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Sweet City Adventure: Discover Typical Slovenian Desserts in Maribor

26.09.2019

Tasting traditional local dishes is always a treat, and what could make your visit to Maribor sweeter than trying the most delicious Slovenian desserts? We’ve compiled a list of foods you can try in the area and the locations where you can find them, because nothing is more frustrating than wandering from one café to another and looking for a dish nobody is selling. A little exploration of Maribor will also reveal many delicious modern treats, but if you’re after all things traditional, start with this yummy list.

1. Prekmurska gibanica

This dessert is as Slovenian as it gets. Prekmurska gibanica, or Prekmurje layer cake, is also one of the first foods that Slovenians would name as a traditional dish, dessert or not. Protected with EU’s Traditional Specialty Guaranteed label, this cake originates from the easternmost parts of Slovenia. It traditionally consists of 19 layers, all richly covered with cream, eggs, and butter, and four different fillings: cottage cheese, poppy seed, walnut, and apple filling.

Prekmurska gibanica is sometimes jokingly called the Over-Mura Moving Cake.

Traditionally, prekmurska gibanica was a dessert for special occasions: the cake is very rich, and the ingredients didn’t come cheap. The name of the cake comes from its many folds, called gube in Slovenian.

Where to find: Hiša Kruha on Gosposka ulica street.

2. Potica

Potica, or Slovenian nut roll, is another classic. This traditional dessert is prepared all over the country. First mentioned in written sources in 1575, potica used to be a dish for higher classes, but it became more accessible to lower classes over time. Potica is made of yeast-raised dough that is covered with a filling and rolled up into the traditional shape. A number of different fillings are used, some say as many as 80. The most popular is definitely the walnut filling. Other common fillings include poppy seeds, tarragon, and savoury spices. Slovenians traditionally eat potica for Easter and Christmas, and we believe the best potica is still made by our grandmothers.

Potica wth different fillings. Photo: Turizem Bohinj arhiv. Source: www.slovenia.info.

Where to find: This is a tricky one. If you know any locals and get a chance to get your hands on some homemade potica, count yourself lucky. If not, check Žito bakeries in town. Potica is easiest to find around Christmas and Easter when it’s offered most everywhere. If you’re feeling experimental, head to Teta Frida or Q Café—they’ve turned potica into delicious bite-sized truffles.

A modern, experimental version of potica

3. Pohorska omleta

Pohorska omleta, or Pohorje Omelette, is a dessert typical for the Pohorje area. A few centuries younger than the first two dishes, it has nonetheless made it to the list of traditional dishes in the collective consciousness of the locals. It’s made of folded pound cake dough and filled with cranberry marmalade and whipped cream. This dessert is always served fresh—and always the same size, which is usually enough for two to four people. Franc Pogačar invented the recipe for Pohorska omleta in 1952 in a mountain hut called Poštarski dom. A few years ago, Hotel Tisa, previously Poštarski dom, began organising the Pohorska Omleta Festival.

Where to find: Pri Treh ribnikih restaurant next to the Three Ponds in City Park. If you plan on spending time on Pohorje, drop by at Hotel Tisa.

4. Apple strudel

Apple strudel is a dessert made of phyllo dough filled with apple filling. It stems from the Austro-Hungarian Empire—the oldest preserved recipe dates back to 1696. Apple strudel gained popularity in the 18th century when it became known outside the borders of the empire. Even though it may be considered an Austrian national dish, strudel is common in most countries of the former monarchy: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Check Republic, Hungary etc. Strudel is one of the oldest Slovenian desserts.

Where to find: Gostilna Maribor. You can choose to have your strudel with or without vanilla sauce, but we highly recommend you get the sauce as well.

 

5. Gingerbread biscuits

Gingerbread biscuits (Slovenian: medenjaki) are biscuits made of sweet honey dough. They’re made of rye and wheat flour, honey, eggs, licitar maker’s yeast, and spices.

Even more typical than the biscuits is licitar. Licitar is a type of sweet made of sweet honey dough that comes in various shapes. In the past, it was made with carved wooden moulds. The most popular shapes included that of babies and people in general. Today, heart-shaped licitar is by far the most common. It’s painted red and decorated with a paste that consists of gelatine and potato starch. Oftentimes the decoration includes a verse or two. In the past, small mirrors could also be found on licitar.

The process of making licitar takes several days; every layer needs time to dry properly. Licitar remains soft enough to be eaten for a few days after it’s been finished, but it’s not meant for consumption. In contrast to gingerbread biscuits, licitar doesn’t contain eggs.

Where to find: Licitar and candle maker in Glavni trg Square. Licitar also makes a great souvenir.

Licitar hearts take about five days to make. Photo: Matjaž Jambriško. Source: www.slovenia.info.

6. Kremna rezina

This lovely treat comes from Bled, a charming little town nestled under the Alps. Two layers of phyllo pastry frame thick layers of vanilla cream and whipped cream. This dessert was created after the Second World War by adding whipped cream to the Hungarian cream cake. It quickly gained popularity and spread across the country.

Where to find: Illich and most other confectioneries in town.

What do you think of our selection? Did any of these make your mouth water?

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