Because of its distance from the mainland, the waters surrounding Vis island are rich in fish, especially blue fish (sardine, mackerel and anchovy). Komiza bay is well-known for its wide selection of fish: the waters surrounding the island Jabuka are famous as one of the richest condensation of tuna in the area, and all the islands of the Vis archipelago contain large crabs and qualitative fish.
Therefore the island's traditional cuisine is based on seafood. The top restaurants and family-owned wine cellars would find it impossible not to include these famous offerings from the sea on their menu. A good idea is also going to the port early in the morning, having a look for the catch of the day and then preparing the fish on your own. Most of the apartments for rent have the barbecue area.
It is impossible to leave Vis without tasting one of its delicacies, as peka technique roasted octopus, lobster, sardines or grilled quality fish at your choice. And a glass of local wine can definitely not be missing to accompany the meal!
The sandy island soil is perfect for wine-groing and nearly 20% of cultivable land is covered with vineyards. Some of the best wines in Dalmatia are produced on Vis. Autochthonous vine species are Plavac Mali, Kurteloska and Vugava.
The queen of wines Vugava (or Bugava as called by local population) is made from the grape sort of the same name which grows exclusively in localities of the Vis wine region, especially on the western side of the island. It has a natural golden colour and a specific aroma which is subtle, deep and full, easily recognizable by its luxuriously honey flavour. Part of grapes is picked later and additionally sun dried - they make prosecco (sherry) of it.
Plavac is by far the best known red wine. Is of ruby colour with blue reflection and has sort of a robust peppery flavour. The best quality Plavac Mali comes from the sandy fields of Bisevo island. Another autochthonous Vis species is Kurteloska but it has been unfortunately almost completely eradicated.
The best places to taste a variety of flavours are family-owned wine cellars ("konoba" in Croatian). Most of them you find on the outskirts and few in Vis town and Komiza.
Wine is certainly the best supplement to fish which is on the island in abundance. Cheers!! :)
Lemon is certainly the most typical fruit of Vis island. You see orchards almost everywhere and there are at least a couple of lemon trees in front of every house. The first thing that the friendly owners offered to me on arrival to the apartmant, was a basket of lemons from the garden.
People on the island drink a lot of lemon juice, fresh or concentrated. I found water with the addition of lemon much more refreshing than the plain water, especially since the temperatures had reached up to 40C at that time. Lemon is also a necessary suplement to fish.
There are a couple of shops selling local products where you can get delicious lemon marmalade, lemon essential oil and wonderful soap (made from olive oil, St. John's wort and lemon oil) which makes your skin soooo soft :)
Apart from rich cultural history and unique natural beauties, Vis is characterised by the natural healthy nutrition - simplicity and wealth of tastes, resulting from richness of nature on the island.
One of the specialities that every visitor of Vis island has to taste, is Viska pogaca (salt fish cake), a round unleavened flat cake, similar to pizza. I asked Nina about the best place to taste this culinary delight, and she replied that she was just going to make it herself. Ah, she was so wonderful! Each day she had another surprise for her guests!
The recipe may vary from person to person, but hers goes like this:
1 kg of soft flour
30-40 dkg tomatoes
10 salt pilchards
capers and olives
1 spoonful of salt
2 spoonful of olive oil
Make soft pastry from flour, salt, oil and leaven. Leave it to grow, then divide it into two equal pieces, 2 cm thick. Warm cut onion on oil and add salt fish, capers, olives and tomatoes cut in small pieces. The prepared mixture put onto pastry, cover with the other part of pastry and leave it to grow. Spray with oil and bake it at 200C for 30-40 minutes.
A glass of red wine from the island will be certainly the best supplement to your meal!
Bon appetite!! :)
Peka technique (meaning under the bell) is actually used on most Dalmatian islands, it's kind of tradition. But be aware that it takes quite a long time untill the food is done so it's avisable to order it in advance.
For cooking they use a stone construction housing a wood-fired oven where they put a pan with the ingredients. Peka is a cast-iron dome, placed over coals, which they use to slow-roast octopus (or lamb, kid). It comes with potatoes, optionally carrot is added. Octopus gets very tender, stickily caramelised and the taste is really unique!