10 Traditional Dishes You Definitely Must Eat While in Slovenia
Slovenia’s TOP 10 traditional dishes you definitely must try while in Slovenia.
How do you get to a man’s heart? Through his stomach, right? And Slovenia certainly knows how to get to many a foodie’s heart with its offer of various exquisite foods.
Slovenia is home to 24 gastronomic regions, each one having its own culinary peculiarities and characteristics. All in all, these gastronomic regions feature a whopping 170 various dishes. It’s impossible to mention them all here, of course. However, we’ve selected the dishes that are most widespread and internationally renowned. And they’re terrifically delicious too! Here are Slovenia’s top 10 traditional dishes you definitely must try while in Slovenia.
Slovenia’s Top 10 Traditional Dishes
Kranjska Klobasa (Carniolan Sausage)
This is by far Slovenia’s most world-famous food. Not only has the ‘Kranjska’ sausage been around since 1896, the European Commission has crowned it with the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) seal. AND it’s also the first sausage to have entered space! Where does this famous sausage gets its delightful and unique taste? For starters, it’s smoked. And secondly, to conform with its PGI standard, it must always consist of the exact amounts of pork (68%), beef (12%), and bacon (20%).
Kraški Pršut (Karst Prosciutto)
Here’s another very famous Slovenian delight. You’ve definitely heard of and most likely tasted the Italian prosciutto (dry-cured ham). We’re proud to say that in Slovenia we have our very own ‘Kraški pršut’ (‘Kraški’ means ‘of the Karst’), a top-quality dry cured ham that also boasts the seal of Protected Geographical Indication. We recommend you enjoy its excellent flavour and texture by eating it at its very source, at one of the many farms in Slovenia’s Karst region, not too far off from Portorož, where the inOrbit conference is being held. While in the Karst, you’ll most definitely be able to taste Teran, the region’s most prized red wine that goes deliciously well with this prosciutto.
Štruklji (Curd Cheese Dumplings)
‘Štruklji’ are another traditional Slovenian food that’s popular among food lovers all over Slovenia and beyond. They’re roulade-shaped dumplings that are either baked or boiled, and savoury or sweet. You can either have them as a side dish to accompany rich meats such as venison (these are usually the standard curd cheese ones), or as a dessert with a topping of breadcrumbs and honey. ‘Štruklji’ come in a ton of different fillings. However, the most popular are the ones with curd cheese, tarragon, walnuts, apples, and poppy seeds.
‘Jota’ is a stew of turnip, beans, onions, and at times smoked pork ribs. These are ingredients that are commonly found in Slovenia’s home cellars, making ‘jota’ an ever popular dish among Slovene housewives. You’ll find ‘jota’ wherever you go in Slovenia, with variations according to region. For example, here in Istria the stew contains sour cabbage (‘kislo zelje’) rather than sour turnip (‘kisla repa’), and doesn’t include potatoes. In other areas of Slovenia, you could come across a ‘jota’ that contains other local vegetables, and sometimes even barley.
Žganci is a simple Slovenian dish that also varies according to region. Potato ‘žganci’ are typical of Prekmurje and Pohorje in the northeast of Slovenia, while buckwheat ‘žganci’—made from buckwheat flour, water, salt, and oil—are common in Gorenjska (northwest Slovenia). The Slovenes like to eat this dish with sour milk, or as a side dish to ‘pečenica’ (a fried sausage), along with sauerkraut. Whatever it is you eat ‘žganci’ with, you must get the pork crackling (‘ocvirki’) addition. They add that special crunchy and meaty touch!
Sautéed Potatoes with Onion (Pražen Krompir)
‘Tenstan’ or ‘pražen krompir’ are probably the Slovenes’ most favourite side dish. These are boiled potatoes, chopped up into pieces and fried together with onions. And again, for that extra mouth-watering porky flavour, these are best eaten with pork crackling.
Potica (Potizza or Nut Roll)
‘Potica’ is Slovenia’s most symbolic dessert. It’s made of dough to form a roulade-like or roly-poly shape. You can enjoy this dessert with at least 80 different types of fillings. But the most popular are with tarragon (‘pehtran’), walnuts, cracknels (‘ocvirki’), and poppy seeds.
Kremna Rezina or Blejska Kremšnita (Bled Cream Cake )
A very popular dessert, not only in Bled, but also in many other parts of Slovenia, the ‘Bled Cream Cake’ is made from two layers of puff pastry (one at the top and the other at the bottom), filled with sweet vanilla custard and cream. It came about after the Second World War and is now Bled’s main culinary speciality.
Prekmurska Gibanica (Prekmurje Layered Cake)
This layered cake filled with poppy seeds, curd cheese, walnuts, and apples also comes with a protected geographical status. So it’s not a ‘Prekmurska gibanica’ unless it comes with all the right portions of ingredients I mentioned here. As the name implies, this irresistible cake comes from the Prekmurje region. However, it does travel around Slovenia to delight those looking for a delicious cake that contains an interesting combination of ingredients. Well, after all, this cake is called ‘gibanica’, which translates to ‘moving cake’!
Jabolčni Štrudelj (Slovenian Apple Strudel)
And now for the sweetest ending: Slovenia’s apple strudel. This irresistible dessert consists of a flaky puff pastry that encases a juicy apple filling, usually spiced with cinnamon. It’s a true Slovene housewives’ favourite when it comes to baking, aside from potica. Recipes vary one from another, so you’ll never find two versions of strudel that are exactly the same. That’s not such a bad thing. What better excuse is there to try as many different apple strudels as you can?
Where Can You Taste Traditional Slovenian Dishes?
We’re sure to have tempted you with our list of the 10 most traditional Slovenian food specialties. So now it’s time to go out and satisfy those taste buds. Look out for these superb dishes in Slovenia’s typical restaurants called ‘gostilne’, as well as the mountain huts that are mainly concentrated in the alpine region of Gorenjska.
Enjoy your meals, or ‘dober tek’ as we say in Slovenia.