Maribor (pronounced [ˈmaːɾibɔɾ] is, as the capital of the traditional region of Lower Styria (Štajerska), the second largest city in the country, with about 96,000 inhabitants in 2015. At the same time Maribor is wonderfully nestled in the embrace of the green Pohorje Mountains on one side and the picturesque wine-growing hills on the other. The city is located by the Drava River and in its centre grows the oldest – over 450 years old – vine in the world.
With its diversity and quality offers, surrender to the best that can be offered in one of Slovenia’s key tourist destinations.
Cuisine of Slovenija
There is no such thing as a single, uniform, distinct Slovenian cuisine. In the opinion of some experts, there are more than 40 distinct cuisines in a country, whose main distinguishing feature is a great variety and diversity of land formation, climate, wind movements, humidity, terrain and history.
In the north-east there is the expanse of the Pannonian plain, in the east, the green and hilly Dolenjska region, in the south the Karst and the Adriatic coastline, in the north-west the Alps, the Barje marshes and the wine producing hills of Štajerska. All these factors influenced the development of the great variety and range represented by Slovenian cooking.
To give some examples: crabs are found only in the rivers of Notranjska, pršut (Karst leg ham) can be dried only by the winds of Karst and the coast.
In addition, Slovenia is a borderland country. It borders on four states with established and distinct national cuisines. From each Slovenians have borrowed culinary specialties, adapting them and making them their own. “Bograč” of Prekmurje has its origins in Hungarian goulash (its name taken from the clay- pot called “bograč”), the”žlinkrofi”of Idria were adapted from Italian ravioli. Such borrowing and adaptation is common to all countries (there are very few genuine American dishes). Since Slovenian neighbours have superb cuisines, Slovenians have acquired some of that excellence.
There are few autochtonous Slovenian dishes. Among these may be counted “žganci”, potica and “pogača” (round cake), named according to the filling “ocvirkovka” (from “ocvirki”. crackling) and “špehovka”(from “špeh”, bacon). So popular were these Slovenian specialties, that they spread to the neighbouring countries.
Generally speaking, Slovenian food is heavy, meaty and plain. A typical three-course meal starts with a soup (juha), often just beef ( goveja) or chicken (piščančja) broth with egg noodles (rezanci), and then a meat dish served with potatoes (krompir) and a vinegary fresh salad (solata). Fresh bread (kruh) is often served on the side and is uniformly delicious.
Uniquely Slovenian dishes are available, but you won’t find them on every menu, so here are some to look out for:
Kraški pršut – air-dried ham, similar to but not the same as Italian prosciutto
štruklji – dumplings which Slovenians prepare in 70 different ways stuffed with sweet fillings, meat or vegetables
žganci – a type of polenta (ajdovi žganci are made of buckwheat)
žlikrofi – potato dumplings similar to gnocchi, specialty of the Idrija region
jota – a type of soup made of beans, sauerkraut, potatoes, bacon, spare ribs, and the main seasoning is garlic.
Some Slovenian desserts can also be found:
potica – a type of nut roll for holiday occasions also prepared with the widest variety of fillings.
gibanica – a very heavy cakelike pastry of poppy seeds, walnuts, apples, raisins, cheese etc, topped with cream