The Slovenian Tourist Board recently predicted a 60-70% fall in related business for 2020, and with no word yet on when cafés, restaurants, spas and hotels will be reopening there’s a profound sense of gloom within the travel, tourism and hospitality sector, even as the days get longer and warmer.
But things will eventually recover, or evolve, and one focus for the rebirth of tourism in Slovenia is the fact that in 2021 the country will take its place as a European Region of Gastronomy. The culmination of many years’ efforts, and a key achievement of the 2017–2021 Strategy for the Sustainable Growth of Slovenian Tourism project (PDF), which aims to expand the areas people travel to, and the range of activities they try.
To prepare the ground for 2021 the Slovenian Tourist Board has been publishing a series of brochures and books, the latest of which is an 84-page guide to the country in its emerging role as culinary destination. It’s a beautifully photographed and well-designed guide to Slovenian gastronomy, as broken down into four broad regions: Alpine, Mediterranean & Karst, Ljubljana & Central, and Thermal Pannonian.
It not only presents an overview of the variety of food and drink on offer in each of these areas – themselves encompassing 24 gastronomic regions – but also gives details of the best chefs, restaurants and inns, culinary events, souvenirs you can eat and drink, and so on. The free pdf is available here in English, German, Italian, French and Slovenian, with the latter making the publication an ideal dual text if you want some colourful learning material going over all the terms you’ll need to talk about food and drink in Slovenia and beyond.
If you’d like to go a little deeper into Slovenian cuisine, then the Tourist Board has also produced this pdf guide to all 24 of the country’s gastronomic regions, with more great photos and descriptions of the many dishes and delicacies you can find in this small nation. Note that there are, however, no recipes, for which your best bet is probably the Cook Eat Slovenia cookbook, or even our own list of recipes. Wine lovers are also directed to another more extensive guide from the Tourist Board, which goes into far more depth with regard to the country’s wine-growing areas, with a focus on Slovenia’s wine roads.