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The tastes of Slovenia

March 9, 2020
Slovenia is not just nature and beautiful sites. In this paradise country you can also experience world-class cuisine. Due to its rich gastronomic offer, it has been awarded the title of European Region of Gastronomy 2021. Slovenian chefs will impress you with their authentic creativity when making scrumptious food with carefully selected local ingredients. You […]

Slovenia is not just nature and beautiful sites. In this paradise country you can also experience world-class cuisine. Due to its rich gastronomic offer, it has been awarded the title of European Region of Gastronomy 2021. Slovenian chefs will impress you with their authentic creativity when making scrumptious food with carefully selected local ingredients.

You can see Slovenia´s geographic position reflected in its gastronomy. You will experience different tastes in the Alps than on the Adriatic coast, in the Karst Region or in the Pannonian Plan. Each region has its own typical dishes. What they all have in common is their distinctively local manner to prepare the food. In all the regions you will find local dishes accompanied with good wine.

WINE

We can divide Slovenia in different wine-growing regions, each with different soil, climate, and cellaring methods which gives us diverse selection of varieties. Selected wines from each region are ranked among the best in the world regarding quality.

Every wine-growing region has made its own wine road which will take you to the winegrowers and wine cellar keepers, tucked away in small, picturesque villages. Local people will be happy to offer you some of its best wines and other culinary delights. Don´t miss out on your chance to spend the night in the stunning nature, off the beaten track. The most famous region is definitely Goriška Brda. In some parts of the year you can also enjoy celebrating the wine holidays and festivals.

Did you know that the oldest known grape-producing vine has its home in Maribor (NE part of Slovenia)? The Blauer Kölner grapevine variety is believed to be growing for over 400 years. The grapevine has become a special landmark in Slovenia and yields up around 55 kilos of red grapes each year. After the celebratory grape harvest, they carefully produce the Žametna Črnina (Black Velvet) wine. They then bottle it into 250 millilitre bottles with a special design.

Another known Slovenian wine is Teran, made from the refošk grape variety which you can find growing in Karst region, on a reddish karst soil. This type of wine has most Anthocyanins among all the red wines in this region and is good for your heart, vascular system, and brain.

Sparkling wines also have a long tradition in Slovenia. A classic among sparkling wines is The Radgona sparkling wine. You can visit sparkling wine cellar in Gornja Radgona which has been open since 1853.

BEER

Another popular drink among Slovenians is beer. There are two larger breweries in Slovenia: Laško and Ljubljana but smaller breweries all around Slovenia are gaining popularity. When visiting Ljubljana (capital city) you can include guided tastings of craft beer in your sightseeing or spoil yourself with wellness treatments using beer or its ingredients. The popularity of this drink has even led to an annual festival in Laško, devoted to beer.

If you would like to get to know more about the hop growing and beer making tradition, you can visit the Eco-Museum of Hop Growing and the Brewing Industry in Žalec, in the Lower Savinja Valley, the centre of Slovenia’s hop growing. When in Žalec, you can´t skip a visit to the world´s first beer fountain in the town centre where you can taste different local beer varieties.

LOCAL PRODUCTS

Slovenian cheese is produced in the idyllic mountain setting. Various varieties have gained a protected designation of origin. In Bohinj, dairy farming has a long tradition so make sure to try its Mohant cheese. Its specific aroma will enchant you, as will the vibrant yellow color of the nanoški cheese. In Soča Valley, more precisely in Bovec, you will find exquisite bovški sir and in Tolminc, the sweet Tolminc cheese.

You will also find a variety of meat products in Slovenia. Especially known is the regional sausage called kranjska klobasa. In the Kras region, you will find a number of different meat products with geographical protection such as prosciutto (kraški pršut). You also have to try the prleška tünka, pork meat preserved in minced lard and zgornjesavinjski želodec (similar to salami) from the region of Solčava.

If you are visiting the coast, you have to make a stop at the Piran salt pans, one of the few places where salt is still produced in a traditional way. Piran salt makes a great souvenir, as does extra virgin olive oil from Istria or pumpkin seed oil from Štajerska-Prekmurje region. Another healthy local product is kočevski gozdni med, a protected variety of forest honey.

For all the sweet tooths, there are plenty of rich desserts made from local ingredients. The most well-known include prekmurska gibanica (a layered cake containing poppy seeds, walnuts, apples, and quark), kremna rezina (cream cake) from Bled, and potica (nut roll), which you will find on all Slovenian tables during festive days.

UNIQUE EXPERIENCE

From high-end restaurants to hotels and resorts, Slovenia is proud of its local cuisine. You will be served typical dishes that reflect a big diversity due to mixing cuisines and specialties from different regions, which can be found at culinary events. To get the true taste of the local cuisine, we recommend visiting tourist farms or mountain cabins. You have plenty of kilometers of marked mountain trails for hiking through picturesque Slovenian landscapes. Along the way, you can find many mountain huts that will serve you typical Slovenian stews and other dishes. To regain your strength, you might want to try žganci (mush) with sour milk at one of the mountain pastures where shepherds live.

RENOWNED SLOVENIAN CHEFS

Central to traditional as well as haute cuisine are its fresh and high-quality ingredients, locally produced and carefully selected. This gives a special fullness of flavors to Slovene gastronomy. The chefs are committed to the ‘from the garden to the table’ principle. Adding diversity and creativity puts Slovenia on the European gastronomic map and presents prestigious restaurants and the most renowned chefs to the world.

The most popular name in recent years, when talking about Slovenian gastronomy, is definitely Ana Roš, World’s Best Female Chef 2017. You can experience her creations at Hiša Franko where they offer a special gourmet experience based on seasonal ingredients from nature along the River Soča. Janez Bratovž, the chef of JB Restaurant, which is on San Pellegrino’s Top 100 World’s Best Restaurant list, will present you with ingredients from the famous Ljubljana marketplace. And Tomaž Kavčič (the most innovative European chef of 2017 as declared by Restaurateurs JRE) follows the concept of “poor man’s ingredients” to create masterpieces at Pri Lojzetu Restaurant at the Zemono Manor in the Vipava Valley. They all offer unique gourmet experiences worthy of prestigious world titles.

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