Slovenia is this year's European Region of Gastronomy, which is not surprising as its rich and varied gastronomic heritage tells a telling story. With its variety of flavours and a long culinary tradition, Slovenia has become a full member of the European Region of Gastronomy network in the year when it holds the presidency of the Council of the EU.
The project "Slovenia - the European Region of Gastronomy 2021" includes opportunities for education in healthy and sustainable living and sustainable development of gastronomy. It strengthens the national promotion of cuisine and gastronomy and creates synergy with local environments and cultures. As part of the project, Slovenia works to improve the quality of life in the entire region by promoting and highlighting unique culinary cultures, providing education in healthy and sustainable living and encouraging innovation in gastronomy.
The facts speak for themselves that Slovenia is very interesting in terms of gastronomy. Last year, Slovenians received their first Michelin stars, which were awarded to five restaurants. A total of 52 Slovenian restaurants received Michelin awards. When last year Slovenian gastronomy was celebrated for the first time by the Michelin Guide, Gwendal Poullennec, the International Director of the Michelin Guides, commented: "Ever since the very first Michelin Guide was published nearly 120 years ago, our mission has been to discover the finest culinary destinations around the world. Slovenia is undeniably one of them, thanks particularly to its abundant natural resources which enable extremely high-quality ingredients to be produced and then enhanced by chefs across the country."
The restaurants of Gostilna pri Lojzetu, Dam, Hiša Denk, Atelje and Vila Podvin received one star each, and Hiša Franko received two stars - an achievement unparalleled in the region. In Hiša Franko, visitors may taste food created by the best chef in the world - Ana Roš.
And because the harmony of food and drink is part of the gastronomic pleasure, it should be mentioned that Slovenia is also an exceptional, if little known, wine country. Slovenia's natural features allow the cultivation of different wine grape varieties, including indigenous varieties, which is also evidenced by winemakers who surprise and convince wine lovers on world markets with wines of exceptional quality.
And when it comes to wine, size is relative. Slovenia's small geographical size says little about the quality of its wines. Just for comparison - Slovenian vineyards are only a fifth the size of German vineyards and only produce a tenth of the grapes that German vineyards produce. That makes all Slovenian wines all the more boutique.
Slovenia has three wine-growing regions, Primorska, Posavje and Podravje. Each of them offers a range of exceptional wines produced in a number of wine-growing districts. Among the wines, indigenous Slovenian wines deserve a special mention.
As with other experiences, there is one most important rule when it comes to gastronomic experiences - you can only go so far in describing such an experience in words, in the end you must experience it. Slovenia offers a remarkable range of experiences. Therefore: welcome to Slovenia, a country where you can write your own story of gastronomic experience.