Dive into…SLOVENIA (Tomaz)

Today, Tomaz introduces us to his country Slovenia and I instantly fell in love with his photos! Aren’t they amazing?

And I’m wondering, what Carniolan sausage tastes like….? Oh and beware of a slap on your butt! Why? Read the explanation here!

I got very curious and would instantly travel to Slovenia, you too? 😉

PS: I love slovenian dry sense of humor 🙂

 

 

A typical dish

Food is very important to Slovenians. It’s all about home produced and verified ingredients.

We could say that the tastes of Slovenia are the tastes of local nature:

 

vegetables from typical gardens, grains from local fields,

fruit from the orchards and forests of one of the most wooded countries in Europe,

traditionally prepared meat dishes and dairy goods from pastures,

and honey produced by the world-renowned Slovenian honeybees.

 

Laying on the crossroads of Europe, Slovenian gastronomy has been influenced by Italian, Germanic, Hungarian and Balkan cuisine, yet we managed to develop our own taste and there are many dishes that stand out as true Slovenian. I would definitely mention Carniolan sausage, which has a protected geographic indication. It is produced following a very specific procedure that has been faithfully used in accordance with the recipe from 1896.

 

 

As a dessert, everyone should try a peace of potica. This traditional pastry is a must for every holiday in Slovenia, be it Christmas, Easter or a family celebration. Since Slovenia boasts a wealth of culturally diverse regions with a variety of culinary traditions, there is a whole range of potica pastries to be found here, from simple nut rolls to veritable masterpieces with lavish fillings.

However, walnut potica is the most common and popular type; traditionally it should be baked inside a bread oven in a round, clay baking dish, usually handmade and modelled on the crown of Jesus Christ.

 

For the dough:

600 g flour

30 g yeast

0.2 l milk

140 g sugar

140 g butter

4 egg yolks

1 tsp sugar with vanilla

Grated lemon zest

For the filling:

600 g walnuts

0.3 l milk or, better yet, double cream

250 g sugar

2 tbsp rum

2-3 egg whites

 

 

Procedure:

  1. Mix together the yeast, a teaspoon of sugar, a teaspoon of flour and a few tablespoons of milk. Leave to rise for 15 minutes.
  2. To make the filling, pour hot double cream (or milk) and rum over the walnuts and sugar. Stir well. Beat the egg whites until stiff and gradually add to the mixture to make a creamy filling.
  3. To make the dough, place all the ingredients in a bowl and combine them to make a smooth dough. Roll out the dough, coat it with the filling, form into a tight roll and place it in a greased tin. Cover and leave to rise for about 60 minutes at room temperature.
  4. Bake at 180 °C for 60 minutes. When the potica is done, leave it in the tin to settle, then turn it out onto a wooden board and cover with a clean cloth. When the potica has cooled, you can sprinkle it with icing sugar.

 

Traditions

I would say gossiping. 🙂

Other than that Slovenians are very sporty and fun loving people. Hiking and mountaineering have many fans among Slovenians of all generation and every weekend from April to October our mountains are packed.

But there is one mountain to rule them all: Triglav is not only the highest peak but a symbol of Slovenians and their culture. It is said you are not a true Slovenian before you climb this 2864-meater peak in the heart of Julian Alps.

All the first timers are inaugurated with a special ceremony which includes slaps on the butt.

 

 

Besides being crazy about hiking, Slovenians love to party too. There are typical local parties held through all summer across almost every Slovenian village. Normally they are organized by local firemen brigade and almost always feature traditional accordion music also known in other Alpine countries such as Austria and Switzerland.

 

About school

School system in Slovenia in very similar to that of most westernized countries.

 

One thing I would point out is that university education is completely free for everyone.

Not only they don’t have to pay any tuitions,

students also get other benefits such as subsidized meals and dormitories.

 

Therefore the carefree student years the happiest period of almost every Slovenian. 🙂

There is downsize to free academic education though. Because almost everyone has a university diploma, it is losing its value and even high education does not guarantee you a better job. Therefore many young Slovenian are unemployed and many of them moved away from Slovenia, especial after the big economic crisis.

 

A typical day

A day in Slovenia is very similar to any other European country. Most people are at work from 8 to 16 while factory workers usually work 7 to 15 or even 6 to 14. That leaves plenty of time for afternoon activates.

People who live in the countryside like to do gardening and doing work around their houses while city folks go jogging. Family is very important for Slovenians and they like to spend their free time with relatives.

 

 

What I like most about my country

I like the fact that is so tiny. You can get anywhere in such short time. Even within a city you don’t have to waste hours in transit and weekend escapes from Ljubljana can be really easy. You don’t have to plan ahead. You can decide to go hiking in the mountains in the morning and swimming in the sea in the afternoon.

 

 

Thank you, Tomaz!

 

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