I am very proud to have translated ‘Theatre on a plate’ by Dragan Grbić. It is a traditional Dalmatian cookbook with a modern twist. The original Croatian language version ‘Teatar u pijatu’ by the well-known chef from Trogir was very popular and so an English version was a logical step.
The book features traditional Dalmatian recipes from starters to meat and fish dishes, to desserts and marmalades. There are also historical notes about the origins of some of the ingredients, including those which are highly prized or simply overlooked in modern cuisine. Dragan gives insights to many ‘lost’ recipes and foodstuffs which are extremely tasty and nutritious and at the same time easy to find.
The recipes are accompanied by high-quality, mouthwatering photographs of the dishes, and the foreword of the book is by Veljko Barbieri, a giant in Croatian cooking and writing. If you want to experience a true taste of Dalmatian gastronomy, not just sardines and polenta, then this book is the ideal starting-point to indulge yourself in everything from soups to scallops, from macaroni to braised lamb. There’s even a brief guide to making your own flavoured rakija!
The book ‘Smijeh slobode – uvod u Feral Tribune’ (‘The Laughter of Freedom – an introduction to the Feral Tribune’) by Boris Pavelić describes and explains the 25 year old cult political-satirical newspaper the ‘Feral Tribune’, based in Split. It was published from 1983-2008 in various forms and billed itself as a “weekly magazine for Croatian anarchists, protesters and heretics.”
A typical front page of the Feral Tribune
The publication won international awards in the 1990s but slowly went out of circulation – this book studies the history and value that it had and still has in modern-day journalism.
The book is only available in Croatian and I translated the summary into English. It is hardback, has 688 pages and its ISBN: 978-953-219-492-0.
– in Rijeka the trajectory of a gunshot was photographed for the first time in history.
– the postmark ‘V’ Fiume from 1755, is the oldest surviving postmark in the Republic of Croatia.
– a life jacket from the Titanic is located in the local museum. It was collected by the RMS Carpathia (the ship that saved the Titanic’s survivors) on route from New York-Rijeka.
– in Rijeka in 1786 the first midwifery school in Croatia was founded.
– the ‘Husar’ disco club in Rijeka was the first in this part of Europe.
– that ‘Quorum Colours’/’Fun Academy’ was the first and largest Croatian underground club.
– the first Croatian rock band, ‘Uragani’ came from Rijeka.
– the first punk group in Croatia ‘Paraf’ came from Rijeka.
– Croatian Hip-Hop began in Rijeka.
– in Rijeka the first speedway race was held in Italy and that the founder of Italian speedway was in fact from Rijeka.
– the first psychiatric hospital in Yugoslavia was built in Rijeka.
– the oldest lift in Croatia is in Rijeka.
– the first vehicle marked “Made in Croatia” was built in Rijeka.
– that under Rijeka there is a cave which has been declared a natural geomorphologic monument.
– that Rijeka had its very own Schindler who helped hundreds of Jews.
– in 1852 in Rijeka the first gas production plant began operation in South East Europe.
– Rijeka’s rope factory is the oldest industrial plant in the city’s history.
– the first sanatorium in Croatia was opened in the district of Pećine.
– the first radio transmission in the ex-Yugoslavia was made in Rijeka, back in 1920. It was a speech by D’Annunzio.
– the first Croatian steamship was built in Rijeka and with it a regular passenger route between Senj and Rijeka was established which is considered to be the start of passenger travel on the Croatian Adriatic.
– that French writer Henri BeyleStendhal spent some time in Rijeka.
– that member of the American Senate and Mayor of New York Fiorello Henry La Guardia stayed in Rijeka as the US consul and played in the Rijeka football club Atletico Fiumano.
– that Rijeka’s Pero Radaković scored the only goal in the quarter-final match against Germany, during the Football World Cup in Chile in 1962, ensuring Yugoslavia’s 4th place, which was to be its best ever result.
– Nikola Tesla had a sister who lived in Rijeka and that D’Annunzio’s legionnaires destroyed all her personal letters and other effects which should have been preserved for history.
– Georg Ludwig Ritter von Trapp, the most decorated submarine captain of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, attended the Naval Academy in Rijeka. At the shipyard in Kantrida, where the submarines were launched, he met and fell in love with Agathe, the granddaughter of Robert Whitehead (inventor of the torpedo in Rijeka), and they married on 10th January 1911 in Rijeka. In the 1960s one of the best musical films of all time ‘The Sound of Music’ was filmed about the von Trapp family.
– in 1937 Gino and Oscar Jankovits from Rijeka designed, constructed and tested the first car in Croatia. It was the Alfa Romeo Aerospider. It was the first vehicle in the world with fitted door handles and lights in the chassis, the first with the steering wheel in the centre, the first with the engine placed centrally at the rear, the first with a horizontally placed radiator and it could reach a speed of 230 km/h.
– in Rijeka on 9th June 1969 the first library bus in Yugoslavia began working. It visited the city’s surroundings which had no access to library facilities providing all the inhabitants with library services.
– in 1984 the first cash machine, ATM, in Yugoslavia was installed in Rijeka by Riječka Banka.
In 2020 Rijeka is the first Croatian city to hold the title of European Capital of Culture – the year-long programmes of events begins on 1st February – more info here:https://rijeka2020.eu/en/