Exploring Brda region and Soca valley through its food | Nest Campers

Exploring Brda region and Soca valley through its food

food journey to Soča valley with a campervan
18. June 2019

Slovenia, a chicken-shaped country on the crossroads between the Alps, Mediterranean, the Karst, and the Pannonian plain, has 23 gastronomic regions and offers 365 local dishes.

Diverse gastronomy, fresh seasonal ingredients, and family production are a big part of Slovenian culture and that is why Slovenia became the European Region of Gastronomy 2021. We went on an epic road trip with Nest Campers and indulged our taste buds with typical dishes from the Brda region and Soča valley.

 

We rented a Cuckoo campervan from Nest Campers and asked the crew about the best local food tours to try while on a road trip through Slovenia. Our priorities were nature and local delights, so we booked a local guide they recommended to us. We went on a food tour with Slocally, where Vesna focused on providing personal attention to our travel wishes.

Goriška Brda, a fairytale region nestled between the Alps and the Mediterranean, which won an award of the Slovenian destination of excellence EDEN due to its excellent gastronomy, is best known for its world-winning wines, seasonal fruits (cherries, strawberries, peaches, apricots, pears, grapes, persimmon) and excellent extra virgin olive oil.

 

Cherries Goriška brda, Slovenia food
We visited Slovenia in June, the best month for sweet cherries!

 

Our first food stop was in Šmartno village where we were tantalizing our taste buds with frtalja omelet prepared with aromatic herbs, toč with white polenta, and a glass of orange wine.

Yes, orange wine is a hype wine these days and it is the fourth type of wine besides whites, reds, and rosés. It was a season for cherries, the first fresh fruit of the year, so all the tables in the family-run restaurant had a basket of juicy red fruit. And a bottle of extra virgin olive oil. Yuuuum! With Wine Tours Slovenia you can taste this rich winemaking tradition amidst beautiful vineyards.
 

Orange wine, Slovenia wine
Orange wine is worth all the hype it gets lately.

 

Slovenia food tour
Frtalja and toč with white polenta.

 

Brda region is the northernmost region in Europe where the olive groves are still growing. Deeping a freshly baked bread and tasting top-notch olive oil or Mediterranean gold with a high number of antioxidants and very low acidity level was a real gourmet treat. We could not resist buying a bottle of high-quality extra virgin olive oil directly from an olive oil producer. What a culinary treat!

Last but not least, dear wine lovers and wine connoisseurs, Goriška Brda is also a place for indigenous Rebula white grape variety. 'Na zdravje!' 

Olive oil Slovenia
 When exploring southwestern Slovenia, don't try just their wine. Try the food and amazing olive oil!

 

In the afternoon we hit the road to Soča valley, our second food stop, and we even passed by the highest lying olive grove in Europe, which can be found close to Gradno village (thank you Vesna!).
 

Olives Slovenia, wine region Slovenia, campervan road trip Slovenia
The highest lying olive grove in Europe.

 

Soča valley is becoming the next foodies’ paradise and hosts some of the best fine dining places in Slovenia, Europe, and in the world. A combination of unspoiled nature, Alpine pastures, and dedicated local farmers makes a perfect combo for easy-to-prepare dishes based on dairy products.

We stopped at a farm stay close to one of the must-see attractions called Velika Korita (Big Soča Gorge) where we ordered čompe and skuta (potatoes with salted cottage cheese), a typical simple shepherd’s dish, Bovec sheep cheese, EU labeled food with protected designation of origin and Bovec krafi (buški krafi) sweet dessert made out of the old type of pears called tepke.
 

Slovenia food tour, čompe and cottage cheese
Čompe and skuta (potatoes and cottage cheese) - a typical simple shepherd's dish.

 

Bovec sheep cheese, Soča valley food tour
Sheep cheese from Bovec. Soooo good!

 

Slovenia road trip campervan
Bovški krafi is a delicious dessert with Bovec pears that was traditionally eaten by locals on Christmas Eve.

 

The highlight of our trip was exploring two totally different regions through its food and outstanding landscape with a local guide whose vast knowledge and a sense of magical moment were really impressive.

Never say never. We will definitely come back and treat ourselves with local delights we missed like frika, Soča trout, Tolmin cheese, and Kobarid dumplings (kobariški štruklji). There's just so much to try and it's nice to take a break from campervan cooking from time to time. 

Slovenia is not only a beautiful country but a delicious one too!

 

Written by: 

Stephen and Anne, from United Kingdom (June 2019)

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