Eating your way in Prekmurje region
There are significant differences between Prekmurje region and my Goriška region on the western part of Slovenia. While the Sun rises and shines upon mostly flat area of Slovenian Far east, people of Wild west admire orange-red sunsets over the surrounding hills of Soca valley. What is more, each part is proud of its own queen of dessert: Miss Far east Gibanica and Miss Wild west “gobanca”, in other parts of Slovenia also called potica 🙂
Prekmurje region was on my to do list for almost a year. The flattest region (of course you will find hills with vineyards here as well) in Slovenia has its place in the northeastern part – right in the center of our chicken’s head 🙂 Yes, Slovenia has a shape of a chicken.
Prekmurje as a tourist destination is best known for floating mills on Mura river, storks, spas AND outstanding indigenous foods. Dear foodies and food lovers, are you ready to enter the food paradise in Prekmurje region which is known for its rich culinary heritage? Take your time and begin your gastronomic adventure!
While exploring Prekmurje region, we stopped by Carda restaurant. Jernej, the owner, greeted us with a big smile. He took us around his restaurant which can host as many as 400 people.
I felt in love with the menu. Even though it is written in Slovenian language, you can get a feeling of Prekmurje dialect (did you know that in Slovenia there are more than 56 dialects?!).
They pay special attention to children. Each child gets a small gift in addition to the mini portion of food. And what is a special surprise? Well, colorful pencils, apron to be painted and storks color stories. Very innovative idea.
And what we tasted at Carda restaurant? The starter was prekmurska tünka with lard and onions, then we switched to bograč stew and gipsy roast with garlic sauce and baked dödoli (Jernej brought us dödoli with sauer cream and onion as well so we could compare 2 different types of it – couldn’t decide which tastes better, so we have to visit him again) and we ended our culinary journey with a sweet dessert called gibanica.
The portions are super big and I am sure after finishing aforementioned menu your stomach will only have some space left for a glass of wine.
To sum up, I will share with you my top 5 local dishes from you should taste while exploring Prekmurje region.
My top 5 local tastes from Prekmurje region
Prekmurska gibanica is a number one dessert in Prekmurje. There are as many Prekmurje cakes as there are housewives who are making it. Certified recipe for multilayered pastry Prekmurska gibanica contains 8 layers with the following fillings (exactly in this order!): first poppy seeds, following with cottage cheese, then ground walnuts and apples. Each filling is separated with special usually home made dough. Definitely Prekmurska gibanica is on my I-should-try-to-bake list.
Dödoli represents very old Prekmurje dish. And a real local specialty. Even though dödoli consist of only 3 ingredients (potatoes, water, flour), you need to be a master in mixing potatoes and flour in the right way. If not, then you will prepare žganci (another typical Slovenian dish) instead of dödoli. Great companion of dödoli are pork cracklings or roasted onions with sour cream.
Bograč is a stew made of at least 3 different sorts of meat (beef, pork, venison), potatoes, onions, pepper, salt and spices (pepper, cumin, bay leaf, allspice, ground red pepper, garlic, marjoram). It is cooked in a large cooking pot over an open fire. The real bograč should be very thick so that the spoon could stand in it alone 🙂 A Slovenian culinary blogger at her blog describes that no grape harvesting, her or her sister’s wedding or celebration of the birth of grandchildren passed without her father’s bograč. Keep in mind – the best bograč is eaten the day after it was cooked!
Pumpkin seed oil
Pumpkin seed oil is a culinary specialty in Slovenia, mostly in Stajerska and Prekmurje region. Styrian-Prekmurje pumpkin seed oil has EU Protected Designation of Origin. This green gold, as the locals call it, is rich in essential nutrients. Well, I can not imagine a salad without a few spoons of pumpkin seed oil. For me it is a must ingredient. Did you know that you need 3 kilos of pumpkin seeds to produce 1 liter of pumpkin seed oil?! Can not wait to visit the region again in September to get the real feeling of the amounts of the pumpkins growing on their fields.
When I asked a local what kind of local juices they offer, he said: „You should try Jurka juice.“ Before coming to Prekmurje I honestly hadn’t heard of jurka juice. Jurka is one of the most aromatic grapes. The locals are preparing it (or even the jurka jam) out of jurka grapes. Jurka has a considerably thick and bitter shell and a lot of thick seeds. Jurka juice is simply the best nonalcoholic and refreshing drink you could order here!
Forget about the calories when you are visiting Prekmurje. It just doesn’t make any sense because local foods here have REAL taste. Carda restaurant is a perfect place to treat a “well-not-so-skinny” and “I-want-to-try-everything” tourists like me 😉
Besides my top 5 local tastes from Prekmurje region I also recommend you other typical dishes as well. Do not miss pork sausages with sour turnip hot pot (best in winter time!), duck terrine with jurka cream, buckwheat bread, fried langaš, pumpkin cake with raspberry ice cream, vanilla ice-cream with pumpkin seed oil, Prekmurje pork and Prekmurje ham, crackling cakes and … now I will stop 🙂 I am getting hungry again!
Need a place to sleep in Prekmurje region? Check great accommodation option here.
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If you crave some more local experiences, join my local experiences! What is more, if you need help with your travel planning to Soca valley and/or Slovenia beyond the usual tourist menu , do not hesitate to contact me. Welcome/Dobrodošli!