Seafood-lovers rejoice: fresh catch predominates throughout Southern Dalmatia. Squid, prawn, salmon, everything from tuna steaks to drunken octopus to the popular mussels buzara (tomato and white wine sauce). Restaurants in Dubrovnik are the most expensive, but also the most sophisticated, where excellent produce is accentuated by sophisticated new flavors, herbs, and recipes still unheard-of in many other towns. The region's top venue for shellfish is the village of Mali Ston on the Pelješac Peninsula, where locally grown ostrige (oysters, at their best from February through May) and dagnje (mussels, at their best from May through September) attract diners from far and wide. Similarly, the island of Mljet is noted for its jastog (lobster), a culinary luxury highly appreciated by the sailing crowd. If you find a restaurant that serves food prepared ispod peke ("under the bell"), be sure to try it. A terra-cotta casserole dish, usually containing either lamb or octopus, is buried in white embers over which the peka (a metal dome) is placed to ensure a long, slow cooking process. Such dishes often need to be ordered one day in advance. For dessert, the region's specialty is rožata, an egg-based pudding similar to French crème caramel. Of course, all meals should be accompanied by a glass of excellent local wine; Plavac Mali, Grk, and Dingač are names you’ll get familiar with.
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