There is no gastronomic fair where we do not encounter fish delicacies from Kaštel Kambelovac! Živko Dražin extends knowledge of homemade anchovies, sardines and marinades through the traditional recipe everywhere. Its offer is a panacea of the Adriatic wealth and Dalmatian climate, which means the best of the Mediterranean tradition of exploiting the blue fish that once defended these areas from hunger.
Every time we visit Dražin, we will start in a harmonious tasting order. First of all, there is a mild filet of marinated seabream, one of the most commonly white fish of the Adriatic. Like any white fish, it is best prepared in the simplest way, and Dalmatian habit is also to marinate this fish. The mild marinade made by Dražin gives this fish enough flavour of sea and freshness, and yet that gorgeous sense of gastronomic value of this nutritious fish.
Then try the marinated anchovy fillet, which is also delighting with its freshness and traces of citrus fruit in the marinade, and then it is best to go to classic octopus salad, which should not be too overlaid but should come with classic ingredients recognized by all lovers of this favourite appetizer in the Adriatic taverns: olive oil, lemon, garlic, vinegar, potato and parsley. A wonderful combination is made for dipping in the bread and always the feeling of indecision remains to order another octopus salad or to go for the main course.
It is a far more complex flavour of tuna in oil, because the tuna in all combinations is fatty and nutritious fish. For a rather strong finish one should leave filets of salty anchovies, whose taste remains persistent long after tasting. The generations of Dalmatians grew up on salted sardines and salted anchovies, this wealth of the Adriatic countryside. Fishermen and field laborers were usually fed with salty fish, with virgin olive oil, onions and homemade bread. This tradition continues on Roman origins, because the ancient Romans used a special garum sauce. The chunks of fish were plucked into that sauce with aromatic plants without knowing that the blue fish were poor with toxic elements such as mercury. The art of salting the sardines and anchovies is transmitted from Roman times as well. Most of the salting is done manually, with great expertise and patience.
No wonder that Živko Dražin embarked on this adventure related to traditional Dalmatian fish preparation because he was a fisherman himself. Who knows at what moments of sailing around Kaštela has he thought of a recipe for his most famous and most important product - Pepefiš! This delicacy has become a patented product, and many in our team believe that it is also the best fish product they have ever tasted. The irresistible and unusual blend of salty anchovies or salty cheese and sweet-sour-hot paprika guarantees the pleasure of the most demanding palate! For a good reason, Pepefiš is more famous than the manufacturer and his company, which says enough about the quality of this product. The appetizers are both sweet and savory at the same time, somewhat hot as well, and the anchovies filled in them give incredible harmony. An intense flavour can serve as an interesting appetizer, or simply as a snack with a glass of good wine, a piece of homemade bread and a few drops of olive oil.
The range of homemade anchovies, sardines and marinades according to ancient Dalmatian customs is an excellent addition to Dalmatian gastronomy and a special praise should go to Živko Dražin, his family and friends in the presentation of this gastronomic heritage. Apart from anchovies and sardines, Dražin also cares for other culinary traditions of Dalmatia, like capers, seaweed and many other homemade marinades. It is great to see a stand with Pepefiš, who is sometimes the only representative of Dalmatia among the many gastronomic events in Croatia. No wonder, thus, that Dražin became a culinary representative of Split-Dalmatia County and received a sign of European-wide Culinary Heritage brand!