Slovenian cuisine (Slovene: slovenska kuhinja) is influenced by the diversity of Slovenia‘s landscape, climate, history and neighbouring cultures. In 2016, the leading Slovenian ethnologists divided the country into 23 gastronomic regions.:15
The first Slovene-language cookbook was published by Valentin Vodnik in 1798.
Foods and dishes
Soups are a relatively recent invention in Slovenian cuisine, but there are over 100. Earlier there were various kinds of porridge, stew and one-pot meals. The most common soups without meat were lean and plain. A typical dish is aleluja, a soup made from turnip peels and a well-known dish during fasting. The most common meat soup is beef soup with noodles, which is often served on Sunday as part of a Sunday lunch (beef soup, fried potatoes, fried steak and lettuce). On feast days and holidays there is often a choice of beef noodle soup or creamy mushroom soup.
Pork is popular and common everywhere in Slovenia. Poultry is also often popular. There is a wide variety of meats in different parts of Slovenia. In White Carniola and the Slovenian Littoral mutton and goat are eaten. On St. Martin’s Day people feast on roasted goose, duck, turkey, or chicken paired with red cabbage and mlinci. In Lower Carniola and Inner Carniola, they used to eat roasted dormouse and quail. Until the crayfish plague in the 1880s the noble crayfish was a source of income and often on the menu in Lower Carniola and Inner Carniola.
Dandelion is popular as a salad ingredient in Slovenia and has been gathered in the fields for centuries. Even today dandelion and potato salad is highly valued. Since it can be picked only for a short time in early spring, much is made of it. Families go on dandelion picking expeditions, and pick enough for a whole week. In the Middle Ages people ate acorns and other forest fruits, particularly in times of famine. Chestnuts were valued, and served as the basis for many outstanding dishes. Walnuts and hazelnuts are used in cakes and desserts. Wild strawberries, loganberries, blackberries, bilberries were a rich source of vitamins. Mushrooms have always been popular, and Slovenians liked picking and eating them. There are many varieties. Honey was used to a considerable extent. , which come in different shapes are honey cakes, which are most commonly heart-shaped and are often used as gifts.
Protected foodstuffs and food products
- , a product from Prlekija in eastern Slovenia, made of minced lard and pork.
- (ptujski lük), a sort of onion of a cordate shape, with red inspiration, whereas the edge has a more intensive purple hue.
- (ekstra deviško oljčno olje Slovenske Istre), a little bitter and spicy oil with a strong fruit aroma, produced in the Slovenian Istria, contains a large amount of oleic acid and biphenols.
- (nanoški sir), made of cow milk, hard, with small holes in the size of peas, a little sweet and spicy.
- (kočevski gozdni med), produced in the wider Kočevje area.
- , an air-dried meat product from the , made of high-quality bacon and pork meat, filled in pig stomach.
- , produced in the areas around Cerkno and Idrija, made of high-quality bacon and pork meat, filled in pig stomach.
- Idrija žlikrofi (idrijski žlikrofi), small boiled dumplings filled with potatoes, onions, and lards.
- prekmurska gibanica, a pastry from Prekmurje, made of eight layers, contains poppy seeds, walnuts, apples, raisins, and ricotta fillings.
- (sir Tolminc), made of raw cow milk in the area of Tolmin, tastes sweet and spicy.
- (belokranjska pogača), a traditional flatbread from White Carniola.
- (kraški pršut), produced in the traditional way on the Karst Plateau in southwestern Slovenia.
- (kraški zašink), a cylindrically-shaped meat product from the cured pork neck meat in a casing
Traditional Slovenian dishes
Soups and stews
- Jota, Vipavska kisla juha, Vipava sour soup
- Prežganka is Slovenian national soup made of flour, caraway seeds and beaten eggs
- Štajerska kisla juha is a sour soup that originates from Lower Styria. It’s prepared at the feast of koline (pig slaughter) from the pork pettitoes and parts of the pig’s head.
- Ajdovi žganci, žganci is a dish in Slovenian cousine. It’s similar to polenta, although prepared with finer grains. Balthasar Hacquet (1739–1815) mentions that žganci was served with sauerkraut in Upper Carniola.
- Fritaja (see also frittata) is a Croatian and Slovenian dish. Both are specialties in Istria. They are especially common in the springtime, as at that time there are many plants and vegetables such as wild asparagus, wild hops, herbs, chicory, tomatoes, young garlic sprouts and spices available to add to egg. Fritaje are many times prepared throughout the year with ham, mushrooms, sausages, bacon, white or red wine.
- Idrijski žlikrofi
- Kaša is a dish commonly eaten in Eastern Europe. At least a thousand years old, kasha is one of the oldest known dishes in Eastern European Slavic cuisine.
- Močnik is made from cereals such as buckwheat, maize, wheat, millet, rye, or oats in either milk, cream or soured cream.
Desserts and pastries
- Strategija razvoja gastronomije Slovenije [The Strategy of the Development of the Gastronomy of Slovenia] (PDF) (in Slovenian). Maribor Multidisciplinary Research Institute, University of Maribor; Slovenian Tourist Board. May 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-03.
- “DOOR”. European Commission. 29 June 2015.
- Traditional slovenian cookery. Adamlje Slavko, 1997. Mladinska knjiga. ISBN 8611150449
- Taste Slovenia. Bogataj Janez, 2007. Rokus Gifts. ISBN 978-961-6531-39-9
- Molokhovets, Elena. Classic Russian Cooking. Indiana University Press, 1998. Page 331.