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Fried Dormice

A grilled dormouse—a rather unusual dish for modern European cuisine


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The restaurants of the village of Dol on Hvar island are known for serving dormice. Romans ate them as a delicacy. In Croatia, this culinary custom dates back to the old times when people didn't have much meat during winter and any kind of protein was valuable. Dormice are still cooked on the islands of Brac and Hvar as well as in Kastav. If you decide to taste it, order quite a few, since they are rather tiny. One of the best times to watch the dormice hunting and to eat them is Puhijada Festival, taking place in Dol every August. Locals say that dormouse meat is the tastiest when it's hunted in the period before the dormice go for winter rest, which is around September, because they are supposed to be fatter. The little animal spends half a year sleeping, from October to May.

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