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Slovenian Christmas dishes | slovenia.si

Slovenian Christmas dishes | slovenia.si

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Published by: Slovenian Webclassroom on Jan 02, 2011
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05/12/2014

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Potica. Photo: Tomo Jeseni
č
nik 
 You are here: VisitCuisineModern Culinary Trends
Slovenian Christmas dishes
December 2010There are a great many Christmas dishes in Slovenia.These dishes differ from each other not just in terms of region, but also in historical period, a variety of influences and also in whether they pertain to the urban bourgeoisie or rural folk. As far asChristmas dishes and drinks are concerned, the rural circles are especially traditional, archaic and inmany respects ritualised. The old “order” was well-established and pretty simple. For this festival it was obligatory to partake of dishes that included honey, poppy seeds, dried fruit, millet, walnuts,hazelnuts and beans. These dishes were alsostrongly linked to veneration of the departed, who at thisimportant time of year came to “visit” their k in; the memory of this is still alive in Slovenia.The ritual dishes include numerous special kinds of  bread, cakes, pies, strudels and most particularly,potica roll cakes. This is an original Slovenian culinary speciality, known throughout Slovenia in variousnames and versions (povitica, optica, gubana,gubanca, gobana, poga
č
a), and featuring a wide variety of fillings. Even back in the 19th century we“exported” it to neighbouring countries, and today itis known almost throughout the world. It was firstmentioned in 1575. To begin with it was an upperclass food, but later spread to the peasant class, too.Originally potica was a ritual Christmas dish, but for along time it has also been an obligatory Easter blessing food. Traditionally there are around 60 typesof potica, but today there are something like 120recipes for it.
Slovenia’s greatest gourmands include the people of 
Š
tajerska
 
Gibanica. Photo: Tomo Jeseni
č
nik Bakala na belo, an obligatory Christmas dish inPrimorska. Photo: Tomo Jeseni
č
nik 
In Prlekija people would eat bosman, decorated milk  bread with eggs, potica, white coffee or tea plus wineor spirits for breakfast; for lunch beef or chicken soup with noodles, soup with pork or turkey giblets,poultry, for instance a stuffed chicken, roast goose,roast turkey with stuffing and flat cakes, boiled beef,roast pork, wine sauces, pickled cabbage with flourthickener, sautéed potatoes, rice, horseradish withcream or apples, various salads, compotes and fruit bread (in Haloze, for instance, the specially spicedkrhljak).In Prekmurje tables featured the special vrtanik breadand gènjene (leavened, risen) cakes – walnut and poppy seed potica. During the day they offered thenow EU-protected prekmurska gibanica cake, krapci stuffed rolls, bread pastries such as reta
š
i and bibe and cakes such as kuglof or moudla. In that area the special Christmas fruit bread made of apricots, pears, plums, walnuts, hazelnuts, figs and raisins is called pastirski kruh (herdsman’s bread). Alongside various soups, such as cream of cep mushroom soup, there were numerous side dishes suchas keber, a salad of thick beans doused with pumpkin seed oil, and of course specially stuffed duck.In addition to the krapci, something very typical of Koro
š
ka is
č
isava
ž
upa, a sour cream soup withdiced lamb, and nabulana prata, a special stuffed roast.For Christmas in the Lo
š
ka valley in the Notranjska region they bake carob potica and prepare a finelunch. They would bake pastries in the shape of tiny doves for little girls and little birds for boys. OnChristmas Eve the table would also feature a crackling potica –
š
pehovka or povanca.
different world in Primorska
Even in the Idrija area
ž
likrofi, a protected Slovenianfood of dough parcels, are something special, but once you get to the neighbouring Primorska regioneverything is quite different. This is theMediterranean area, which itself is divided regionally into Gori
š
ka and Brda, Vipavska, the coast and Istria,so there are considerable differences in Christmasdishes there, too. Of course in this area for Christmas,apart from guba(nc)a, a different kind of stuffedpresnec cake, made from filo dough, and pinca,leavened pastry, traditionally they eat entirely different dishes from those elsewhere in Slovenia. Inmany parts of that region, gubanca is substituted atChristmas by cheese rolls (there are in fact dozens of varieties in Slovenia) and doughnuts or similarfried, savoury and sardine-filled fancl(j)i, which could also be a sweet Christmas pudding, and similarfritole and kro
š
toli, which are without filling.The festive table in the Kobarid area features certain famous but slightly differently prepared dishes(soup with pork or beef) plus the traditional boiled (and not roast) chicken, boiled mutton, roast localrabbit, pocrt krompir (a special fried potato recipe), sweet cabbage, carrot salad, po
š
toklja, a “pressed”dish of cabbage, bulja (a stuffing for strudel or roll cakes), flat cakes, pies, sweet bread and, of course,

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