Croatian summer story

Today i will not write about Paris. We will forget all about that beautiful and sometimes tireing city and move to another tiny part of the world, to a place that is more home to me than my own home town. We will move on a small island, in an even smaller village. There are no pompous nightclubs, five star hotels or big jachts  - eventhough you can see one every now and then, returning from an afternoon spent in one of the hidden bays of the island.
There is the sea, there is a sandy beach where i've spent my childhood mornings and afternoons, there is a riva with a small but charming bar where you can sip a drink under the palm leaves. There is a small house, there are friends you see every day, there is rosemary and laurel tree in the garden.
i've been coming here since forever and from here i carry the most vivid and dearest memories.
i will not write you litanies about dalmatian cuisine, i will just give you some excerpts of our everyday cooking this summer.

Delicacy i remember most from my childhood summer days were mussels and date-shells which were brought to us fresh and prepared as a treat before lunch or for dinner. Date shells are nowadays forbidden to be collected from the sea, but we are still left with mussels, farmed in the bay of Mali Ston and Sibenik. Small fishermans collect them from the sea everywhere, mostly for personal use.

A very good article about date shells you can read here. Please obey what is written and refuse any offered date shells!

This summer mother surprised me with mussels and we prepared them for an early lunch, traditionally, na buzaru, with white wine.

One day when you find yourself on the croatian coast, instead of a lunch in a restaurant, take an hour and treat yourself by preparing the mussels by yourself.

Do the following:

Clean the mussel shells with the knife, rubbing the beard and the limpets from the shells. 
Wash the shells in water. Put them in a large pot on medium heat until they open slightly and release the sea. Discard half the water. 
In another pot heat the olive oil and chopped garlic, add the mussels and stir them for a few minutes. Add some bread crumbs, glass of white wine and chopped parsley. Cook until the mussels are completely opened. 
Serve in a deep plate with plenty of white bread to dip in the sauce. 

Sometimes we put the mussels directly on the oil, without leaving them to release the sea prevously. You can try to prepare them this way but be warned - they contain a lot of sea which will result in your sauce being extermely salty.

Cleaning the mussels.

Before the wash.

20 minutes later...