What to eat in Slovenia?
Updated: May 30
The Slovenian cuisine is simple and authentic, with typical products from the high mountain farms. Located at a meeting point of the European Alps, the Mediterranean, and the Pannonian plain, the ingredients of its typical dishes are based on cereals, vegetables, but also fish dishes, cheese, honey from the Kočevje forest, and much more! The cuisine in each region differs with many varieties of dishes but we will try to summarize what you absolutely must try! Let’s discover together what you can enjoy on your trip to Slovenia.
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Also called Carniolan sausage, these are smoked pork sausages, that represent a symbol of Slovenian heritage. Considered as street food, you will find it in any street market, especially those in the capital. A tasty and strong flavor with spices and garlic, perfect to eat with a slice of bread but also paired with cheese, potatoes, or sauerkraut seasoned with tasty sauces.
Elongated meatballs, usually made of minced beef, lamb, and pork, flavored with various spices, it is usually enjoyed with ajvar, a typical chili sauce, raw onion, and toasted bread. But also, kajmak a cream cheese produced in different ways. Its name derives from the Persian word kebab, it is ideal for a quick and hearty meal.
Taking the form of candy, it is a filled pasta like ravioli with potatoes, onions, and cracklings, typical of the city of Idrija. Seasoned in different ways, the most famous is bakalca prepared with mutton or rabbit or is served with lamb ragout, carrots, onions, tomato puree, white wine, and spices.
Soups are a very common dish in this country, mainly because they are prepared with simple, nutritious ingredients that are perfect to enjoy as a single dish during the winter. Different types exist with different ingredients such as jota, made with meat, beans, sauerkraut, and potatoes or Goveja Juha made with mushrooms, barley soup, and many others. Try to find your favorite one!
Originating from an old tradition in the Velika Planina plain is a type of cheese made of curd, cream, and salt and decorated with ornaments that make it special. Oral tradition tells the story of lonely shepherds full of nostalgia, as they spent summers in the mountains far from their loved ones, they gave this cheese as a symbol of love. The cheese is smoked over an open fire, giving it a mild and sweet flavor.
Mouth-watering and fragrant, this dish is based on a potato, herbs, and cheese omelet, especially the intense and slightly spicy Bovec cheese. In the Upper Soča Valley is prepared with local cheese, tolmisnki sir. Soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, it is served as an appetizer or main course.
Typical of the Metlika area, it is a round flatbread decorated with cubes. Soft and golden, it should be eaten hot by tearing the pieces along the lines. Its preparation has been handed down from generation to generation and many documents mention this specialty, such as the Slovenian writer Janez Trdina in his book “Bajke in povesti o Gorjancih”.
Like stuffed pastry rolls where the basic ingredients are flour, eggs, and ricotta cheese, it is a famous Slovenian dish enjoyed both sweet and savory. The most popular of the sweet ones are those filled with Tarragon, walnuts, apples, pear, poppy seeds, and sultanas all mixed with cottage cheese. Of course, they can be enjoyed in many variations such as chocolate, apple puree, and berries. Similar to štruklji are Potice prepared with over 80 different fillings.
Originating from the Prekmurje region, it is a cake with layers of cottage cheese, nuts, honey, poppy seeds, butter, and cream. A really strong, but super delicious cake is considered a must at wedding celebrations with ancient traditions. If you like layered cakes, we have to recommend the Kremna rezina, a typical Bled cake with custard and cream.
Very special honey-spiced cakes with wonderful hand-decorated ornaments. They were especially popular in and around the Dražgoše area. The production of Dražgoti bread dates back more than 200 years. In the past, they were a specialty for various gifts: to the bishop, to visitors, on various anniversaries and festive occasions. Also perfect as a souvenir for your loved ones.
Slovenia has three main wine-growing regions Podravje, Posavje, and Primorska which produce white wines from vines such as Laški rizling, and reds such as žametna črnina, sputamanti such as from Radgona. One of the most famous is Cviček, which is only produced in the lower Carniola region. With a low alcohol content, it's an excellent accompaniment to traditional local dishes.
As there are extensive hop cultivations, you have the opportunity to find many craft beers. Slovenia's two largest breweries are in Ljubljana and Laško where there is also a beer festival (Pivo in cvetje). In addition, this country boasts a large production of Green Gold beer, particularly in the town of Žalec where you can find a large public fountain that looks almost like a water dispenser but actually fills mugs with beer.
One of the most widely drunk liqueurs is certainly the Rušovc Tips and Pinecone Liqueur, produced by pinecones of mountain soaked in sugar and honey. Also, the Pelinkovac is a bitter wormwood liqueur, the Brinjevec brandy with juniper berries, the Dolenjski sadjevec fruit brandy, the brkinski slivovec a plum brandy, and gorenjski tepkovec a pear brandy.
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