Cuisine of Slovenia

Forty distinct regional cuisines

Slovenian cuisine is as diverse as the terrain, with more than forty distinct regional cuisines. The six topographical areas of Slovenia have led to a great variety of traditional dishes from the countryside: with differences in style and method of preparation. Distinct cuisines also evolved from a highly stratified society; based on the town, the farmhouse, the cottage, the castle, and monastery. In the cities, cuisines from other countries were evident; dishes were from Austria, France, and Germany. This influence is already apparent in the first cookbook published in the Slovenian language by the priest Valentin Vodnik in 1799. In a cookbook in Graz in 1589, the writer refers to tarragon ‘štruklji’ as Slovenian ‘ this is the oldest known reference to a Slovenian recipe. The štruklji are a well-known speciality, made of yeast dough with a filling: over one hundred types. Slovenia has adapted and adopted some dishes from the bordering countries of Austria, Hungary, and Italy. Examples  are ‘bograč’ from Prekmurje, adapted from goulash of Hungary, ‘žlinkrofi’ from Idrija adapted from Italian ravioli.
Traditional, popular foods are: sour cabbage (kislo zelje), sour turnip (kisla repa), potatoes, wild lettuce (regrat), beans, mushrooms, buckwheat, cornmeal, and stews. Bread is much-loved by Slovenians; there is a great selection from different grains. Some traditional dishes are; jota, ričet, sour soup of Pohorje, potato soup of Dolenjska, prežganka of Gorenjska, obara, žganci, krvavice, pečenice, kranjske klobase, žolca (aspic), pršut (leg ham), kaša (porridge) - based on buckwheat, barley, and rarely now, millet.
Among cakes there are: potica, gibanica, kolače, pince, kremne rezine, zavitek, medenjaki.  
‘Potica’ is the premier festive Slovenian cake, traditionally baked in a round ceramic mould (rolled yeast-dough with filling) and was served originally for only special  occasions; there are over fifty varieties of potica. The trend in Slovenian cuisine has been to adapt many old recipes which are very high in calories, and substitute ingredients for a more healthy balanced diet.

Learning activities

1. Assemble a menu
Text-type: menu
Linguistic element: nouns
Select dishes from the menu of the Ljubljana restaurant ‘Šestica’ , and write a menu


Due to current re-programming of the Slovenian Webclassroom Project the complete "Cuisine of Slovenia" Study Unit and Links to be updated and republished on: 4 December 2015

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