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Dugopolje home to the most awarded pršut in Croatia – what is the secret?

Dugopolje home to the most awarded pršut in Croatia - what is the secret?

(Photo credit: Nikola Zoko)

Dalmatian pršut Smjeli confirms its status as a premium product wherever it appears, being declared the best in the protected Croatian pršut category at a recent International fair.

SPLIT, November 10, 2022 – Dalmatian prršut Smjeli recently won another gold in Tinjan at the International Pršut Fair. Their pršuts are dried in ideal conditions in Dugopolje, in a small “factory” of the most awarded prosciutto with the most championship titles in Croatia. 

What is the secret, we asked Vlade Prančić, a pršut master and owner of the Dugopolje pršut?

“There is no quality pršut without a quality leg. I personally choose each leg, the ideal weight is from 12.5 to 15 kilograms of fresh meat. The recipe is traditional, it is dried in the Dugopolje bura wind, but it is not good when there is too much of it, because in that case the prosciutto dries out,” Prančić reveals.

Dugopolje home to the most awarded pršut in Croatia - what is the secret?

Vlade Prančić (Photo credit: Rene Karaman)

In total, they produce a hundred tons of pršut a year, in recent years production has grown by twenty percent, and it is most in demand during the tourist season. 

This trend of production growth was briefly interrupted because of swine flu that coincided with the pandemic, but thanks to a great tourist season, everything is back to normal again… Except for prices.

“The prices of fresh meat have risen by as much as 50 percent this year, and the reason for this is the increase in the price of energy products and feed in animal husbandry. Pršut producers had to adjust their prices, so Smjeli pršut has been more expensive by about ten percent since October. Although with this kind of price increase, we cannot keep up with the prices of fresh meat, we had to take into account the payment capacity of our customers”, says the well-known pršut-maker.

Dugopolje home to the most awarded pršut in Croatia - what is the secret?

(Photo credit: Nikola Zoko)

More than 75 percent of Smjeli Dalmatian pršut are offered in restaurants and hotels on the coast and in Zagreb, and about 25 percent travel to Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovenia.

Vlado Prančić is one of the first pršut makers to recognise the importance of EU quality branding with a designation of protected geographical origin.

Dugopolje home to the most awarded pršut in Croatia - what is the secret?

(Photo credit: Nikola Zoko)

“Such marks guarantee the customers top product quality, and us producers more income. I have to admit, when it comes to protected products, buyers on the domestic market are more and more aware and it is not a problem for them to allocate a little more money for such products. On the other hand, buyers on foreign markets such as Germany or Austria have long recognised the quality of protected products, and there I see a great chance for Dalmatian pršut, given that we cannot compete with Spanish and Italian producers in terms of quantity,” concludes Prančić.

Dugopolje home to the most awarded pršut in Croatia - what is the secret?

(Photo credit: Tomislav Smoljanović)

In addition to premium pršut, he dries Dalmatian pancetta and Dalmatian pečenica, also bearers of the EU designation of protected geographical origin, and pork neck.

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