At the crossroads of the Mediterranean, the Alpine world and the Pannonian Basin
The culinary offering of Ljubljana has always been wide and diverse. Slovenia and Ljubljana are situated at the crossroads of different culinary worlds. Slovenian cuisine primarily reflects influences from Mediterranean, Alpine, and Pannonian cuisines, and, in recent years, has also been influenced by Balkan and some international cuisines.
The culinary art of Ljubljana is also marked by the diversity of its ingredients. Some of the most notable are vegetables grown in the city's suburban gardens. Meat is also indispensable, particularly beef and poultry produced by the farms of Central Slovenia, while the meat of different game birds was also consumed in the past.
Rural ingredients appealing to the taste of city people
In rural areas, excellent home-made bread was prepared in wood-fired ovens in the past and the city's modern-day bakeries continue and further develop this tradition. The rich biodiversity of Slovenian waters is represented by freshwater and sea fish, crayfish, molluscs, and frogs, the latter being very typical of Ljubljana in the past. A wide range of fruits has always been available as well, including orchard produce from the surrounding areas and fruits that require warmer climates, which are grown in the Primorska region.
The author of the project, renowned ethnologist Janez Bogataj, selected dishes which were popular among Ljubljana's citizens in the 19th century and in the first half of the 20th, but which were later increasingly replaced by international cuisine in restaurants. Local chefs, including internationally recognised names such as Janez Bratož, Igor Jagodic and Andrej Kuhar, have followed his instructions and adapted these dishes to modern times.