A hundred years ago,most Slovaks were farmers, which explains the cuisine: the food is simple, filling and made from ingredients
A hundred years ago, most Slovaks were farmers, which explains the cuisine: the food is simple, filling and made from ingredients grown locally in abundance. History made a second mark on Slovak food. Slovakia used to be part of the Austrio-Hungarian Empire: here too, especially in Bratislava, you'll find schnitzel (rezeň), smoked sausages, an assortment of torts and cakes, thick, creamy hot chocolate, turkey cordon bleu, dumplings, goulash, and plum brandy (slivovica).
Below is a guide to eating out in Slovakia and recipes for four common Slovak dishes. See Spectacular Slovakia 2003 (on the net at www.spectacularslovakia.sk) for recipes for bryndzové halušky, kapustnica and goulash.
Lečo is an easy summertime dish that puts to use tomatoes and peppers which are grown in abundance across Slovakia (it's also made in Hungary and the Czech Republic).
1 small onion (or half a big one)
2 green or red (bell) peppers
Half teaspoon of salt
1-2 hot dogs
*100-150 grams of a semi-hard
cheese (Swiss does the job.
The Slovak Hermelín - similar
to Camembert - is also good)
Peel and chop onion. Fry onion in pot with oil until bubbles appear. Add peppers (chopped) and cover. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Stir in tomato (chopped). Simmer another ten minutes, or until peppers soften. Add salt. Add hot dogs (chopped). Add raw egg. Stir until consistent.
*Vegetarian: substitute cheese for hot dogs. But add after the egg.
Total cooking time: 20-25 minutes
6-10 potatoes (medium to large)
Tablespoon of salt
Tablespoon of marjoram
Pinch of pepper
5 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup flour
Tablespoon of margarine
Peel, wash and shred potatoes. Drain water. Mix in all other ingredients except oil. Spread batter over oil in frying pan (pancakes can be from palm-sized to size of whole pan). Fry over medium-high heat until golden brown (3 to 6 minutes), flipping once halfway through.
Total cooking time: 40 minutes
200 grams kidney beans
2 parsley stalks
1/4 celery root
3-5 garlic cloves
3-5 bay leaves (bobkový list)
3 tablespoons oil
Soak beans in water overnight (at least six hours). Bring 1 1/2 liters of water to boil. Reduce heat, add beans (drained) and bay leaves. Cover and simmer until beans are semi soft (15-30 minutes). Add (chopped) carrots, parsley, garlic and celery root. Simmer five minutes. Stir in thickener*. Add potato (shredded). Simmer five minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
*Heat oil, stir in flour, add a third cup cold water, stir
Total cooking time: 1 hour
(Christmas honey cookies)
800 grams flour
280 grams frosting
(see recipe below)
150 grams butter
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons 'gingerbread' spice
(perníkové korenie), or equal parts
cinnamon, anise, and clove
2 tablespoons baking soda
Mix ingredients into a smooth dough. Let dough sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours. Roll dough against a flat surface with a rolling pin. Cut shapes (hearts, stars, bells, et cetera) with cookie-cutters or a knife. Bake cutouts on a greased cookie sheet at 200 degrees Celsius until raised and golden brown. Brush beaten egg white over smaller cutouts before baking and over larger cutouts a few minutes before finished.
Total cooking time: 30-60 minutes
1 egg white
120-140 grams sifted icing sugar
Blend ingredients in mixer for 10 minutes. Put mixture into small plastic bag. Stab hole at one end, squeeze and decorate.
These articles and related information were published in Spectacular Slovakia 2004.
EURO CALCULATOR (Sk30.1260 = €1)