Anonymous Interviews: CULINARY HERITAGE – 1.6

1.6 If you imagine a virtual or a physical museum exhibition presenting iconic Slovenian food what would be shown?

Participant: “Potica, štruklji” [potica cake, special dumplings], maybe some ghoulash. “Klobase kranjske” [kransky sausages], “žganci” [buckwheat or corn žganci], “matevž pa krvavice” [bean and potato puree and black pudding]. “Kislo zelje” [sauerkraut] with it. Of course you can’t go without that.

Participant: The heart shaped cookies. “Restan krompir pa dunajski zrezek” [roasted potato with onion and Vienna stake].

Participant: The most important one to me is “bograč” [bograč goulash], because I have been growing up with it since I was little. I remember all the fun times we had with my grandpa. That’s also really important to me because it’s from Prekmurje, where my family’s from. Also “gibanica” [layer cake]. “Gibanica” is one of the more important Slovenian recipes. Strudel is nice. It would be nice to be shown, but it’s not something that only Slovenia makes. “Sarma” [cabbage rolls], which is also, I’m not sure if it’s Croatian or not. There’s a lot of recipes that I’m unaware of but I know that there should be a lot of recipes in the exhibition.

Participant: Probably would be “potica” [potica cake]. It probably would bring the special food from each region, that’s what, if I was going to see it I would want to see it. Because I think that each dish would represent the region of its country or where it originates from. The region where I come from, “Prekmurje”, we would probably have “prekmurska gibanica, bograč” [Prekmurje layer cake, bograč goulash], “potica” would be mainly covered for Slovenia. “Pršut” [prosciutto] is another thing that comes to my mind, which is from region Kras. There are vanilla slices from Bled, there’s “krofi” [donuts] Trojane, a “štruklji” [special dumplings] which is from region Ljubljana, Kranjska, Koroška, that little bit of Štajerska, Dolenjska.

Participant: It would probably be a lot of photos showing how it’s made and then a big photo. Maybe people can try it, so they can be like “oh wow that’s really good, we should make that”. It grows more so people get familiar with the food. [Interviewer: Any iconic Slovenian food?] Just the traditional foods. Like “štruklji” [special dumplings], strudel, those traditional foods that go back in time.

Participant: Definitely it would be “potica” [potica cake]. Is the top one because some of the foods, they don’t really last long for exhibitions. We had that, and we had donuts, the Slovenian jam donuts. Then we have more other foods like “gibanica” [layer cake]. Again its very short term that you can keep it. [Interviewer: But we can also talk about pictures, or video… ] That’s right. Then kransky sausage with sauerkraut or with the potato salad, the green salad or different mixed salads. Also the “štruklji” [special dumplings] what you call it, dumplings. The Slovenian “štruklji” it’s not really dumpling, it’s something completely different technique of preparing it. That would be shown.

Participant: Kransky and the Bograč [bograč goulash] Festival. That would be the stuff. In Europe that was, that was huge. And the “languše” [potato lángos]. I remember having that in Europe, there was a big festival to do with that. I would say stews, stews are the biggest thing.

Participant: There should be “potica” [potica cake], “štruklji” [special dumplings], those are just desserts. Could be making kransky sausages, which could be more interactive. That would be interesting, making sausages inside a museum.

Participant: “Potica” [potica cake] for sure has to be number one. I would say “potica”, “štruklji” [special dumplings], “kranjske klobase” [kransky sausages] of course, other things like “žganci” [buckwheat or corn žganci], that type of traditional type Slovenian food. Maybe people in this day and age in Slovenia might not cook that kind of thing every day. They want to have more modern types of foods. But the best chefs in Slovenia can actually make these types of food and still make them very culturally appealing to people as well in terms of the way they present the food, the way they do things these days. They might be simple recipe, but they can make it look totally different. I think those types of old years ago recipes and things can come alive again as well, the traditional ones.

Participant: I always think of potatoes. We always have to have potatoes. Potatoes, polenta, bread. “Pršut” [prosciutto], “klobase” [sausages].

