Eat for free in our Croatian village

We came across by chance the Christmas Eve celebration in the town hall of our local village of Okrug, where every year the village has a get together and some designated local men and women prepare traditional dishes for everybody to enjoy. There was music, long tables for convivial eating and sharing the start of the festivities, and very large pots with hot and delicious food, cooked by different locals, many of whom prepared air-dried cod stew (bakalar), which is a traditional Dalmatian dish enjoyed on Christmas Eve (click here for Total Hvar recipe).
But also lentils, other mouth-watering dishes, and sweets like fritule.

Everybody in the village seemed to have turned up for free food, as you can see from the photos below!

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17 Comments

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17 responses to “Eat for free in our Croatian village

  1. I love how community minded so many small European villages are. In our Sicilian village there are two festivals in the summer where the village feeds everyone – including visitors which is a big deal as the population jumps to 9-10k from 3k.

  2. Indeed, this is a nice example of how communities can and should be.
    Likewise at Svinisce, but glad it’s back to brown bread and cheese again.
    Till Sveti Ivan of course, as than it’s óur turn (and my golden chance to cook some unknown dishes).

    • it was great atmosphere in the village hall, all eating together and having a chat before Christmas. Quite delightful and I am really glad I found it by mistake (following the noise, the music and the smell of bakalar…)

  3. 76sanfermo

    Love this! I wish I were there

  4. Hi Elisa,
    however a bit of topic, was looking at your library list on the right and was missing one most advisable book:
    The bridge on the Drina, by Ivo Andric (Nobel price winner).
    To live on the Balkan, that book is a MUST read/have.
    And on topic: when my wife is eating that bakalar, I always run for some fresh air.
    Even in supermarkets, where they seem to sell that stuff, I always run for the smell of fresh vegetables, nice smelling toilet paper or oranges :-)
    Still can’t believe people like that stuff.
    Dobar tek, Pim.

    • hey Pim,
      nice to see you around on WordPress!! new blog?
      I will check that book, missing from my list. I have read many books about Croatia, Yugoslavia and the Balkans, have many books in our “library” for guests in the house! but not that one.
      so you don;’t like Bakalar?? I am used to the smell, my grandparents in Italy used to prepare it, so I know the smell and don’t run from the kitchen. We call it bacala’, so very similar name… laku noc!

      • An extra blog Elisa, as Picasa/Blogger had a serious bug.
        So I decided to start up a second one, just in case they worry me again.
        Ain’t gonna be as “complete”, but at least gonna put some great pictures there, with a minimum of text, both in English and Dutch.
        And NO, I don’t like that (or most other) smelly fish.
        Northsea sole yummi, smoked salmon yes, a cold lobster or a shrimp cocktail (the northsea ones) also very yes, but any other swimmer I gladly leave to my wife, while I behave like a true carnivore, biting in cows, pigs, poultry, anything with two or for legs.
        Only humans (also two legged) are safe in my kitchen.
        Poz.(-dravi) Pim.

      • ahahahahah LOL a carnivore… we are safe in the kitchen but not the chicken and pigs…..

      • Saw you’re (the first !) to follow my new blog.
        Thanks, but better follow my steps once, as that’s even better :-), as nothing competes with the real feel.
        Buonanotte.
        (Tip:
        when wishing people a pleasant meal here never say “priatno” but “dobar tek” (even when they eat bakalar).
        Seems the first one is typical Yugoslav/Serbian, the other is “post war” Croatian.
        Recently wished a farmer on a hike priatno, as he was eating a sandwich, but oh boy, he almost lost his last tooth when spitting at me :-).

  5. Are they all Brits on benefit ? ;)

  6. Bakalar … oh God how I envy you -:)!!

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