Croatians and Slovenians, along with other Eastern Europeans such as Serbians, Slovaks, Bosnians, and Lithuanians, spit-fire roast pigs as a tradition. To them, it’s the only way to enjoy a barbecue! So it’s no wonder that we passed no less than 50 of these pigs slowly turning over a fire as we started our road trip from our home in Italy to Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, and Bosnia. We’ve actually seen these roasting pigs many times on our drives through Slovenia and never stopped to try them. So today, as we drove along the coast from Zadar toward Split, we were on the lookout for a roadside restaurant spit-fire roasting a pig. We pulled off at Imotska in the village of Drage as we spotted a suckling pig churning round and round over a fire in the rotisserie.
Spit-fire roasting is a laborious job and it takes years of practice to obtain the perfect balance of crispy skin (which is a delicacy, along with the head) and moist meat. A suckling pig, which we saw being carried in and prepared, is skewered on a stainless steel road, tied with butcher’s twine, and set over hardwood charcoal where it turns for 6 hours as the rotisserie does its magic.
No, I didn’t wait 6 hours for lunch. The restaurant had another already done and ready to be served. The meat was moist and delicious. It was perfectly accompanied by onions, potato salad, and french fries. With a stretch of beach just a couple of hundred meters from the restaurant, we enjoyed the view and the nice breeze at this great little roadside find!