As a small country, Slovenia has a lot of traditional foods, that differ greatly from one another. If you have the opportunity, go on a unique culinary journey across the country and discover that each region has its typical Slovenian food. This article will give you a list of the top unique foods in Slovenia to try.
Unique foods in Slovenia
Štruklji is one of the most typical Slovenian dishes, consisting of different varieties of rolled dough that is filled with either savory or sweet ingredients such as cottage cheese, walnuts, apples, and poppy seeds. They can be found throughout Slovenia–in home kitchens, restaurants, and numerous mountain huts. Štruklji can be baked or cooked, and one unique variety of the dish is especially popular during spring and summer when štruklji are filled with fresh tarragon.
Originally, the dish was prepared at celebrations and festivities in order to celebrate the end of hard labor at the farms, and the practice was present until the 1930s when people started making štruklji throughout the year.
Commonly known as every Slovenian housewife’s source of pride, potica is a traditional cake that is usually prepared for festivities and celebrations such as Christmas and Easter. The cake was derived from the older rolled dough cakes, and it was first mentioned in 1575.
Originally, it was a cake reserved for the upper class, but over the years, it gained popularity with the peasants. There are around 60 types of potica, with various, traditional fillings such as walnuts, hazelnuts, tarragon, honey, poppy seeds, and cottage cheese. Modern versions of potica even include chocolate as a filling. This dessert is a very important part of Slovenian cuisine, so much that it was featured twice on Slovenian postage stamps. Today, the cake can be bought in supermarkets or consumed in numerous Slovenian restaurants, but it is said that homemade potica is still the best.
One of the unique foods in Slovenia is bograč. This food is a traditional Slovenian meat stew that was supposedly invented by Hungarian shepherds when Prekmurje was under Hungarian rule. The stew consists of four types of meat—traditionally pork, beef, venison, and boar—which are simmered along with potatoes, onions, spices, wine, and optionally mushrooms.
The dish was named after bogracs—a traditional cauldron in which it is still prepared today.
Žganci or corn mush or spoonbread is one of the most widespread Slovenian dishes, particularly those who are prepared with buckwheat flour and dressed with cracklings. If you are not a fan of cracklings, you can eat this healthy Slovenian food with sour milk, mushroom soup, or chicken stew. Maize žganci are delicious with goulash and buckwheat spoonbread with sauerkraut. On a side, you can also order pork sausage or blood sausage.
Buckwheat žganci is traditional Slovenian food in the Upper Carniola region. If you are going on a guided hiking tour anywhere in the Julian Alps, do not forget to stop by in the mountain cottages, where they serve the Gorenjska žganci version, where the flour is cooked in salted boiling water.
5. Bujta repa
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.
6. Idrijski žlikrofi
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 pasta 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.
7. Soška postrv
Slovenia’s coast is full of excellent fresh fish, but it is possibly the gorgeous Soča valley and Bohinj lake that provide the tastiest.
River trout from the Soča valley is wonderfully prepared in a variety of ways, including being fried covered in buckwheat or cornflour and being prepared with pršut and cherries. You shouldn’t miss this dish when traveling to Slovenia.