As you know, I love Slovenia and I enjoy living here very much, but I am not always enthusiastic about their cuisine. And with that I mainly mean the traditional dishes. This is because the Slovenes like to eat (a lot of) fat. And I absolutely don’t like that. Fat sausages and a kind of crackling (lard) for example, here called »ocvirki«. Not for me.
The Slovenes generally eat a lot of meat, especially pork, chicken, and turkey. Because their own livestock is still often slaughtered and processed in the villages, almost everything from an animal is used. A well-known dish here is, for example, »vampi«, a kind of goulash, but instead of pieces of beef, it contains a cow’s stomach cut into strips. When Bine and I first got together we stopped somewhere for a meal on the way, he ordered vampi. I asked what it was and Bine said it was some kind of goulash. I ordered »regular« goulash, just to be on the safe side, but took one bite from Bine’s vampi to taste. OMG, it was gross! I spit it out immediately and never ate it again. And at that point, I didn’t even know what it was! Bine only told me that afterward, of course. No, this is also not for me ;).
In any case, people like to eat one-pan dishes here, called “enolončnice”. If you go into the mountains and eat in a mountain hut, you cannot escape it. Well-known »enolončnice« are for example Jota: a meal soup with beans, potato and sauerkraut, Vampi, as mentioned ;), Goulash, Pasulj: thick white bean soup, often with sausage, Matevž: a potato and kidney bean puree (as a side dish with sauerkraut and sausage), Ričet (or Ješprenj): meal soup with barley, beans, potatoes and vegetables, and Bograč: a goulash made of different types of meat and potatoes.
Relatively few vegetables are eaten. Vegetables that are mainly used are beans, sauerkraut, and lettuce. In addition, people eat a lot of potatoes and dishes made of flour, such as the traditional »zganci« and »polenta«. Zganci is buckwheat flour that is fried in a pan, while stirring, with a little water and salt and to which lard is often added. Polenta is made in the same way but from corn flour. It becomes out a kind of dry, tasteless porridge. Apologies for those who love it, but that’s my personal opinion/taste ;). Zganci is often eaten together with sauerkraut, but also as a main dish in warm milk.
In general, Slovenian cuisine is influenced by the cuisines of the surrounding countries. On the menu of a standard restaurant, you will find Wienersnitzel with fries (Austria), čevapičiči (Balkans), goulash (Hungary), and pizza (Italy). Pizza is very popular here and is eaten a lot so you will find many pizzerias. And those pizzas are delicious! I have never eaten such delicious pizzas as here in Slovenia. Not in Italy and certainly not in the Netherlands. There I find the pizzas thin and dry. The pizzas here have a good base and are richly topped. I always recommend everyone who comes to Slovenia to go and have pizza at least once :).
Of course, there are many more dishes to eat here, such as fish dishes (how about fresh trout from the Krka?). They also do a lot with mushrooms, in the form of soup and sauces with meat dishes. Bine loves that. In some restaurants, you can also eat very good game dishes such as bear goulash, deer loin, or steak of a wild boar. Again not for me ;). My father likes it though. Well, everyone’s taste, right? In any case, there is something good for everyone to eat here, so another reason to visit Slovenia :). Enjoy your meal!!