Cuisine in the Draught
One characteristic of the Vipava Valley is its geographic openness westward. From that side, influences have always seeped into the valley from nearby Italy, colouring also its cuisine. Nevertheless, the valley has kept its distinctive flavour, especially when it comes to selecting fresh ingredients and preparing home foods. Our dishes are hearty, uncomplicated and characteristically seasonal. Though meat was always in abundance, vegetable dishes are the essence of the people's menu.
The best thing about Vipava Valley's cuisine are its locally sourced ingredients, always seasonal and garden-fresh according to respected tradition. Every season of the year, every major holiday thus introduce their own special flavours, weaving the culinary experience of the Vipava Valley into a rich tapestry of wholesome enjoyment.
Due to the year-round abundance of vegetables in the valley, vegetable soups are a staple of the local menu. The most well known is Vipava Valley jota, a sour turnip or sauerkraut stew with potatoes, beans and an essential chunk of dried or even smoked meat. Any time of the year, you can also enjoy seasonal mineštra similar to minestrone based on various vegetables. Particularly popular are šelinka soup made with celery leaves and tubers, as well as our own bean minestrone.
Vipava Valley Dry-Cured Ham
The tradition of dry-curing pork is widespread throughout the valley, though particular recipes for the sausages, salami and other meats vary from one village to another. The undisputed champion of local meats is the Vipava Valley dry-cured ham (prosciutto), in the past served only during major holidays. Vipava Valley dry-cured ham is meticulously wind-dried with patience. When it finally matures, its taste is second to none. Traditionally, it comes served with home-baked white bread and a choice glass of wine.
Vipava Valley Štruklji
Štruklji (rolled dumplings), cloth-cooked rolled dumplings with a walnut, cottage cheese, raisin and sugar filling, are one of the most recognizable local dishes. In centuries past, they were served as a treat celebrating the grape harvest or during village festivities.
Since fruit is always at hand in the valley, sweet strudel is its favourite dessert. Especially popular is cherry strudel, while other variants also include apricot, peach, pear, plum and apple. In late autumn, dainty eaters will be delighted by the exceptional persimmon strudel.
Homemade Bleki Pasta
Fresh, homemade pasta is many people's favourite. In the Vipava Valley, traditional rectangular noodles called bleki are served with a simple tomato sauce, or on the side of meat dishes.