Cuisine & Recipes

With a large part of Slovak culture being based in and around that central concept of the home, this means a sizeable chunk of traditional Slovak-ness is food and drink related.

Often it’s to do with Slovakia’s rural roots and its stint under Communism: making the most of food that comes your way. Often it’s to do with landscape (the conditions that make some of Eastern Europe’s most distinctive wine or feistiest slivovica, for example). Sometimes it’s just going crazy, killing/cooking up a pig and inviting the neighbours round to partake of the resulting edible delights. Inevitably, it leads on a tasty trail to some good, hearty Slovak food…

You don’t clock up almost four years living in Slovakia without finding out a few special recipes, either, particularly because true Slovak cuisine is best experienced in the home, rustled up by a babka (grandmother). So in this sub-section we have also included a few of those classic Slovak recipes!

This sub-section of the Arts & Culture section is dedicated to general culinary trends and traditions and recipes; go to our Places to Eat & Drink section for specific reviews of places to eat and drink.

Other sites on Slovak cuisine really worth checking out: www.slovakbeer.com (Slovak beer), www.slovakcooking.com (Slovak recipes)


Posts in Cuisine & Recipes

  • blackthorn-1621554_960_7201Plum madness of Slivovica

    One of my favourite libations is Slivovica (pronounced slee-woh-weetza). Absinthe may have a mythological, illegally glamorous reputation all over Europe – but Slivovica is rightfully seen as Slovakia’s plum madness. The best is aged for years in oak barrels; it smells like molten gold and has a fire that incinerates your taste buds. The very best ...

  • bean soup (1 of 1)On the Slovaks and Their Soups: A Tastebud-Tingling Intro

    You do not have to linger long in Slovakia before the importance – and indeed, the bubbling aroma – of soup hits you. Hailed as a starter and gracing menus the country over in a dazzling array of flavours and forms, soup is up there as a key fixture of Slovak cuisine. Naomi Hužovičová, a ...

  • Slovak Craft Beer: Grabbing International Attention

    Getting thirsty as the hotter weather comes? We don’t blame you. Traditionally, Slovakia has been better known for its wine. But Slovakia’s craft beer is pretty amazing these days: not only in Bratislava, where there are four or five microbreweries that really stand out, but also in towns across the country from Banská Štiavnica to Poprad ...

  • A Taste of Slovakia is one of the first books on Slovak cuisine available in English. Image by Jarmila HlavkováSpotlight On: Jarmila Hlavková, Author of the First Slovak Recipe Book to be Published in the English Language

    Slovakia is a land-locked country surrounded by five other bigger and historically more influential nations – the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Ukraine and Poland – and as in other respects, this has moulded the country’s culinary development. But whilst Slovak food may feature the pickled Czech cheese, Austrian schnitzel and Hungarian goulash, circumstances have conspired ...

  • Bryndza natierka - image by www.englishmaninslovakia.co.ukAn Easy Bryndza Recipe

    Bryndza, the tart, tangy sheep’s cheese that forms one of the backbones of Slovak cuisine, can be used in a variety of dishes – most famously, of course, in the national dish Bryndzové Halušky (potato dumplings with sheep’s cheese, to be featured in another post, because actually getting those dumplings right is an art many ...

  • img_2932Top Ten Quintessential Slovak Foods and Drinks

    It’s been a long time in coming but here, after much consideration, is my top ten of quintessential Slovak foods/drinks. I use the word quintessential to convey unique or semi-unique to Slovakia culinary delights, so these are ranked with uniqueness as well as tastiness in mind. I am quite sure those familiar with Poland and the ...

  • Slovak Vodka Corners the UK Market!

    Stará Ľubovňa has a fair amount to answer for when it comes to Slovakia spirits. Just beyond town, the highly successful Nestville Park distillery in Hniezdne produces Slovakia’s only whiskey. But in Stará Ľubovňa itself, the Gas Familia distillery produces a number of alcoholic drinks and one of these, the singular Goral Vodka, has recently ...