Participant: When we did have it here we did have “koline” [pork and sausages], we did have “ocvirki” [cracklings], “krvavice” [black pudding], “tenstan krompir” [roasted potato with onion], hocks. We did have “rebrica” [ribs], “tenstano kislo zelje” [roasted sauerkraut], that is absolutely beautiful. People they used to love it. When we did have [a name of the town] festival here, our youth, they were cooking “čevapčiči” [skinless sausages]. People were buying this “čevapčiči”. And we did have donuts, real Slovenian donuts. They come and cook the donuts and then they would deliver it. They’re nice and fresh because we were selling it all day. They use the people from [a name of the town], most of the people in [a name of the town] here they know that we are Slovenian. [Interviewer: Because it was so delicious?] Delicious and because they know that we exist here. A lot of them they have parties here and weddings and all that.

Participant: “Potica” [potica cake] has to be there. Polenta and goulash definitely. “Juha” [soup]. “Kranjska klobasa” [kransky sausage] of course. Kranjska klobasa and “zelje” [cabbage]. There’s just so many different foods. Gibanica [layer cake]. “Pršut” [prosciutto], we have a festival of Teran and “pršut”, so if you’re going to have it in a museum that’d definitely be there. What else did you [husband] eat in Slovenia? [Husband: I had so much. There was just so much.] That’s typically Slovenian. [Husband: No, no, no. It was good.] “Šnops [schnapps], of course, “Borovničevec” [blueberry schnapps liqueur]. [Husband: Šnops, all that sort of.]

Participant: Apple strudel, “potica, potica” [potica cake] for sure, the donuts. For Velika noč [Easter] I know with the coloured eggs and so forth, because they’re things that we do, that Slovenians do. You can talk about schnitzel and goulash and one of my favourites would be “krvavice” [black pudding] and a few others. But apple strudel and “krofi”[donuts] or donuts and “potica” are probably the stand out. Then probably some “gibanica” [layer cake]. I just had that picture in my head: “gibanica” and that’s even though that’s not from the region where mum and dad was from but it’s fantastic.

Participant: “Bograč [bograč goulash], my favourite food. I would show them everything. Everything for what we eat… Anything I can put like good “potica” [potica cake]. I can prepare good soup “goveja juha” [beef soup], I can prepare “bograč”.

Participant: Definitely “potica” [potica cake], the traditional Slovenian cake, and also the history of Slovenian food. How was the food developing through the ages, from the beginning or from the early ages until now. What was the difference, and also what can be improved in the future.

Participant: Apple strudel, “potica” [potica cake], “štruklji” [special dumplings], prekmurska gibanica [Prekmurje layer cake], “jota” [bean and sauerkraut/turnips hotpot], sour cabbage with sausages, “pražen krompir, restan krompir” [roasted potato with onion]. I haven’t seen anyone here doing the crumbed drumsticks, “pohane bedrce” [crumbed drumsticks], green salad with pumpkin seed oil. I do also cabbage salad with pumpkin seed oil and beans. “Goveja juha” [beef soup] beef soup with “knedlji” [dumplings]. I made that, they all love it. “Ričet” [barley porridge]. I don’t know if that’s Slovenian, I feel like it’s Slovenian. Chicken schnitzel, but I don’t think that’s Slovenian.

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1.7 Which are the most iconic Slovenian food/drink brands? Answers.

Other questions:
1.1 On which occasions do you usually prepare or eat Slovenian food? Answers.
1.2 Is it you who usually prepares the Slovenian food or does someone else prepare it for you? Answers.
1.3 If your non-Slovenian friend invites you to a barbecue or a dinner to bring your plate of food what do you usually bring? Which of the foods you bring is a part of Slovenian tradition (ingredients, a way you prepare or serve it)? Answers.
1.4 Do you bring different food if you are invited to a barbecue or a dinner where there are only Slovenians? Answers.
1.8 For the 1st generation: Which food/drink or ingredients that you usually consumed or used in Slovenia, do you miss in Australia? It can be also a commercial brand. For other generations: If you go to Slovenia is there some kind of food you like and that you cannot have it here? Answers.

See also:
1 Culinary heritage (see Questions and Answers)
2 Growing and sourcing food (see Questions and Answers)
3 Digital technologies for communicating culinary heritage (see Questions and Answers)
4 Connecting with other Slovenian Australians (see Questions and Answers)
5 Identity (see Questions and Answers)
6 Conclusion (participants’ ideas) (see Questions and Answers)

This is a website of a research project exploring digital technologies for communicating the culinary heritage of Slovenian Australians in collaboration with the University of Canberra under the 2015 Endeavour Fellowship Programme (PDR).