When you think of Slovakia, you probably think of its charming castles and its dreamy landscapes, both of which look like they’ve come straight out of a fairytale. But while the hype around the country’s cultural and natural gems is 100% warranted, it often pushes another amazing perk of visiting Slovakia into the shadows: its delicious cuisine.
After a long day of sightseeing and hiking, prepare yourself for a typical – and very hearty – Slovakian meal. Here are three national specialties that will leave you coming back for more.
1. Bryndzové Halušky
Ever heard of the saying “good things come in small packages”? Well, whoever came up with this proverb had clearly never tried Bryndzové Halušky. In fact, this unpronounceable dish is one of Slovakia’s national dishes – and for good reason. It’s comprised of small, bite-size potato dumplings, which are tossed in creamy sheep’s cheese, making for an incredibly tasty meal. If you’re a meat lover, why not further tantalise your taste buds by topping off the dish with some bacon?
Since locals and tourists can never get enough of this lip-smacking speciality, it should come as no surprise that there’s even an eating contest devoted to Bryndzové Halušky!
If you’re not a big fan of cabbage, you’ll have a revelation when visiting Slovakia: this underappreciated vegetable is actually amazing. Don’t be shy and try Kapustnica, a renowned soup that combines cabbage (in the form of Sauerkraut) with pepper and paprika. Depending on where in Slovakia you go, this simple dish is further enriched with fish, sausages, potatoes and/or cream. It’s wholesome and wonderful all in one.
Although Kapustnica is traditionally a Christmas soup, you can – and absolutely should – try it at any time of year. Add some crispy bread to it, and you’ll be singing the praises of cabbage from the rooftops.
Although you’ll probably want to stuff yourself with the country’s savoury sensations, exercise some self-restraint and save room for dessert. You’ll be ecstatic that you did when you try Trdelnik, a rolled-up funnel cake. This treat’s combination of cinnamon, sugar and butter is simply divine, and is sure to give you a much-needed sugar boost. Although it seems impossible, you can further improve your gastronomic experience by supplementing Trdelnik with some mulled wine or some vanilla ice cream, depending on how cold or warm it is outside.
Feeling a bit peckish now? No wonder. Who knew that Slovakia had such mouth-watering – and not to mention versatile – dishes up its sleeve? Here’s wishing you bon appétit, or dobrá chuť do jedla, on your next holiday!