About the food of Slovenia

Strmol Castle. Photo by Mihael Grmek.

Strmol Castle. Photo by Mihael Grmek.

This week we explore a land of sharp mountains and sunlit grasses, where sheep meander and grapevines hang heavy with fruit. This is Slovenia, a natural wonderland, a place where the simple way of life is preferred.

Nowhere is this clearer, than in the food.

Lake Bled in Slovenia. Photo by Bas Lammers.

Lake Bled in Slovenia. Photo by Bas Lammers.

There are salads of bitter dandelion greens (harvested from right outside the back door) tossed with potato and hard-boiled egg, and bowls of sliced cucumbers in sour cream.  There are turnip strudels (!) and cranberry stuffed omelets (!!).

The ingredients are common, but the combination is anything but…

Predjama Castle, Slovenia. Photo by Wolfgang Moser.

Predjama Castle, Slovenia. Photo by Wolfgang Moser.

Maps and flag courtesy of CIA World Factbook.

Maps and flag courtesy of CIA World Factbook.

Like most of the region, potato dumplings are considered a mighty good thing. It’s that age old search for comfort… an itch that can also be scratched with homemade rye bread accompanied by barley bean soup  [Recipe], carrot turnip soup, buckwheat balls, or plated sausages.

Tartini Square in Piran, Slovenia. Photo by MrPanyGoff.

Tartini Square in Piran, Slovenia. Photo by MrPanyGoff.

Speaking of bread, Slovenia also has an incredible assortment of baked goods, from the glorious rye breads (which we tried with Belarus)  to intricately braided wedding breads [Recipe], Easter rolls, fig or olive bread, nut or fig potica (or even the savory chive potica). We made walnut potica way back in the first year of this blog when we cooked Croatia. It was grand. Oh, and there’s fruit-filled ravioli. Delicious.

Blejski Vintgar, Slovenia. Photo by James Southorn.

Blejski Vintgar, Slovenia. Photo by James Southorn.

The question remains, with this much beauty, wherever shall I set up my picnic?

A great Slovenian resource for the hungry reader, is this pamphlet complete with photos and names of dishes by region. The assortment is astounding.

Ptuj, Slovenia. Photo by Marcin Gierszner.

Ptuj, Slovenia. Photo by Marcin Gierszner.

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Comments

  1. Slovenia is, along with Istria and Friuli in far eastern Italy, part of a region with a rich culinary heritage. Ruled at some point by Italy, Austria, and the Balkans, its food incorporates elements from each of those nations. Many famous U.S. chefs, including Lidia Bastianich, come from this region. James Joyce lived most of his life there, in Trieste.

  2. Funny, Joe Pastry is doing Potica this past couple of weeks! How timely.

    http://www.joepastry.com/2013/what-is-potica/
    http://www.joepastry.com/category/pastry/potica/

  3. aunty eileen says:

    Amazing! Checked out all the pictures on Bing. I think this might be the most wonderful and beautiful and orderly country in the world/on the planet!! Sasha: Language is Hungarian and Italian (my/our heritage). Now I have to see if I can find out if any people live actually live there. There were no people in the pictures. Yup, looking at those pictures makes me feel as if I am already in heaven!

    • Sasha Martin says:

      It really is beautiful … cool and temperate…

    • Of all the countries that used to be Yugoslavia, Slovenia is the big success story that all the other countries envy.

    • For all of you who have no clue about Slovenia. I live in Slovenia. And yes it’s such a beautiful country, We have sea, mountins, caves, big cities..and all that you can see in one day if you want. Yes we’re small. :) By the way our language is slovenian language and NOT Italian or whatever.. It’s sad how most of the people don’t know nothing about Slovenia. You should visit us sometimes, you wont regret it! :)

  4. Slovenia is really pretty specially in spring and summer. By the way, here they speak slovene (only 2 million people speak slovene in the world) which is a slavic language very similar to Croatian language.

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