Anonymous Interviews: GROWING AND SOURCING FOOD – 2.3

2.3 Do you grow any foods that are important to your Slovenian heritage?

Participant: “Radič” [radicchio], “motovilec” [corn salad, lamb’s lettuce] and “salata” [lettuce] “zelena” [green]. We have to make a ball so that it become yellow inside. We got our own garlic it is already that big [shows] now in the winter. Garlic, peas about that big [shows] already, and I still got peas in the freezer from last year.

Participant: Dandelion, endive and then of course the radishes. We all love the red radishes and the little cherry tomatoes that grow, they grow like anything.

Participant: Cabbage would be one. Paprika which is “filana” [stuffed] paprika. Grapes, my grandpa used to have a vineyard in Europe so he makes a bit of wine here and there. Everything that’s “vloženo” [pickles], like pickles.

Participant: Not anything that you couldn’t buy in a supermarket. It’s not grown specifically to fulfil that need to get typical Slovenian ingredients, but it’s a little bit nostalgic. Going out, picking the green beans, cooking them and putting them in a salad with pumpkin seed oil.

Participant: Definitely, it reminds me on my garden at home. Actually it was from my parents. I was usually helping them on the garden.

Participant: Not that I can think of. Herbs, “bazilika” [basil], all those herbs that we commonly use. We don’t use a lot of herbs in Slovenian dishes. The basil… No, that’s Italian for basil. The Slovenian dishes don’t have a lot of herbs. In general I find that it’s very plain food. There’s really not a lot of herbs that are typically Slovenian. We use salt, we use the best salt we can get, the Himalayan pink salt. The Slovenian food just has salt and pepper mostly and not many really unique ingredients.

Participant: No. Just to have some fresh veggies.

Participant: I found “pehtran” [tarragon], tarragon, but unfortunately, it’s not growing the way I would love it. It doesn’t produce enough to make real “potica” [potica cake] with “pehtran”. It’s for that particular reason, and because I love the smell and the taste.

Participant: All, because generally every food, main meal that you’ll have, whether it be lunch or dinner, there will always be salad. Salad is a big important part of Slovenian cooking. There’ll always be lettuce from the garden, summer, winter, it doesn’t matter what type, different types of lettuce. The summer one, the winter one, “endivija” [endive] all the different ones. Every meal will have lettuce with it or salad and prepared the Slovenian way with oil, “bučno olje” [pumpkin seed oil] or olive oil. The traditional way that we grew up with.

Participant: Herbs, [medou?] and “peteršilj” [parsley] that kind of thing, because they’re the basis of flavours.

Participant: We grow a lot of cabbage. We like growing cabbage because we use it for everything. Sauerkraut, to “sarma, kislo zelje” [cabbage rolls, sauerkraut]. I’m not really sure, “ošlek”. That’s a thing that not a lot of Australians know about, which is little onions that we grow. Tomatoes, things like that.

Participant: The “solata” [lettuce], the lettuce and the tomatoes [Husband: And the parsleys…] We have to have parsley. Beans in summer. You’ve got to have beans, because we do beans in the “solati”, so bean salad.

Participant: Grapes because we come from the region where, especially my dad, he and his dad were winemakers. That is one particular fruit that really connect to Slovenia, and especially to the region we come from. Other fruits would be such as pre-fruit, apples, pears, plums. Plums are another thing that everyone is very fond of here. Chestnuts, something that we be having in Slovenia so you start to look for that out here.

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Next:
3 Digital technologies for communicating culinary heritage (see Questions and Answers)

Other questions:
2.1 Where do you source/buy your food from (supermarket, farmers’ market, etc.)? Why? 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).