Due to its location and history, Slovak cuisine is heavily influenced by the dishes of these neighboring countries, especially Austria and Hungary. Traditional Slovak dishes are largely simple, comforting, filling, and homely. In this article, we will give a list of the best foods in Slovakia you should try at least once.
Best foods in Slovakia
Traditional guláš is a hearty meat stew served with a dark red sauce that is heavily seasoned with paprika. Throughout history, this dish with Hungarian origins has become one of the most common meals in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The two countries have created their unique version, slightly different from the original. It usually consists of beef, pork, or game meat, browned and simmered alongside onions for hours until the broth thickens. There are numerous varieties of this rustic dish, including the ones with different meat cuts, thicker and thinner broth types, potatoes, caraway seeds, marjoram, and even sausages and mushrooms.
Guláš is a common restaurant dish, and it is traditionally accompanied by tender steamed dumplings or plain bread.
Halušky is the incredibly soft variety of potato dumplings, usually associated with Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The dough is created with grated raw potatoes and flour. They are typically cooked so the batter is spread on the wooden board, and small pieces of dough are cut and dropped directly into the boiling water.
Another, more modern approach, employs a special halušky strainer through which the batter is gently pressed and dropped in water, creating tiny dumplings in the process. Both techniques result in irregularly shaped dumplings that have a soft texture and pale color.
Makowiec is the Polish name for poppy seed roll, a traditional cake where poppy seed paste is placed between layers of dough. Raisins, almonds, honey, and orange peel can be added to the cake in order to enhance its flavors. Ideally, makowiec should not be too sweet.
It is characterized by its unique appearance when cut, with the dough and the poppy seed filling winding around each other in a spiral. When served, makowiec is usually dusted with powdered sugar. The cake is often consumed alongside tea or coffee, and it is typically prepared for festivities such as Christmas or other winter holidays.
4. Cabbage soup (kapustnica)
One of the best foods in Slovakia is cabbage soup. It makes an appearance at every traditional Christmas dinner but is also enjoyed year-round as an appetizer before the main meal. Sauerkraut is mixed into a creamy base with boiled potatoes, mushrooms, chopped ham, paprika, black pepper, and garlic.
The soup is served warm, and when eaten with freshly baked bread it is very filling.
5. Fazuľová Polievka
Fazuľová Polievka is a rich and creamy sour bean soup. It has a base of fazula beans, a spotted, colorful bean native to Slovakia.
This traditional Slovak soup has a deep, smokey taste. This is due to the combination of softened fazula beans and the use of sliced smoked bacon in the recipe.
Sour cream, milk, flour, potato, and vinegar help form a thick, creamy base, while garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves inject a little spice and sour notes into the taste.
Fazuľová Polievka is usually served with butter and crusty bread. It can be eaten either as a starter or as a main course. It’s true comfort in a bowl, that’s for sure.
Prívarok is a hearty traditional Slovakian dish. This legume and vegetable stew can have different tastes, depending on the ingredients used.
Commonly, these are cabbage, beans, lentils, cauliflower, spinach, potatoes, peas, or winter squash. The soup thickened with flour and whipping cream.
Seasonings included in the stew are salt, pepper, and dill. It is usually served with a fried egg and diced potatoes, or bread, but you can also combine it with smoked meat and sausage for extra protein.
7. Segedin goulash
Segedin goulash is the Slovak version of Hungarian goulash. It is the perfect combination of sour and savory, and very much a beloved comfort food in Slovakia.
Segedin goulash consists of pork shoulder chunks stewed with sauerkraut and thickened with heavy cream. This gives the dish makes a thick, creamy texture, and a softer, milder taste.
Sometimes sour cream is used for a tangier taste. The sauerkraut used in the goulash is heavily seasoned with paprika.
This dish is traditionally served with dumplings, but you can also find it served with rice.
In conclusion, it is great to make a trip to Slovakia and explore its culture and cuisine.