The Slovenia Times

Native Romantic



The polemics over what things are typically Slovenian, how they should be traded and what laws would need to be implemented to protect these trademarks, began immediately after it was officially declared that Slovenia would enter the EU. Some of the so-called "most typical" aliments have already been protected by law, while others are still in the legal "waiting room". Let's take a look at what the people of this country consider as being the most important representatives of their country in the big wide world. "The kozolec is one of the most distinctive features of Slovenia, but unfortunately one of the lesser known. The kozolec (hayrack) is a free standing, permanent, mainly wooden, vertical, open but roofed structure for drying and storing hay and grain. It exists exclusively on ethnically Slovene territory", states Dr Juvanec from the Faculty of Architecture. A number of excellent examples can be seen on the left-hand side of the road, when driving from Jesenice towards Kranjska gora, in the magnificent countryside beneath Mt. Spik. Lipica is the home of the Lipica Stables, founded in 1580 by Charles, Archduke of Vienna. The stables were the property of the Viennese Court until 1918. Lipizzaner horses, which are considered to be the finest riding horses in the world, are dark when born and gradually lighten to a brilliant white as they reach maturity. Only those horses born at the stud farm are branded with an "L" on their left cheek to attest to their authenticity. To add a little detail, the Swedish royal couple, who visited Slovenia recently, told the Slovenian press that their daughter, Crown princess Victoria, owns two Lipizzaner horses. If you randomly ask someone on the street what he or she considers to be the most typical Slovenian food, without a doubt you will get the answer, potica. The rolled walnut bread has been prepared and served at all major celebrations, such as weddings, Easter and Christmas, for centuries. Almost every guidebook lists it as the most typical Slovenian pastry.ΓΏ Prekmurska gibanica is a traditional sweet that has its roots in the north-east of Slovenia and it has now been gazetted. This ensures that anything purporting to be gibanica has been made using specific types and measures of ingredients and cooked in a particular manner. It takes a lot of time and dedication, and quite some skill to make this rich, 3-layered pudding made of apples, poppy seeds and cottage cheese. As a country noted for its good wines, Slovenia has an obligation to protect the vines that they are produced from; teran and cvicek being two of the most famous ones. Teran is a red wine made from a variety of Refosk grapes grown in the mineral-rich terra rossa soils of karst areas that have a particularly high iron content. Traditionally, it should be "black as rabbit's blood"; the extended maceration required to produce such a dark hue is considered exaggerated today. It is a full-blooded wine (no pun intended!), rich in extract with a special, velvety taste and a pleasant earthy bouquet; its predominant and characteristic fragrance is raspberry. The "aged" taste is complemented by a spectrum of fruity hues and aromas: very pronounced blueberry and detectable aromas of raspberry and blackcurrant. Teran is very aromatic, rich with acids, tannin, and extract, but still balanced - a wine with a strong personality. Cvicek is a merry and youthful wine and, owing to the fact that it relishes marlacious soils, it is reputed to have healing properties. It is very popular amongst diabetics, as it is dry with a minimal unfermented sugar content. In the Middle Ages the Dolenjska region was a constituent part of the Kranjska march and its wine was called "marvin" (from German Marwein from Markwein), which was attested to by the writings of Valvasor, a famous seventeenth-century Slovene historian. With the abolition of old viticultural systems, people started to neglect their vineyards and the vines steadily decayed. Consequently, the quality of the wine started to decline and it became increasingly sour, leading people to refer to it as cvicek (cvicek is an old Slovene word denoting very sour wine) and somehow the name stuck; allegedly because of its similarity to the synonymous German expression zwikt. This is only a short selection of the most distinctive Slovenian trademarks that could be used to represent this country abroad. Slovenian cuisine is responsible for a wide selection of dishes and we will present the recipes of the most typical and well-known of these in forthcoming issues of the Slovenia Times.


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