  • A selection of different bottles of Slivovica/Slivovitz from the Slovak and Czech RepublicsHow to Make Slivovica (Plum Brandy) in Seven Steps

    Insights from a Producer in Myjava region, Western Slovakia. Myjava region, located in Western Slovakia on the edge of the Biele Karpaty (White Carpathians) and somewhere between Záhorie region (generally west), Považie region (generally east) and southern Morava in the Czech Republic (mostly north), is the capital of slivovica production in Slovakia. This is saying a lot ...

  • ©www.englishmaninslovakia.co.ukCoffee and Tea Culture in Slovakia: the Kaviaren versus the Čajovna

    Before 1989, partaking of a good beverage was significantly more limited than it is today in Slovakia. But particularly where coffee was concerned. Almost everyone drank the same brand, heralding from Poprad – an underwhelming and grainy affair by most accounts (and that is only to mention the best of them). No one thought to question its origin ...

  • How to Butcher a Pig Like a Slovak!

    You can’t get much more Slovak than butchering a pig, as food blogger and photographer Naomi Hužovičová reveals…  In the dark of an early winter’s morning, Deduško (Grandpa) shuffles out into the cold. While the rest of the household is still sleeping, he lights a fire at the bottom of each of the barrels, heating water for the ...

  • img_4328Stará Ľubovňa: A Journey to the Roots of Slovak Whiskey at Nestville Park Distillery

    A few months back I was doing my usual, intermittent mooch around my favourite Bratislava whisky shop, the White Mouse, when I noticed something tucked away in the corner of the window display gathering dust that I hadn’t glimpsed on previous visits, or indeed anywhere else: a bottle of Nestville Park, and the caveat, in ...

  • A cellar of Small Carpathians wine... image by SmuconlawLimbach: the Stop on the Wine Route No One Knows About

    An autumnal article here and a heads-up, if you’re thinking of visiting Western Slovakia, that autumn might indeed be THE time to do it! Without more ado, here is an introduction to the very first place you’ll come to of interest as you drive northeast from Bratislava… A misty October weekend afternoon; the itch to get ...

  • tokaj1The Tokaj Wine Cellars of the Far East: Drinking Like a King

    Mmm. Culinary adventures. What better way to explore than one which has as its motive the discovery of a food or drink? I don’t just say this for my own palate’s sake. In a country I care about, it is also a beautiful thing to see a product flourishing which is a distillation of the ...

  • Delicious duck fat ©www.englishmaninslovakia.co.ukHow I Fell in Love With Duck Fat

    My ex-girlfriend always was a big fan of duck fat. She repeatedly told me lyrical, nostalgia-filled stories about what a great and delicious thing it was. My initial reaction was horror, followed by putting it down to a Slovak quirk. Let me contextualise: in Slovakia, loving duck fat is a pretty common thing. In the UK, ...

  • Western Slovakia: the Wine Tastings (in Trnava)

    NONE  of the events taking place on what is known as the Small Carpathians Wine Route (Malokarpatská vínna cesta) exactly advertise themselves. Yet for the traveler with the canny eye for doing something a bit different there is usually something going on most months that’s wine-related in the hills just north of Bratislava. In fact, ...

  • Bratislava Christmas Market by Miroslav PetraskoThe Old Town: Bratislava’s Christmas Market

    I remember laughing the first time I heard that Bratislava’s Christmas Market, that started on 23rd November and runs until 23rd December, was one of Central Europe’s best winter festivals. With Vienna’s famous Christmas markets less than an hour’s drive away, could Bratislava’s really be considered in the same league? Well, maybe not. But when we ...

  • Šulance: A Recipe

    OK, so this may not look like the Šulance hardcore Slovak-ophiles are accustomed to… But that’s because it’s made not with homemade plum jam like they use in a typical Slovak household, but sweetened stewed plums which, being chunky, rather dominate what’s underneath. However this traditional dumpling recipe is made with my ex-girlfriend’s mothers recipe which is ...