The Taste of Slovenia 2014 tour has many new food experiences this year and offers the opportunity to meet the local people who are producing real and artisanal foods. The tour has a few places still available for interested persons. If you have been thinking about coming on the tour, you still have a chance to join us.
It’s truly amazing that such a small country as Slovenia offers so many new food venues to be discovered right around the corner which are absolutely unique. Even though it may be just over three hours from border to border, the geographical variation of Alps, mountain plateaus, valleys, seaside, plains, caves, and lake districts, offers many different terroirs which incorporate into a palette of tastes.
First of all, we congratulate the first Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader in Slovenia, Vesna Velišček, who will meet our guests at a reception the first night of the tour at the Ljubljana Castle, which is reached by means of a funicular railway (vzpenjaca). Vesna is a real food blogger at ” Slocally, Experience Slovenia with the Locals” http://www.slocally.com/ holds herbal walks, salve making and culinary classes.
New experiences on our tour include:
A picnic at a vineyard cottage, zidanice, which are native to the Dolenjsko region and are a vibrant and beloved part of the wine culture and tradition. The wine grown here is a ruby-red cviček like beaujolais but made from indigenous grapes with very low alcohol. Physicians recommend this wine for its high antioxidant properties. Cviček perhaps embodies the very soul of Slovenia. The vines are terraced high on the hills.
In the days of the Turkish invasions, people escaped to the hills where the invaders didn’t follow, building small houses. The tradition remains and the cottages now house the equipment for tilling the vineyards, making wine, and escaping from everyday village life far below in the valley. The cottages are alive with weekend parties and celebrations in the Fall, and picnics in the summer.
–The “Cooking Kids“ will demonstrate their culinary skills at opening night of the tour May 30, 2014 at Ljubljana Castle. The Weston A. Price Foundation supports “Cooking Kids,” a competition in its third year among grade school and middle-school teams intended to teach culinary skills and knowledge of traditional foods. Founded by Anka Peljhan, the program has become a national treasure. www.kuhnapato.si
–On a visit to Castle Otočec, the only water castle in Slovenia, we have a tour, a stroll, share a beverage on its sunny terrace. The Count will meet us and tell us about the history of the castle. The Castle swans greet us as we arrive at this beautiful place. Please read my blog on Castle Otočec here: http://wp.me/p18oI1-dc
–Taste of Slovenia guests can relax at the Dolenjska toplica, one of the oldest mineral water spas in Slovenia known for its healing properties. In addition to the three indoor and outdoor thermal poor, the spa includes “Wellness Balnea” which offers many treatments including chocolate and honey massage, mud therapy, grape leaf wraps, Finnish and Turkish sauna, as well as medical rehabilitation. Cosmetic treatments are available by prior arrangement. http://www.terme-krka.si/en/dolenjske/ and http://www.terme-krka.si/en/dolenjske/predstavitev/zgodovina/
–After an afternoon of thermal water, where better to refresh and recharge than at the Ošterija a small inn in the village near to the mineral spas where the food is Slow, well made and delicious, and wait staff and chefs are friendly and helpful. https://sl-si.facebook.com/Ostarija
–Skerlj prosciutto is made in the old, traditional way in the small village of Tomaj. The farm is the subject of an article in the New York Times, “Tasting Slovenian Cuisine Right at the Source.” http://nyti.ms/1rtOsQk
–Our water tour of Piran Bay Dr. Irena Fonda will pick us up at the pier in Piran with her new solar-powered boat, Inti to tour the family fish farm and nearby salt flats. After our water excursion, we have lunch at the Salt Flats sampling sea bass carpaccio prepared by Irena and, as a main dish, grilled Piran Bay brancin with plenty of local lemons.
–In addition we have a chance to celebrate the 2000 anniversary of Emona ( Ljubljana) with a Taste of Emona menu and torch-light tour of the old Roman Emona during a very special celebration. From my Taste of Slovenia blog: “Ljubljana Celebrates 2000-year anniversary as Roman Emona” http://wp.me/p18oI1-et
–Also new is cheese making at Velika Planina. This year we visit the Planina, the highest mountain plateau in the Slovenian Alps where we learn how to make the herder’s cheese trnic. Please read my blog about the Velika planina: “In the Foodsteps of Weston A. Price,” http://wp.me/p18oI1-cw
–After our cheese making at the Planina, we refresh at a local inn to sample the traditional “Taste Kamnik” food menu. http://en.kamnik-tourism.si/index.php/taste-kamnik/
Savinja High Alpine valley for our overnight in quiet majesty with the opportunity for hiking to nearby Rinka Waterfall and raw milk cooking lessons with Marjana at the Bed and Breakfast.
–A visit to an organic farm in the Barje, a distinct marshy plain with its own plants and wildlife, a true rarity in Europe today. We will taste the organic cold- pressed oils from hemp, rapeseed, walnut, and pumpkin seed. The farm also produces organic flours; as well as charcuterie from home-grown goat and donkey meat. Trnulja Farm can be accessed by boat on the Ljubljana River. http://www.ljubljanskobarje.si/?lang=en; http://www.trnulja.com/en/trnulja-home.php