Dalmatinski kolač – a taste of yesterday

With all the invasion of small bakeries in Croatia, some old tastes are getting lost. Pushed away from the shelves, they will soon just be part of our memories.

One of those is a round dry, pastry called Dalmatinski kolač or, as we all simply call it, kolač (cake in English)

Kolač

Not sure when it was invented but it was definitely around for a while as I remember my grandparents dipping it in their white coffee in the morning. Also, it was part of bread section back in old grocery stores. About 10 pieces would be tied by rope going through the holes and it was usually seen hanging on the side of a bread shelf. Back in those days we did not have dozens of bread types and all sorts of cakes and pastry, kolač was one of the sweetest things you could get. It was not something to eat of the shelf: it was quite dry, sturdy and  prepared to be dipped in one’s morning coffee, milk. Some folks were even dipping it in red wine… It was baked to last as people did not have too many options for buying bread just everywhere like today and storing food was a problem.

It is produced by bread factory in Zadar and not sure if it is known anywhere else but in this region.

So, few weeks back, when my cousin bought it in a small store in Pašman, I was thrilled and gave it to my kids just to have a taste of it before it is gone.  I nearly forgot about as I was not seeing it in the stores but now, when I know it is still there, I will be getting it occasionally. Just to be my own, personal “Madeleine cookie” bringing back memories.

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8 thoughts on “Dalmatinski kolač – a taste of yesterday

  • I’ve noticed that there is an attitude towards food, particularly in Dalmatia, that is so utterly charming and completely unique. Something I see in NYC-area bakeries (Italian) is your madeleine! Please, I don’t understand, what is happening to small bakeries? An “invasion” implies that there are many of them, that small bakeries are everywhere, but I guess you mean the opposite that there are few small bakeries left.

  • No, there are many small bakeries and that is a recent trend (started maybe 5-6 years ago or so) but very few of them are artisan bakeries. Maybe the best example of a great small bakery would be “Kruščić” in Split but the rest are either parts of bigger companies or just not paying enough attention to their produce.
    And yes, we are VERY proud of our food but despite very nice trends I see, somehow it feels like all these riches are slowly slipping and will be part of our traditional cookbooks and not our daily menus.

  • I have read about Kruščič but haven’t been in Split to try. I see now what you’re saying; there are, of course, many small bakeries that are exactly the same, buying in all the same items from factory bakeries and simply re-heated on the premises, with no regard for the traditions. Sometimes people think it is less expensive to buy product from factory bakeries, but in the long term it really isn’t. Maybe Kruščić understands it’s better to make quality product and not be so concerned with quantity.

  • Great to hear! Every “cafe” on the Riva, every Bobis in the country, same old bakery products. Can’t wait to try Kruščić next time I’m there!

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