Slovenia is a very diverse country and so is its cuisine: generally, it is simple and plain, yet very tasty and special in flavor. In traditional Slovenian cuisine, used food products are almost exclusively grown in Slovenia and quite a few of specialties are classified as a protected foodstuff of traditional reputation. A unique, guided walking Ljubljana Food Tour includes a great part of mentioned goodies.
Top 10 Slovenian Food in Ljubljana
1. Sausage (s) or KLOBASA is a very popular Slovenian dish and is based on the rich heritage of turning the pig into meat products. Our Carniolan Sausage is the best known Slovenian foodstuff in the world. It tastes great with a horseradish or a mustard, in the winter with sour cabbage or sour turnip and a Matevž!
2. Bograč is a Slovenian version of Goulash – It is named after the large pot in which it is cooked in above the open fire. The preparation method is mysterious The Prekmurje people proudly tell that Bograč contains at least three types of meat, giving it its special taste. To make a juicy Bograč, a lot of onions, potatoes and fresh bell peppers (also grounded red paprika) is required– the rest of the spices remain the cook’s secret. There is even an annual bograč cooking competition.
3. Marinated fish or fish in ŠAVOR: “Šavor” is a type of marinade used for marinating fish. Slovenian Adriatic coast is only 30 miles long however long enough to get fresh, smaller sea fish such as anchovies, picarel, red mullet and others. A great starter of every meal!
4. Dumplings or ŽLIKROFI are small boiled dumplings filled with potatoes, onions, lard, zaseka (grained bacon with lard) or smoked bacon, spices, and herbs. Žlikrofi can be dressed with different toppings and sauces, especially with a creamy mushroom sauce or typical meat sauce called “bakalca”.
5. Pasta rolls or ŠTRUKLJI – This is one of the most characteristic dishes, known all over Slovenia. Štruklji is made from different kinds of dough and can have a wide range of fillings; as a side dish, they are cooked. Until around the 1930’s, they used to be prepared at holidays and festivities and to celebrate the end of major farm work. The most special kind of štruklji, especially during spring and summer, is prepared with cottage cheese and wild garlic or tarragon filling.
6. Flour meal or ŽGANCI: as early as the 19th century ‘žganci’ were the pillar of Carniola. Buckwheat and corn, or less frequently barley, are cooked in two ways and are still today one of the basic and typical Slovenian side dishes. “Leteči žganci” or “flying flour meal” are different: this is an ironic name for fried chicken thighs and wings, which originated centuries ago among the workers (known as »fakini«) in the former port on the Ljubljanica River.
7. Sour turnip soup or BUJTA REPA – This was once a compulsory dish for lunch at a pig-killing time on the farm, in which turnip and millet porridge are cooked together with a piece of pork or two thrown in.
8. Potato – A very popular side dish. Slovenians are even called a potatoes nation. A Matevž is another side dish specialty: savory purée made of boiled potatoes and beans. It can be topped with cracklings and meat, grated horseradish or horseradish sauce on the side.
9. Bread or KRUH – Slovenians are a nation of bread lovers. The country is very rich in diverse grains and bread was always considered to be a symbol of well-being: the cottage dwellers baked bread with ‘black’ flour, sometimes adding bran and potatoes. Well-to-do farmers had bread made with white flour, sometimes with the addition of dried fruit or walnuts. Today is very popular bread from wheat, rye, barley, and corn, and often a mixture of two kinds of flour. A special kind of bread is a round POGAČA –flatbread- made from leavened dough, brushed with beaten egg and sprinkled with salt and caraway seeds. Before baking the surface is cut in a square net pattern, and before eating it is broken by hand into bite-size squares.
10. ŠTAJERSKA SOUR SOUP or KISLA JUHA: This soup was originally made after the annual pig kill in the farm and included ‘everything but the squeak’ and then was soured in wine. Nowadays, it’s become a highly popular dish eaten after late nights with lots of alcohol. It also often rounds off wedding receptions and New Year’s parties.
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Written by: Mateja