The largest fishing village on the Croatian Adriatic is Kali, on the island of Ugljan. Kali fishermen catch all types of fish but the basis of both their trade and of fishing in general on the Croatian Adriatic is the sardine. It ranks among the most inexpensive of fish, but often also among the most highly rated. For most fishermen, and other connoisseurs, there is no better fish dish than the modest sardine, but only if the sardine meets a crucial criterion: that it is prepared and eaten for elevenses in the morning after the night it is caught. Due to its cyclic movement, the sardine is most difficult to catch during summer months, but according to experts it is in that very same period that this little fish is at its most delicious.
In addition to being grilled fresh there are two other ways most frequently used to prepare sardines: salt-pickled or marinated. Of late, however, young Croatian chefs have demonstrated that sardines can be a part of a meal served to the most fastidious customers. Usually, the spine is removed from a fresh sardine, which is then dipped into a variety of breaded mixtures with aromatic herbs, briefly fried and served with freshly-made light vegetable sauces.