You may be lucky enough to find yourself in Ljubljana on a Friday and if so, Congratulations! Well planned or happy accident (accident for us).
Friday (March to October) finds the Open Kitchen (Odprta Kuhna) set up next to the food market, enabling you to not only find some tempting fresh produce, but partake of some delicious plates from Slovenian chefs. Win Win.
September was mushroom time. I have never seen such weird and wonderful fungi. They looked like fairy houses. Apples were also in abundance – it takes a cold climate to produce such luscious crisp apples, and these were first rate. When the larder was replenished, we got busy with the kitchen side of the market. Offerings of all sorts were there, traditional goulash stew/soup served with a meat dumpling (the winner in my book), roasted meats, noodles, pasta, delicacies such as shaved icecream (!).
A crowd favourite, as well as providing some theatre, was the guy with the massive wheel of cheese. A small well had been scooped out of the middle and hot pasta and mushroom soup/sauce poured in. He scooped the hot soup out, along with the cheese that had melted into it. Not many could resist.
Steps were turned into benches for dining, and you could get a little table for your wine with lunch. So very civilized.
We went back to a lovely little canteen type spot with a small menu. Nostalgic for his Mum’s soup, Steve ordered the barley stew twice and the lovely waitress took pity on him and emailed us the recipe. Traditional Slovenian food is hearty and delicious.
I gazed enviously at folk looking effortlessly chic whilst riding their bikes. To me, it is a feat akin to performing brain surgery on a trampoline, but the Slovenians in Ljubljana seem to have nailed it.