The Slovenia Times

Slovenia becomes European Regions of Gastronomy 2021


Slovenia has 24 gastronomic regions, and 365 dishes and drinks typical or a certain region or town, which sounds like heaven, as you can taste one every day in a year, Slovenian Ambassador to Belgium Rado Genorio said at the ceremony, which was held at the Slovenian Permanent Representation to the EU.

The title awarded by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT) was accepted by Agriculture Ministry State Secretary Tanja Strniša and Eva Štravs Podlogar from the Economy Ministry.

"We strongly believe we can present the essence of our country through gastronomy," Strniša said, pointing to several local dishes such as honey made by indigenous bees, wine that was drunk already in Ancient Roman times and salt from the northern-most Adriatic salt works.

The state secretary also noted that "we can be proud that many Slovenian products are protected at the EU level, for instance the Teran wine, Kranjska Klobasa sausage, or Prekmurska Gibanica cake and Tolminec cheese.

Portugal and Slovenia will preside over the EU in the same year when Coimbra and entire Slovenia hold the prestigious gastronomy title. Slovenia's representatives believe this will present an additional opportunity to promote Slovenian cuisine.

The title is especially important for Slovenian tourism, offering another opportunity for Slovenia to become globally known as a superb gastronomic destination based on sustainability and offering five-star experiences, according to the Slovenian Tourist Organisation (STO).

"When God created the world, he gave something to every country. When he arrived in Slovenia, he said he will keep it to himself," is how ethnologist Janez Bogataj, one of the country's four ambassadors of the European Region of Gastronomy, described Slovenia's treasures.

Bogataj is also the editor of the book which Slovenia had to produce as part of its bid for the title, Okusiti Slovenijo (Taste Slovenia), in which Slovenia laid out its vision and goals, and listed activities related to the development of gastronomy.

Sixteen partners, including the STO and several ministries, are working on Slovenia's gastronomy project, which is estimated at 4.3 million euro.

The European Region of Gastronomy was launched in 2016, but this is the first time that an entire country was awarded the title, with only parts of countries so far declared regions of gastronomy. This year, the title is held by Galway in Ireland and North Brabant in the Netherlands.

The participants of today's ceremony, which was held as part of the European Week of Regions and Cities, could taste various foods from both Slovenia and Coimbra.


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