The Dalmatian konoba, or wine cellar, has been a place where locals have been gathering to relax, chit-chat, belt out some klapa tunes, drink wine, and eat pršut, cheese, olive oil, salty sardines and other delicacies for centuries…
Now thanks to Miki Bratanić, the man who has the first and only konoba in Croatia with UNESCO protected cultural heritage status, the Americans are about to be educated on the important tradition he says is unfortunately dying off.
Bratanić, who has a traditional Dalmatian konoba in Vrbanj on the island of Hvar and is the author of the first book dedicated to the konoba, is off on a tour of New York, Boston and Hartford to talk about what he says is an important part of Croatian tradition.
“It is up to us to tell the story of the konoba to our kids so that the tradition lives it. It will only be once they are gone that we realise how important they were,” Bratanić told HRT, who will explain in America what the konoba meant to Dalmatia in the past, today and what it should mean in the future.
“It was not easy to find peace in those days, but the people found their peace inside the konoba, and they knew how to be happy with not much. They could be happy with a little bit of salty sardines and oil and bread to dunk in the oil, that was healthy, that was their fast-food,” said Bratanić, adding that true konoba’s are fading out slowly in Dalmatia.
“There are statues dedicated to grapes, vines, and even a donkey in Dalmatia, but not the konoba, that needs to change,” concluded Miki.