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Picked in nature

 

We create top flavours in cooperation with luscious nature

In one of the greenest countries in the world nature brings us an abundance specialities we like to include in our cooking.

We search for asparagus and truffles near the sea, mushrooms and diverse forest fruits in the forest, wild garlic in moist shadowy places, spices, herbs, and dandelion, which is an indispensable wild green in the spring around Slovenia, on meadows.

Gathering
Photo: Tomo Jeseničnik
We pick everything that is edible, tasty, and bright green, and we are also friends with garden crops.
Dario Cortese, a wild food connoisseur

In nature, we only pick those self-sown edible plants that we know really well. To preserve them and enable them to regrow, we never pick all of them we find on the site. We respect the prescribed limitations. We may pick up to two kilograms of mushrooms, up to two kilograms of individual forest fruits, and up to one kilogram of wild garlic or herbaceous plants.

Getting nature’s flavours from superb chefs, open-air markets and hospitable rural areas

Connoisseurs know where to pick self-sown treats, while others enjoy them when we get them on the plate.

In the spring, wild asparagus days are held in many places, while in the autumn, the hunt is on for truffles. You may discover when the right time to pick dandelion and wild garlic is, when mushrooms grow, when forest fruits are ripe, and when the right time for chestnuts is at open-air markets around Slovenia. We are alerted to treats from the wild by seasonal products in restaurants and farm stays.

Some of the best chefs, such as Ana Roš , like to make their dishes richer with specialities they pick – frequently from near their kitchens. They surprise us with blossoms of edible flowers and many things that were picked by our ancestors in nearby areas.

At farm stays, elderflower cordial and dandelion salad are part of the usual offer.

We enjoy mushrooms, forest fruits, and fruits from trees and bushes in the land of forests

Slovenia is the third most forested country in Europe – over 60 per cent of its territory is covered with forests.

Over 500 species of edible mushrooms grow here. Porcini (Boletus edulis) and chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius) are particularly popular. Wild mushrooms are an ingredient in typical dishes, such as bograč (Prekmurje stew) and pohorski lonec (Pohorje hotpot), and we use them to make frtalja (egg omelette) and other dishes with eggs. Mushroom festivals take turns from July to October.

Pohorje hotpot

Photo: Tomo Jeseničnik

Taste wild garlic in the spring, wild strawberries and blueberries in the early summer, raspberries and blackberries later, and chestnuts in the autumn

Forest fruits add variety to Slovenian cuisine all year, as we know how to turn them into great preserves.

Although treats from nature are best when fresh, we may learn about their power and flavour any time. We can try wild garlic, which should only be picked by connoisseurs as it may easily be mistaken for poisonous plants, in pesto or olive oil. Soft fruits may be enjoyed dried and in jams. In towns, roasted chestnuts warm our hands in the autumn.

Forest fruits
Photo: Tomo Jeseničnik

Forest fruits

Over ten per cent of Slovenia, which is the first country to be declared a Global Green Destination, is covered with protected areas, while almost 40 per cent of the territory is protected under Natura 2000.

When we go into the countryside to pick some of its fruits, respect forest etiquette that says:

– When picking forest fruits, do not use tools that could damage the plant, undergrowth or forest floor.

– Be careful not to pick protected plants. Also pick other plants selectively – just a few of them in one spot.

– Only pick mushrooms that you know. Use baskets not bags. Do not kick poisonous mushrooms.

– Stick to the beaten path and do not disturb animals.

We grow herbs for health and cuisine, but also pick them on pristine blossoming meadows

We use them to make fragrant teas and healthy food supplements, and to spice selected dishes.

Aromatic plants, such as thyme (Thymus serpyllum), oregano (Origanum vulgare), winter savory (Satureja montana), and many others still grow in pristine nature. Herbal experiences await in the Upper Savinja Valley, Laško, Nova Gorica, and numerous other places with extraordinary nature and herbal gardens.

Dandellion
Photo: Iztok Medja

In the spring, one of the most popular wild Slovenian greens is picked on meadows and bought at open-air markets

Dandelion is not just a tasty but also an exceptionally healthy diversification of our menus.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a ubiquitous herbaceous plant with characteristically deeply lobed leaves which we pick in the spring far from traffic routes before the plant blossoms. Its leaves are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Young dandelion with potatoes, eggs or bacon is an excellent aid to help you beat spring fatigue.

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