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At first glance, Slovenian cuisine looks a little like fusion food since it melds elements of Italian, Hungarian, Austrian, and Balkan cooking—often to good effect. Italy's contribution stands out most clearly in the full range of pastas and risottos you'll see on many menus. Pizza is ubiquitous and generally of high quality. From Austria come the many pork and other meat dishes and schnitzels, though they are often served with local—and sometimes unusual—sides like spinach njoki (gnocchi) or even ajda (buckwheat) dumplings. The Balkan influence is seen in the profusion of grilled meats and in one of the most common street foods: burek, an oily phyllo pastry stuffed with salty cheese or meat.
Typical local dishes include krvavice (black pudding) served with žganci (polenta) or Kraški pršut (air-dried Karst ham). Another favorite is jota, a filling soup of sauerkraut, beans, and smoked pork. Look too for regional specialties, such as the easier-to-eat-than-pronounce žlikrofi—tiny tortellini stuffed with minced potato, onion, and bacon that are the pride of cooks throughout the Idrija region but are nearly impossible to find anywhere else.
With the Adriatic close at hand, you can find excellent seafood. Look for mouthwatering škampi rižot (scampi risotto), followed by fresh fish prepared na žaru (grilled). Fresh trout with tržaška (garlic and parsley) sauce is a staple on any menu near the Soča River. The first-rate fish—usually priced on menus per kilogram (2.2 pounds)—are expensive, so don't be surprised when the bill comes.
For an extra boost stop at a kavarna (coffee shop) for a scrumptious, calorie-laden prekmurska gibanica, a layered cake combining curd cheese, walnuts, and poppy seeds. Another national favorite is potica, a rolled cake filled with either walnuts, chocolate, poppy seeds, or raisins.
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