National cuisine of Slovenia
National Slovenian cuisine is very diverse because it combines both truly Slavic and Austro-Hungarian and Italian traditions. There are 24 gastronomic regions in Slovenia, so the Slovenian cuisine of the Alpine region differs from the cuisine of the Maritime region, and the cuisine of Prekmurje from the cuisine of Kras.
In fact, each region has its own national dishes and peculiarities. Slovene cuisine has about 170 national dishes, and all of them are cooked exclusively from local products.
Here are some of the most famous Slovenian national dishes:
Gobova juha – is a traditional Slovenian soup, made exclusively with ceps and often served in a loaf of bread. Potatoes, onions, carrots, garlic and sour cream are added to Gobova juha, chanterelles, chanterelles, chives and sometimes even white wine are added to enhance the taste.
Jota – This traditional Slovenian vegetable soup, originally served as a food for peasants. It is prepared on the basis of sauerkraut or turnips, with the addition of red beans, potatoes, pork ribs, flour, lard and spices. Jota is cooked all over Slovenia, but the most popular is Vipava Jota of the Seaside region, to which carrots and sweet spices are also added.
Bograč – is the Slovenian version of Hungarian goulash. The only difference with goulash is that Slovenian bograc is made from 3 kinds of meat (beef, pork and game) and with potatoes. The most common in Slovenia is Prekmursky bograch… probably due to the proximity to Hungary.
Kisla juha – is a national soup of Staer region. Kisla juha is made on the basis of broth from smoked pork with chopped meat and potatoes. Carrots, onions, garlic, some flour, apple cider vinegar, sour cream, and spices are also added to the soup. After sour yucha it is nice to have some apple or cottage cheese strudel.
Mineštra is a thick and very strong vegetable soup (because of its thickness, Mineštra is more of a stew than a soup). The classic northern Italian version of this soup, Minestrone, is considered a light soup of seasonal vegetables.
Slovenian Minesztra differs from the Italian Minesztra in that it has a richer and richer flavor. In Slovenian Minesztra to seasonal vegetables it is customary to add bacon (air-dried), garlic, onions and Parmesan.
AJDOVI ŽGANCI (Ajdovi žganci)
Ajdovi žganci – this national Slovenian dish is nothing other than buckwheat porridge. But it is made not from buckwheat grains, as we used to cook it, but from buckwheat flour. Zhgantsy is quite an independent dish, but very often it is topped with fried onions or pieces of fried pork fat (ocvirki). It is often served with sour milk.
Idrijski žlikrofi. – This used to be a favorite dish of the miners of Idrijski mercury mines, and today it is a favorite dish of the whole of Slovenia. Idrijski žlikrofi is made of flour dough with potatoes and is similar in composition to Ukrainian or South Russian dumplings. In the dough, curved in the shape of an ear, a stuffing of potatoes, smoked bacon or lard, onions, herbs and spices is added.
They are served fried with cracklings and doused with various meat sauces. Very often Idrijski žlikrofi is accompanied by another national Slovenian dish bakalca, a stew of lamb, lamb or rabbit.
Njokki – are Slovenian dumplings. This dish came to Slovenia from Italy and was originally made with potatoes. But on the Adriatic coast, gnocchi became so popular that nowadays you can taste different variations of this dish: from pumpkin, buckwheat flour, with cheese, with mushrooms, etc.
The gnocchi are served as a side dish and also as a separate dish, with different sauces.
Strukli – are Slovene dumplings with different fillings. In Slovenia, this dish has been prepared since the Middle Ages. The most common form of strukli is a roll of wheat, buckwheat or potato flour. Depending on the region, strückles can be filled with meat, cottage cheese, vegetables, beans, cheese, nuts, apples, and even berries.
Čevapčići – These are sausages made of minced meat cooked on fire. They are usually served with potatoes, onion rings and quince. Cevapcici is not a national Slovenian dish. It is Balkan, but very common among Slovenians.
Prsut (Kraški pršut)
Prsut – A dried pork ham. Prsut is the equivalent of the Spanish ham and Italian prosciutto. The pork leg is rubbed with salt and hung outdoors, where it is salted and blown on all sides by the winds. The most famous is Krášky prsut, cooked in the Slovene region of Krás, with state-protected production technology.
Kranjska klobasa – is one of the most popular types of smoked sausages. Kranjska sausages are small in size, made from pork, salt, pepper, ham and garlic, and served hot with or without side dishes.
Potica – This is a roll on the yeast dough with all sorts of fillings, and one of the hallmarks of the country. Potica is also called “the Ambassador of Slovenia”. Just as in Russia they used to welcome dear guests with bread and salt, so in Slovenia they are welcomed with potitsa. This dessert is so popular here that no mother or grandmother should teach her daughter or granddaughter how to prepare this famous roll.
Prekmurska gibanica – is one of the most popular Slovenian desserts from the Prekmurje region. It is a nine-layer cake made of yeast dough and filled with poppy seeds, apples, vanilla, honey, nuts, cottage cheese and raisins. It is usually served warm. And although prekmurska gibanica is quite a calorie product, it is almost impossible to refuse it.
SLOVEN BLINCKI (Palačinke)
Slovenian pancakes do not differ much from Russian or Ukrainian. There are hundreds of recipes: with yeast, without yeast, with milk, with water, etc. Pancakes in Slovenia are not specially ordered: in any café, bar or restaurant you can choose from palacinka with various additives.
These are usually whipped cream, marmalade and Nutella. But there are also versions with fillings: cottage cheese, sour cream, spinach, blueberries, nuts – there is a wide choice.
Kremna rezina. – is a popular national Slovenian dessert, also called “Kremsnita”. Kremsnita consists of several layers: bottom layer is made of flaky pastry, above it is specially prepared vanilla cream, then whipped cream with sugar and the top layer is flaky pastry again.
If you are going to try kremšnita, be sure to go to Lake Bled, where it is especially delicious.
Also, be sure to try Slovenian cheeses, olive and pumpkin oils, sausages, honey, and other products protected by Slovenian laws on their origin. In virtually every restaurant you can order trout (postrv) and fresh seafood on the Adriatic coast.
And of course do not forget about Slovenian wine! Slovene cuisine is very diverse. Enjoy your meal!