Whilst we were in Ljubljana we booked a food tour with Ljubljananjam. We had no idea what traditional Slovenian food was. As with most places they are obviously influenced by their bordering countries: Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, but as a small country have their own traditional foods and some protected recipes. Slovenia is the home of the Carniolan honeybee and is the only EU country to have protected it’s native bee. They are passionate about and have a long history of beekeeping , so honey plays a big part in their cuisine. They also have excellent wine, producing up to 90 million litres a year. Most of which we never see or hear of as less than 10% gets exported.
The tour was over a couple of hours with our guide Meta and just three of us. Me, Chris and a half English, half American guy called Julian. We had six stops, but tried a few things at each stop. We followed a sort of starter, main, dessert format with light taster dishes to start, then a sort of main, wine, dessert and coffee. I will refrain from sharing where we ate in the hope that you would join the tour if you have a chance. It is worth it.
At our first stop we each chose a soup. Chris has cauliflower soup and I had homemade piskr (vegetable stoup with pieces of meat). We had traditional štruklji (rolled dumplings) made with sweet cottage cheese. Carniolan sausage, which is a protected Slovenian recipe, with local horseradish and Slovenian mustard.
Next up at a very arty place we had a deconstructed sandwich with cold meats and pumpkin seed oil. We washed it down with local wine. The red wine was called cviček and the white was zelen.
At our third stop we had homemade gnocchi with Istrian beef boškarin ragout and a creamy buckwheat porridge with mushrooms washed down with malvasia white wine.
Next it was all about the wine at a wine bar. We had a sauvignon with a Slovenian trout tartare on bread. 75% of the wine produced in Slovenia is white. Though they also make orange wine (it is bright orange!), which is only really found in Slovenia and Italy. Where rose is made with red grapes, orange wine is made with white grapes. Both being in contact with the grape skins, though rose is only a few hours, orange wine is for 1-6 months.
Our dessert stop was a ice-cream shop. Of course Slovenians love ice-cream! I had a scoop of the Ljubljana which was cottage cheese and tarragon and Chris had lychee and candied lemon. They had a lot of unusual flavours which were fabulous. Our last stop was for some speciality coffee and a farewell to Meta and Julian.
We did our food tour with Ljubljananjam