Sunday, January 11, 2015

Prošek, a Fine Dalmatian Tradition

Prošek is a traditional dessert wine of Dalmatia. It is made from dried white (maraština, vugava, grk, pošip, bogdanuša, prč ...) and red grapes (plavac mali, drnekuša, okatac ...).

Overripe clusters are harvested late, after which it is subsequently dried naturally in the shade of attics or in driers; in this way sugar content increases because of the reduction of fluids in grapes.  Grapes prepared like this are then transported into a barrel where they are cooled and left to ferment until the achieved alc. 15-17% vol. naturally stops the fermentation. Prošek mainly contains more than 100 grams of sugar per liter.

Production of Prošek  has always been a tradition in families in Dalmatia. The farmer's family basements produced only a few liters of this sweet wine which was usually kept in small “Demi-Johns” or barrels. It is a popular custom that in the year of birth of a female child, one bottle of Prošek of that vintage is kept, to be opened only on the girl's wedding day.

Prosecco was a valued drink in folk medicine for recovering patients and to invigorate anemic and ailing people. It is also indispensable in the cuisine, where is often added to the local specialties, because of its significant aroma and special charm. Whipped egg mixed with prošek or dry cakes soaked in Prošek, are delicacies which raised many  generations of children in Dalmatia.

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