (under the baking bell), prosciutto, broad beans with cuttlefish, lamb with bread under peka (under the baking bell), play an important role, and foods such as broad beans and tomatoes even have festivals dedicated to them. Kaštela is also famous in Croatia for its abundance in fruits, and you can find cherries, figs, kiwis and pomegranates from Kaštela in the biggest farmers markets, from Split to Zagreb.
In today’s gastronomical offer, old fashioned dishes are inspiration for the modern cuisine. This is how the Pepefiš delicacies by the Dražin family from Kaštela was created. Dražin have won several international awards for their combination of marinated salty anchovies and sweet and sour peppers. Many of these delicacies are must-try dishes featured in the restaurants of Marina Kaštela as well as Bavadria’s banquets.
Since every superb meal goes well with a good glass of wine, the story continues with Crljenak, an original grape from Kaštela that went on its journey to America 200 years ago and became one of the favourite red wines – Zinfandel. The long discussion regarding the origin of this wine has found its conclusion in Kaštela, as it was proven with modern genetic testing, that the seeds come originally from the old vineyards on the slopes on the Kozjak.
Today, Kaštela is undergoing a renaissance of their wine making. You can taste a glass of this superb wine with an intense ruby-red colour, soft rounded fruity aromas and very elegant structure in the Spinnaker restaurant in Marina Kaštela.
Welcome to the home of Zinfandel – Crljenak of Kaštela!