How to Buy a Dalmatian Iron Bell Peka, and Which Hollywood A-Lister Bought One?

Total Croatia News


It is one of the signature dishes of Dalmatian cuisine, a firm tourist favourite, but how do you go about buying the tools to reproduce the famous Dalmatian ‘peka under the bell’ back home?

We are doing an interesting series on foreign entrepreneurs in Croatia at the moment, and it did not take long for the complaints to kick off. This being Croatia, it is impossible to please everyone, even some of the time. 

“Why are you just writing about foreign entrepreneurs? You should be writing about Croatian entrepreneurs, not foreigners.” Just one selection from the ever-more colourful TCN inbox. 

Indeed. In actual fact, we are planning a series on Croatian entrepreneurs, as the more people I meet in Zagreb and beyond, the more hope I feel for this troubled country, and technology and the next generation may just surprise us all as we gradually extract ourselves from the uhljebby mess we currently find ourselves in. 

When I think of Croatian entrepreneurs, I always think of one of my favourite Dalmatians, who runs a very successful luxury tourism business and has done wonders promoting parts of Croatia many locals have never heard of. Never one to miss an opportunity, he has a keen understanding of what tourists want and are prepared to pay and what Croatia has to offer. Match the two and deliver, and the kunas will flow. 

My favourite little enterprise he has, which does not make enough to retire on, but is a wonderful lesson for how one can see an opportunity, offer a great service and make a profit, is the ‘peka’. Lamb, veal, octopus, you name it – slow cooked ‘under the bell’. A delicious mix of slow-cooked meat, potatoes and vegetables, juices intertwined in each ingredient, it is one of the culinary highlights of Dalmatian cuisine, and one which never fails to impress the visitor, as this wonderful peka on Brac wowed a group of visiting tour operators, for example. 

A wonderful authentic experience, thoroughly enjoyed by clients of my friend’s foodie website, Culinary Croatia – the first of its kind, dating back to 2009.

“That was amazing,” said one American foodie. “Where can I buy one?”

Where indeed? thought my friend. A king of customer service, he researched and found  that there was no option to buy an iron bell peka. 

So he created that opportunity. 


He found a local blacksmith in Zadar, who produced quality peka pans for the restaurant trade. With their almost daily use in restaurants, they are good for 10 years. In the home of the private consumer with much less use, good for a lifetime!

Trade has been good, and since he started, my friend has shipped these wonderful iron bell pekas to every continent, except Antarctica (where he is still hopeful). His biggest order for was a stunning 30 pieces to South Africa. And his most famous client?

One John Malkovich, with Croatian roots of course, and a big lover of the country and its heritage and food. 

The pekas come in two sizes – medium (serves 6-8) and large (serves 8-10). Given their weight, shipping is not the cheapest, and prices delivered start at 120 euro in Europe, 170 euro to the States. Prices for Antarctica on request. 

Find out more on the Culinary Croatia website. Your chance to stun your neighbours with Dalmatia’s finest slow cooking is just a click away. 


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