Two Weeks of Slovenian Food Along The Kolpa
We spent two weeks along the Kolpa River, enjoying fresh local Slovenian food products, the countryside, and the teal colored river. The Bela Krajina region, like the rest of Slovenia, is fertile and produces plenty of great regional specialties.
Our hosts at Big Berry were sure to take advantage of a wide range of the local cuisine and suppliers in the area. In addition to enjoying the magnificent river, we spent our days visiting these local purveyors.
Ghee, It’s Magical
Our favorite Slovenian food product highlighted by the camp was also its closest to homemade by one of our lovely host, Peter. Ghee itself is pretty much magic. What is it? Golden Ghee is clarified butter that has been cooked for 48 hours to separate all the fat of butter from the proteins, lactose, water, carbohydrates, casein, and impurities. The finished product is culinary gold and has a long history of being a cherished food product. It’s rich in flavor, is healthy, and has a wide range of uses beyond cooking. Did I mention that while Golden Ghee is being cooked, it gets its concert–meaning they play music just for the ghee to soak up all that musical awesomeness.
Craft Beer is Here
Another local and emerging business in the region is the Vizir Brewery. What does a winery do when they’re in a saturated market? Diversify. Vizir started as a winery, but as they grew in size, they decided maybe it was time for a change and began brewing beer. Craft beer is something we’ve come to know and love in the states, but in Slovenia, it’s almost impossible to find. We were lucky enough to be given a tasting of all their great beers produced in Slovenia by the owner/head brewer himself. We suggest trying their buckwheat beer and a fresh cold one from the tank.
Kmetija Kočevar was kind enough to show us a selection of his locally grown and produced hemp products from Bela Krajina. Hemp has to be one of the most versatile plants out there with a slew of health benefits. Some of the beautiful products we got to try were herbal liquor, oil, flour, and freshly baked bread all from hemp. As part of our goodbye, we even used some of the hemp flour delivered to us in the morning to cook up some goodbye American flapjacks.
Read More: [Is Eating Organic Healthier?]
Heart Healthy Oils
Speaking of oil, there was always an excellent supply of heart-healthy fats while we camped along the Kolpa. Most of our oils were cold pressed from the local producer Oljarna Perčarič. The oil mill produces a wide range of oils all from healthy organic products. However, the star of the show was their award-winning walnut oil, that was simply delicious and had a slew of uses such as
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You’re The Apple Of My Eye
The local juices supplied by Lamut, are cold pressed with apples only found within the region giving a truly unique flavor. We have a confession we probably drank one of these a day, and by one, we mean two…maybe three. The owner also served up a delicious meal of river trout from their family run restaurant set in the countryside. The fresh river trout, salad, potatoes, and pogača bread were delicious, and if they represent traditional Slovenian food, we were impressed.
The fresh, Slovenian food products never came to an end!
It went from local businesses, family-run restaurants, and locals who graciously took us in and showed us a piece of what Bela Krajina has to offer. The whole area is rich in honey, excellent bread, juices, arts, history, rakija, wine, produce, GHEE, and artisanal products that anyone can enjoy.
Favorite Food and Drink to try
- Golden Ghee
- Pogača bread
- River Trout
- Buckwheat beer from Vizir
- Fresh yogurt from Kmetija Štrucelj
- Hemp Flour
- Walnut Oil from Oljarna Perčarič