Cooking and dining the Slovene way

Published in The Slovenia Times (June 2003) here

It was the summer of 2003, when Slovenia became a front-runner for a full EU membership, which eventually came to pass on the 1st of May 2004. That summer was my first time writing in English for The Slovene Times (at the time a free Slovene print newspaper aimed at foreign businessmen and visitors). I covered the section called Surfin’ Slovenia, meant to review Slovene websites offering content in English. By the end I did three articles. The first one was about local news in English, second about food and dining and the last one about Non-government organizations. Since I was not able to find the other two on the newspaper's web page, I decided to start with this one about food. As you will notice, the version published on above link is missing some formatting and includes original outdated links.

Summer is at European doorsteps, which means the tourist season is approaching. As it blooms, most of the visitors to Slovenia or any other country dine in the restaurants, inns, and taverns, but how to know where to go? What restaurant cherishes real and traditional Slovene food, which, I might add, has notable influences from our neighbor countries? Slovenia was in the past-to some extent-part of Italy and Austria, but there is also Hungarian and Croatian influence to be mentioned, as well as instances of other ex-Yugoslavian countries. You will find the answers on the web pages below.

On the other hand, I am sure that some of you will want to try and practice the Slovenian cuisine in your own home and maybe even share it with your friends and relatives. For this purpose, all the recipes and cooking advice can also be found online from the comfort of your home. Bon appetit!

Cream of the crop

Kulinarika.net [*archive link] with its “messy” design, perfectly reflecting messy cooking, which of course is the only proper way to cook, is delightfully and deliciously resourceful as well as easy to navigate. The site got various web awards for excellence and resourcefulness. As you will notice, the recipes are only part of Kulinarika’s treasure. Travelers will find the dining out section most useful, as it covers everything from restaurants, inns, pizza parlors, vegetarian restaurants, seafood, fast food, sweet shops to foreign cookery, pubs and delivery service.

Kulinarika.net is still the best Slovene recipe portal, but unfortunately they abandoned the English version at some point. I tried a random recipe with Google Translate and it is actually usable. Archive link above has limited functionality, although it does include working English version.

Food and Drink

As this special sub-page of Slovene web page directory Matkurja devoted to Slovene food and wine [*dead link] put it: “Slovene food is a feast for the gourmet. Many restaurants offer a wide range of traditional national dishes, as well as international dishes like pizza, pasta, and oriental dishes.” But this is a site for many traditional Slovene recipes, so you can try all the food at home. As gourmets would say “good wine goes with good food“, rich and old Slovene vintage wine tradition was not forgotten. The other part of the site is devoted to the wines, which benefit from Slovene geographical position with climatic influences of the north and the south.

Olympic food

Slovene Gostilna, a House of Hospitality and Good Food [*archive link] is a website put up for Olympic Games in Sydney 2000 when the Slovene Tourist Board decided to promote its country in a very unique way. You will learn what was happening there, a bit about Slovene cuisine and read about selected recipes as well as wine growing regions.

Slovene roots

Home Cooked Slovenian Food [*archive link] is an interesting view of Slovene food and cooking from a different perspective. Read about James R. Dangel, an American with Slovene roots, and how he experienced and is still exploring his long lost heritage through his relatives, different cooking and living situations.

This was not part of the original article, but it is an example of one of the most widely known traditional Slovene delicacy.

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