Slovenian Food: 5 Fall-Winter Dishes You Absolutely Have to Try

Slovenian Food: 5 Fall-Winter Dishes You Absolutely Have to Try

Slovenians take pride in their rich culinary tradition based on seasonal ingredients and the freshest produce. From Prekmurje in the northeast to Istria in the southwest – the country has emerged as a full-on foodie destination.

Here, we wanted to focus on the 5 fall-winter traditional Slovene dishes which help you warm up and stay strong (and healthy) during the colder months.

1.)  Jota

In the colder months (usually from November to March) it’s time for hearty soups in Slovenia – with jota (read as yota) definitely on the top of the home and restaurant menus.

There are many variations of this Slovenian food throughout the country. In some parts, Slovenians prepare it with with beans, onions, sour cabbage, potatoes, and, sometimes, smoked pork ribs. In other parts of Slovenia, it is made without potatoes or is eaten with polenta. Jota with sour turnip is also very common.

You can find different versions of jota in the Karst, Istria and the Vipava Valley.

Meat jota with sour turnip. (Photo: Cook Eat Slovenia)

Though jota is basically a winter dish, sometimes Slovenes prepare it in the summer, usually after the weather cools down.

2.) Ričet

Ričet or Slovenian barley thick soup is made with barley and beans, and served with rye bread.

While ričet (read as richet) could certainly be made vegan, traditional Slovenian one would include Carniolan sausage (kranjska klobasa) or a slice of bacon. This popular ‘spoon dish’ (jed na žlico) has also been associated with the Slovene mountaineering culture.

Traditional Slovene ričet from Tončkov dom na Lisci mountain lodge.

3.) Pečenica (fried sausage), sauerkraut and potatoes with pork cracklings

 ‘Pečenica‘ sausage is almost as popular as the Carniolan one. It is served ‘s prilogo’ – a side dish usually consisting of boiled sauerkraut/cabbage or sour turnip, boiled potatoes and cracklings (ocvirki).

You can, if you prefer, opt for ‘matevž’ – a version of mashed potato with brown beans – instead of potatoes. According to the locals, matevž is also a perfect food during wintertime.

This real Slovenian comfort food will give you energy to carry on with your chores even in the coldest weather.

Pečenica, sauerkraut and potatoes with cracklings (Photo credits: Cook Eat Slovenia)

4.) Potato goulash with kranjska klobasa

Surely you’ve heard of goulash before, since it’s also a very popular dish in our neighbouring countries Hungary, Austria and Croatia.

Originating in Hungary, goulash is a soup or stew of meat and vegetables seasoned with paprika and other spices.

However, for a ‘Slovenian twist’ we make our own version – with the famous Slovenian kranjska klobasa sausage!

Potato goulash with kranjska klobasa (Photo: Cook Eat Slovenia)

Goulash is filling and nutritious, and therefore just perfect for the winter days.

5.) Krvavica (blood sausage) & ajdovi žganci

During the winter coldness, particularly in January and February, heavy and filling pork sausage known as ‘krvavica’ is very commonly served.

Krvavica is usually consumed with a side dish of pickled cabbage or potatoes. Combination with the traditional ‘ajdovi žganci‘ (buckwheat hard-boiled mush) is also very popular. Though ajdovi žganci used to be considered a poor person’s food and a substitute for bread, they are considered a Slovenian speciality today.

Krvavica, cabbage and ajdovi žganci flavoured with pork cracklings  (ocvirki).

Can’t make it to Slovenia but you’d like to eat like a local? NOW is your chance to cook Slovenian food at home & discover Slovenian cuisine through a Cook Eat Slovenia cookbook!

Cook Eat Slovenia cookbook has won two awards at one of the world’s most prestigious cookbook competitions ‘Gourmand World Cookbook Awards’, and ranked among Top 3 in the world.

Get your traditional recipes from Slovenia HERE!

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