Slovenia and Portugal are both part of the current Presidency Trio and the two countries share another thing in common as this year they both hold the title of European Region of Gastronomy.
Slovenia lies at the meeting point of the Alps, Mediterranean, Pannonian Plain and the Balkans, so its culinary image reflects the influences of the Alpine, Mediterranean and Pannonian regions. Slovenia's territory is divided into 24 gastronomic regions featuring 430 typical ingredients, dishes and drinks. Slovenia also has a carefully built gastronomic pyramid, while the selection of local and regional ingredients, dishes and drinks provides firm guidelines for culinary and gastronomic visibility and promotion.
Traditional Slovenian cuisine is based on cereals, fresh dairy products, meat, fish, vegetables, potatoes, olives and prosciutto. Depending on the region, it combines the influences of the rural and bourgeois classes and various monastic orders.In addition to the exceptional cuisine, an impressive variety of Slovenian wines ensures superb culinary delights.
Cuisine is also featured in the promotional gifts of the Slovenian Presidency, which include packages containing Slovenian culinary specialities. The packages also include a book of traditional Slovenian recipes compiled by Sister Nikolina Rop, with the help of chef Uroš Štefalin.
Sister Nikolina comes from Lenart in Slovenske Gorice. She finished the Secondary Home Economics School in St. Ruprecht bei Völkermark in Austria. There, she met Sister Vendelina, entered the teaching order and took over the home economics courses. She has shared her culinary knowledge with many generations and there is still a long waiting list for her culinary classes. Sister Nikolina has been diligently collecting Slovenian recipes and her cookbooks are legendary - there is hardly a household in Slovenia without a book of Sister Nikolina's recipes on a shelf.
The recipes included in the Slovenian Presidency's recipe book are not too difficult to bring from paper to a pot in a home kitchen. They are selected so as to allow you to prepare an entire meal - from soup to main course, to salad and dessert. The majority of the dishes are easy to prepare and delicious to eat. The only dish that might give you trouble is potica, the Slovenian cult dessert, without which no Slovenian holiday is complete. But believe us, it is worth the effort. Dober tek (Enjoy your meal)!