The Best Traditional Slovenian Food to Try
A country once fairly ignored on the food front, the riches of traditional Slovenian cuisine is finally reaching the rest of the world. Slovenia has recently named over two dozen culinary micro-regions within its country and many dishes on this list are protected by the EU as speciality heritage dishes. Slovenia is fast turning into a hot destination for food lovers as they hunt down the best traditional Slovenian dishes to dig into.
Notably, breakfast isn’t as big of a deal in Slovenia, as in neighbouring countries, with people generally preferring a snack before lunch. Lunch, however, is traditionally the main meal of the day and you can tuck into to some superb Slovenian lunches while you’re exploring the food scene here.
You’ll also find a lot more mushrooms on the menu in the autumn since mushroom gathering is as big a deal here like many nearby European countries – perhaps even more so since they consider it a national sport! Things warm up in the winter when most meals are started with a bowl of soup (juha) along with some crusty bread.
What’s Slovenian Cusine like?
Tucked within four regions, Austria, The Balkans, Italy, and Hungary there’s a lot of outside influence on this varied cuisine. Slovenia itself is famous for its fresh vegetables, herbs, and grains which grow in abundance in the diverse landscape here. They’ve put their own spin on classic dishes from their neighbours (like paprikás, strudel, rizota, and cevapcici) but have also created fresh and enticing dishes that are all their own.
Interestingly, you’ll also find lots of buckwheat, a grain not widely used in Europe (but really should be) and the pumpkin seed oil that the region has become famous for. Pumpkin seed oil or some Slovenian honey make for great foodie souvenirs if you’re looking!
Trying as many traditional Slovenian dishes as possible is an adventure your stomach will thank you for. Here are some favourites from across the country.
Traditional Slovenian Dishes You Must Try
A cherished kind of Slovenian bread that is considered so special and vital that it’s actually protected by the EU! This bread is essentially a delicious flatbread which is coated in egg and flavoured with various subtle but delicious spices and created to very precise and exact dimensions before being etched with squares. It’s often eaten at breakfast or traditionally used by locals to welcome guests into the home. Cheap, filling and delicious – you can’t go wrong with this simple but authentic and vital part of the local cuisine.
The style varies from region to region but one thing is for sure, you will be left satisfied after a dish of this hearty traditional Slovenian dish. Bograč is often served at special occasions such as birthdays and weddings. Usually, this goulash is made with meat, sometimes even a mix of three different types of meat.
Quite often, however, it is simply made with just venison, loaded with fresh mushrooms during the season and laced with paprika – this is a must-try dish in Slovenia.
Idrija Žlikrofi (Pasta)
Here is another dish that has been awarded EU protection. This Slovenian dish is like a cross between a dumpling and ravioli; it dances on a fine line between these two dishes. These pasta pockets are stuffed to bursting with delicious meats and vegetables and they’re often topped with cheese.
Another pasta to seek out if you want to try more is Bleki: this is a square-shaped pasta which is one of Slovenia’s most popular pasta variations. Pasta is as much a traditional food in Slovenia as it is in Italy, despite how much more famous it is in Italy.
If you love seafood in all its forms then be sure to put this firmly at the top of your list of Slovenian dishes to try as soon as you get to Slovenia. Slovenian Soča trout, caught in the river Soča, is a real delicacy of Slovenian cuisine and worth a visit to one of the many excellent seafood restaurants in the country to give this exquisite dish a try. The trout is usually served grilled or rolled in four and then fried.
Kraški Pršut (Karst Prosciutto)
Found all over the country, this is a famous Slovenian delicacy of air-dried pork created using traditional methods of salting and curing on a Karst bora. Enjoy this with some cheese, bread, and a glass of local wine! Check out this incredible Slovenian wine tour if you want to taste some of the delicious local wine!
This is honestly a smoked sausage that may be worth dying for (not that you need to), the flavours are strong and once you’ve tried it you’ll be looking for more. It’s one of the most historic and traditional Slovenian dishes and truly beloved the country round. It’s normally served with mustard, sauerkraut, bread, and fermented turnip.
A cross between a soup and a stew, this is a great way to get a healthy dose of vitamins while eating some traditional Slovenian dishes. A hearty mix of cabbage, turnips, potatoes, and beans stewed together, eat with some crusty bread and you’ll be good for the entire day.
You’ll find these delicious doughy rolls all over Slovenia with so many fillings you’ll actually struggle to try them all! Both sweet and savoury, Štruklji can be found with fillings like stewed apple, meat, or cottage cheese and can come steamed, baked or fried. A truly versatile dish in Slovenian traditional cuisine.
You’ll find it difficult to leave Slovenia having not tried this sweet staple. One of the most famous desserts in the country, it actually comes in a few variations but basically constitutes dough packed with delicious filling, usually sweet cheese or apple, walnut, and cottage cheese. It’s heavy, filling, and you’ll be back for more.
Bled Creme Cake
Fluffy, pretty and perfect with a coffee, this is a layer of thin pastry with sweet vanilla flavoured cream. It is pure indulgence which goes down an absolute treat after a day of sightseeing in the Bled area.
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