Mussels, octopus, calamari, scampi – all that good-looking seafood can be a basis for the famous and delicious Adriatic buzara sauce. It can be white or red. It is similar to brodet, but it is not the same. For the white version, we use olive oil, garlic, onions, parsley, salt, pepper and white wine. We usually serve it with the mussels, while the shrimps are served with the red buzara. The colour comes from the red wine and tomato sauce or fresh and peeled tomatoes. Octopus also goes great with the red version, while the calamari looks better with the white one. Traditionally, there are some rules about serving certain seafood with a certain version of the sauce, but we are always very happy to do adjust the rules according to the wishes of our guests.
To prepare the shrimps (scampi) alla buzara, we need about 1 kilo of shrimps and other ingredients for the white buzara that have already been mentioned. Regardless of the kind of seafood, for the flavours to fully blend together, the cooking period should be about 20 minutes. Some basic ingredients such as octopus, have to be pre-cooked because of their harder structure. The taste and smell of the seafood should always prevail the other flavours in the sauce. That is why – while making buzara – we use only simple spices and basic elements of the sauce. The seafood we serve alla buzara is caught each morning and always fresh, as well as the fish and most of the other local ingredients that we use in our restaurant.
Buzara is an authentic Mediterranean dish, especially spread along the Croatian coast. While you are preparing to visit any place in Dalmatia, reading reviews and trying to learn something about the culinary tradition, you are surely coming across numerous reviews giving praise to Adriatic buzara. They sometimes give recipes, while other times they focus on the restaurants’ reviews. Buzara is also very highly ranked on the lists of the top of dishes you have to try during your stay anywhere on the Croatian coast.
The older version of the dish has sardines as the basic ingredient. Buzara is still prepared and served that way on some Croatian islands, but much rarely than the versions with the mussels and shrimps which are the most spread and the most popular ones. Of course, many kinds of fresh fish can be cooked and served this way, but it is not that often found on the restaurants’ menus as the seafood alla buzara. Usually, the one ingredient is the basis, but the seafood can also be mixed and served together with the sauce. Combination of different elements will affect the period of cooking, but not significantly except in the cases when the seafood has to be precooked. That is why we have a practice of pre-ordering when it comes to the dishes that have special methods of preparation such as octopus. Whichever basic ingredient you decide for; the sauce will accompany it perfectly. Dependent on the version of the sauce, we are here to recommend a good local wine.