I know… you’re thinking… this is yet another cooking blog, but as far as I know, this is the first one talking about Slovenian cuisine. Why? Probably because my country is so small that many people have no idea that it exists, and there is something special about it too. You know, every time I meet new people the conversation doesn’t stop right after they hear where I’m from, but it actually begins (and I admit, it can be annoying sometimes). Well, if you say you’re from Italy they all have heard about it and they all think about pasta so there is nothing more to discuss. But I guess if you have no idea about Slovenia, you can’t really think about anything usually that Slovenia must be somewhere near Russia. WRONG! Of course then I tell people it’s an ex-Yugoslavian country and most of them at first think about war and probably some Balkan food. Well I must be clear about this in the beginning, so there will be no confusion later on.
Slovenia is a country with 2 million people (yea it’s small), war actually lasted for 9 days and then we were independent, Republic of Slovenia. Because the country is so small you can easily drive through in 5 hours. It’s in between Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary and in the past Slovenia was part of many different nations, including the Roman Empire followed by the Habsburg Monarchy and later on occupied by Germany and Italy during World War II. All that mixture of nations on our ground in the past left traces in our cuisine. Our authentic food was influenced by Austrian, Hungarian, Italian, Balkan and Mediteranian food throughout the years, so it’s really diverse, interesting and good.
Slovenia is a really green country and a lot of food is processed at home. People are gardening and you can also find all kinds of fruit gardens. There are many farms at least they were before life became faster and foreign supermarkets came on the market with food already prepared or frozen, and soon after that most of our local stores followed that trend. Nothing so special anymore, I know, but I can still remember the only frozen thing we had in the freezer was french fries but now you can get whole frozen dinner plates. My mum would go to farmers and buy meat there, organic, healthy meat from animals fed with real food, which is hard to find now-a-days when almost every chicken meat crumbles off the bone when you just touch it, dead meat I call it. Anyway, what I wanted to say is that even though we now have so many choices, most people in Slovenia is still gardening and almost every day they still cook at home. Frozen dishes are there just for emergency if there is no time to cook.
And then I came to New York, where nobody cooks, well, not nobody but most people eat out, just a few meals are prepared at home, usually cereal for breakfast. And I get it, there is no time to cook, maybe on a day off, but on working days not a chance. Life is too fast and around every corner there is some yummy restaurant, so why not go eat out and taste food from all over the world. On every street there are at least 5 Chinese, some Indian, some Italian and 10 different fast food restaurants. My god! I miss having that much choice sometimes.
After moving to the South I realized that American people cook, I mean they cook a lot and good! I realized this last year for Thanksgiving, everything was so good, real food, I mean no fast food at all. Sweet potatoes casserole, turkey of course, green beans casserole and much more. And everything reminded me of home, I realized everybody does not eat just fast food. Americans can cook (sorry Americans, no offence please). And so I started exploring Southern food, all those new tasty flavors and combining it with my Slovenian recipes.
So tasty and tempting,. Let’s make you cook some delicious food but don’t let it tempt you too much, 😉 we don’t want more fat people around, take care of your health and eat good!
More about Slovenia cuisine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slovenian_cuisine
I FEEL SLOVENIA page: http://www.slovenia.info/en/Home.htm?home=0&lng=2