If you have the opportunity, go on a unique culinary journey across the country and discover that each region has its typical Slovenian food, which you can taste in many restaurants throughout the country, but for the best experience, it is best to visit tourist farms and old village inns. If the trip leads you to the mountain world, do not miss the mountain cabins, where Slovenian food is still prepared according to the old recipes.
Various and rich gastronomic offer in Slovenia enables you to taste the most recognizable culinary delights in as many as 24 culinary regions. You will discover that Slovenian food is something special because of the process of preparing the meals, the selection of local and fresh raw materials and because of the mixing flavors that give Slovenian dishes a specific mark.
Slovenes are proud of the products and Slovenian food that has a protected geographical mark, which represents the country worldwide and promotes the regional and cultural gastronomic diversity in Slovenia.
Since Slovenian food plays an important role in daily life, Slovenes organize various annual festivals and culinary events throughout the country. Below, we present ten famous Slovenian dishes. The list will help you to choose from the menus in restaurants when you will seek for tasty local specialties.
4. Bujta repa – Slovenian food of the Prekmurje cuisine
Bujta repa is haggis-style blood and meat sausages with turnip stew and is one of the most recognizable culinary specialties of the Prekmurje cuisine. In the autumn and winter, this traditional Slovenian food is more or less a constant meal on farms, as well as in many village inns. There is also an annual event to honor bujta repa, similar to the bograč, a type of goulash, cooking competition, which is another famous gastronomic delicacy in the Prekmurje region.
Preparation of bujta repa is associated with another fall-winter farm job when farmers every year make pork meat and sausages. The name of the dish is also linked with the slaughter of a pig, as “bujta” in the northeastern dialect means “killed”. Otherwise, you can also order this dish meat-free as it is equally tasty.
Sour or pickled turnip hotpot is a one-course meal consisting of basic ingredients such as millet porridge, pork and grated sour turnip. Most often, it is seasoned with garlic, onions and ground red peppers, for a richer flavor. You can also eat this Slovenian food with roast pork or with millet or buckwheat black pudding.
6. Idrijski žlikrofi – stuffed dumplings from Idrija
Idrijski žlikrofi or Idrija dumplings originating from Idrija with its surroundings are well known traditional Slovenian food. They are prepared from home-made noodle dough, filled with potato stuffing and have a characteristic shape. Preparation is based on an old recipe that was described in the mid-19th century.
These filled pastas used to be cooked by housewives for their husbands who worked in a mine nearby. Nowadays, stuffed dumplings from Idrija are officially protected by a geographical origin, mainly because of their specific production and a unique recipe.
Idrija dumplings are stuffed inside with:
- Fat: crackling pork fat or minced lard and smoked bacon
- Spices: chopped marjoram, chives, black pepper, and salt
Idrija dumplings are similar in shape to ravioli, but are made from two thin layers of pasta that are pressed together and hold the stuffing in the middle. Preparation requires some skill, as the dimensions of a true žlikrof are well-defined, such as 3 centimeters in length and 2 centimeters in height.
Stuffed dumplings are cooked in water and served as a warm appetizer, side dish or one-course meal. Delicious Slovenian food from Idrija can be dressed with lamb and vegetable sauce, which the locals also call “bakalca”. However, bakalca can be made from mutton with sauce or rabbit meat.
8. Cold cuts with local prosciutto, salami and cheese
Cold cuts are popular appetizers in many restaurants. Especially delicious are salami and cheeses that are produced locally, such as karstic prosciutto, a meat product that is protected by a geographical mark.
Karstic prosciutto is a pork thigh that dries in the Karst bora. Its specialty lies in the centuries-old tradition of salting and drying, particularly in the Karst, Brda, Vipava, Istria and Tolmin region. The quality and reputation of this typical Slovenian food can be found in its rich aroma, intense ruby color, juiciness, firm structure and the salinity of prosciutto slices.
A culinary journey across the country will also lead you to regions where village inns and restaurants serve other meat products that are home-made and represent Slovenian food in the cold cuts.
- Prleška tünka: pork and minced bacon with lard, common in Prekmurje region. The minced lard is made of grind bacon that is greased and seasoned with garlic and salt.
- Upper Carniola porridge stomach: Smoked stomach or thick pork colon in salami is filled with millet porridge and spices.
- Mohant cheese: a semi-soft cheese with a strong smell, white-yellow color and bitterly spicy taste is an indigenous cheese product from Bohinj since milk is given to it by an autochthonous breed of cows, called Bohinj cika. If you decide to go on a rock climbing route near Bohinjska Bela, you can order and try the cold cuts with Mohant cheese in the nearby Bohinj village inns.
- Bovec cheese has a protected label of origin and the national symbol of quality. Bovec cheese relates to the old Slovenian food in the Bovec area, along the emerald green Soča River. The production of this hard and full-fat cheese dates back to 1328 when it was made on the Trebiščina mountain. The cheese is made from raw sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep’s, goat’s and cow’s milk.