Anonymous Interviews: CULINARY HERITAGE – 1.7

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

Participant: What’s that juice brand? Fructal. What’s the other food and drink brands? I don’t know what’s Slovenian any more these days. Fructal would be my first sort of, and what makes “Čokolino”? Kraš? Not, Podravka? Kolinska would come in mind. Kolinska has lots of brands. I forgot a lot of them. Argeta “pašteta” [pate]. You forget these things after 10 years. You really do, if you don’t see them.

Participant: That would be Radenska, Laško pivo [beer], Fructal. Food would be Barcaffee, lots of products from Droga Portorož. These are pretty much the ones that come to my mind right now.

Participant: Laško and Radenska. Ledeni čaj [ice tea]. That was my favourite drink. Cockta isn’t Slovenian but… [Interviewer: It is.] It is? Oh, well, there you go. You learn a new thing every day. I think those three drinks. I didn’t grow up in Slovenia so I don’t really know which ones are Slovenian but there’s another brand that I’m… I can’t remember the name. The water. It has specific name of water. [Interviewer: Costella?] Costella, that’s right.

Participant: What’s the company that makes pickled cucumbers? [Interviewer: Eta.] Yes, Eta.

Participant: Most of them are the same as a lot in the world, in general. Then there’s Gorenjska… Milka. Those chocolates.

Participant: Certain brands for wines, for example Cviček, Droga for teas, and Kolinska Čokolešnik. That’s what we are looking for quite some time, and it’s impossible to get it here. Eta could be also the one. There is a lot of Croatian brands, but not so many Slovenian ones. I saw just Argeta and I think it was Fructal, for the juices.

Participant: What I can remember is a Slovenian fruit company, which is I think Fructal, and I can’t remember any others at the moment.

Participant: What’s that sardine, the mackerel? [Interviewer: Delamaris?] Delamaris, it might be that one, the one that comes in yellow packets, blue packets, red one. That’s huge for me. Cockta, Cockta’s huge. All my friends love it, they say it takes better than normal Coke. [Interviewer: You find it in Australia also?] Yeah, Cockta. You get it in delis. There’s one at the [a name of the city] Fresh Food Markets. Kransky’s a big thing but it’s not a brand, it’s a food that originates from Slovenia. “Ajvar” [roasted red pepper spread] is not, “Ajvar” is Croatian isn’t it?

Participant: Commercial brands are difficult because we don’t get that many over here. The water we’re familiar with, we would occasionally buy that. [Wife: Radenska. Laško pivo.] Occasionally the beer. Usually when we go to the club we’ll buy that, but they’re difficult to find here in the shops. You’ve got to search hard. We also notice, it depends on the amount, the Slovenian population in the particular area that would dictate this. Last year we were in [a name of the country] and the Slovenian population there is very concentrated, very dense. In that case we could go to delis and we would see lots of Slovenian things for sale and on display. Because there’s a demand. But here there isn’t as much of a demand, so it’s a lot more limited.

Participant: Kranjska klobasa in zelje” [kransky sausage and sauerkraut]. We used to have good “kranjska klobasa” here while Mr Hojnik was alive and he did have his factory, but then he passed away and the daughter, she sold it to some Chinese. [Interviewer: They don’t do good…?] No. No. We haven’t got good “kranjska”. Yet there is a butcher in [a name of the town] that he does still kranjska and it was a butcher Radoslav in Springvale that he was doing “kranjska” that we did have it here, but now they’re dying off. Radovan, he passed away. [Interviewer: But you have here some iconic brands, you mentioned beer…] Yeah. Beer. We have that beer from Slovenia. Laško. I love Laško pivo [beer], and everybody love it. You just ask the young people when they got their festivals here, they want Laško pivo. Do you know that you can buy “čevapčiči” in supermarkets as well?

Participant: Radenska, number one. We’ve had it here for many, many years in Australia as well. That’s definitely one that we can go towards. Things like Droga, Kolinska, they’re the big ones that everyone would remember and you can get a lot of that kind of thing in Australia as well.

Participant: I know a lot of brands for tea, teabags. There is the Slovenian one. [Interviewer: “Tisoč in en cvet”?] No it was earlier, it was earlier. No, Podravka it’s Croatian, right, no it wasn’t, Slovenian. It was down in Dolenjska somewhere at a factory they had them, and they had “šipek” [rose hip], “šipkov čaj” [rose hip tea], “lipov čaj” [linden tea], “borovničev čaj” [blueberry tea] and “planinski čaj” [mountain tea]. I’m not sure about the brand name. [Interviewer: Droga?] Maybe Droga. That was early ones. Now it’s the other brands taking over. Also Slovenian sardines, the Koper-Izola Delamaris was very well. That was I think one of the first products that you could buy in a tin here. Then it was a lot of soups and goulash, that was the Slovenian. I think it was Slovenian but also Croatian. Donat and “pivo” [beer], Laško pivo and Slovenian wines. You can get Slovenian wines but you cannot get Slovenian spirits. There is Croatian spirits, Polish and Russian spirits but not Slovenian spirits.

Participant: Radenska, but now that’s been taken over, hasn’t it. Laška. Laško. Union. Brands of food, I didn’t absorb a great deal of that. Oh, no, Gorenje’s products. Is kitchen products.

Participant: For us Laško pivo [beer] is the one that we’re big on now. Then you would have other alcohols and foods but I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

Participant: The most significant and succeeded Radenska. This is the most everything, it’s nothing special but it’s from there. Because there, where we live in Slovenia, there is the cleanest water, still we have this. But now, Heineken buy our brewery. “Pivovarno” [brewery] because of water, because 90% of the beer is water. [Interviewer: And which brewery is this?] Zlatorog Celje. If we talk about meat, what you like bring to Australia, it’s “šunka” [ham]. [Interviewer: Any special producer?] Yes, Kodila. Like “pršut” [prosciutto] is the same, but we leave it there because they have Italy. But “šunka” is ours, it’s protected like “gibanica” [layer cake].

Participant: We’re not really familiar with commercial brands, are we? There used to be one called, where did [a name of the woman] work? The small-goods place? Can’t remember… What’s the stock powder, the one that’s made in Portorož? [Interviewer: Droga?] For soup and yes… Vegeta. What else is there? There’s probably random things but nothing that we particularly look for. [Husband: Or buy. The thing is, [my wife] was born here and I was here very young, so most of our culture is deeply rooted in Australian tradition.] And we also don’t have shops near us that have continental. Where we live there isn’t a lot of continental or international influence. So we don’t have access to those sorts of products. But if we did, we would buy them. If we had the option to buy it, we probably would.

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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.

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.
1.5 Do you feel a need to show your ethnic identity through food? Do you feel more Slovenian if you prepare or eat Slovenian food? 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).