“Well, you really have some potatoes!”
In Slovenia, this saying means that someone is really lucky. That Slovenians love potatoes is evident from the fields where local varieties are grown, as well as from restaurant menus where potato dishes are the most common side dish. That potatoes are highly regarded in Slovenia is evident from the monument to potatoes and Maria Theresa in Šenčur and the numerous potato holidays and festivals.
Traditional potato dishes
Among the traditional dishes that you can learn about in greater detail as the Tastes of Slovenia, potato dishes are typical for all 24 regions of Slovenia. Without potatoes there would be no typical stews (jota, matevž) and dumplings (Kostel potato dumplings, kocovi krapi pockets), they go well with žganci (mush; Pohorje olbič), eggs (krumpentoč – omelettes with grated potatoes, frika – omelette with potatoes and cheese), and skuta curd cheese (čompe – potatoes and skuta); as a filling, you can find them in well-known local dishes, such as idrija žlikrofi (dumplings stuffed with potatoes, onions, etc.) and štruklji (filled dumplings). Since the 19th century, the most widely known and popular dish in Slovenia, especially on Saturdays and Sundays, and eaten during the week as well, has been roast potatoes.
Potatoes in Ljubljana
Roast potatoes are also a mandatory dish for a typical lunch in the capital of Slovenia. The Ljubljana lunch is offered in many catering establishments. If you want to enjoy some roast potatoes served with the Carniolan Sausage, you can also visit e.g. Druga violina. Traditional Slovenian dishes are served at this small restaurant by people with special needs.
Roast potatoes as a distinct dish
Since 2001, the Society for the Recognition of Roasted Potatoes as a Distinct Dish has been organising the annual World Roast Potato Festival, where visitors can taste this potato dish prepared in over a hundred ways. The festival usually takes place in September, and is held in a different place every year. The Society is also responsible for the erection of a potato monument, which can be seen in Šenčur, a place that is said to be the home to the most potato farmers in Slovenia. The monument to this venerable tuber is also a monument to Empress Maria Theresa, who introduced mandatory potato planting in Slovenian crown lands during her reign in the 18th century.
Potato festivals around Slovenia
The World Roast Potato Festival is only one of the unusual festivals that you can experience in different parts of Slovenia. Every region also offers festivals celebrating various dishes, including a plethora of those involving potatoes. In the countryside, these festivals include largest potato competitions, and games such as potato throwing or blindfolded potato digs. In Bovec, a Potato Night (Čomparska Noč) is organised every year in August. Čompe is potatoes cooked in large amounts and filled with local sheep skuta cheese.
Explore other culinary events and shows in Slovenia as well. Follow the calendar of events!