Slovenia's boutique food products and wines are slowly getting the recognition they deserve for their high quality. Several Japanese gourmet and connoisseur groups have recently visited Slovenia. Seven Hills magazine presented Slovenia's foods and wines in a special 26-page long feature. The Alpine republic has been visited by Hiroshi Ishida, the chef and owner of Mibu, the fabled and exclusive high-end restaurant in Tokyo. The leading Japanese wine connoisseur group Club Lumiére visited only two European countries, France and Slovenia. Last fall Slovenia was also visited by representatives of Hattori Ecole de Cuisine et Nutrition – and the group was led by school’s dean Tsukiko Hattori.
In November Slovenian boutique food and wines were also presented in Hong Kong’s International Wine and Spirits Fair. So far Slovenia has been exporting to China mostly dairy products, wines, and grain products. In Hong Kong a special emphasis was thus put – in addition to that on high quality wines - on bee products, but also ice creams and pumpkin seed oil. This second consecutive appearance at the fair was noticed by the Chinese media, such as the South China Morning Post.
Asian gourmets and wine experts are focusing on Slovenia primarily for the high quality of its boutique and niche-oriented products. This quality is strongly related to the unpolluted nature and non-extensive organic methods of agricultural production. The UK-based World's 50 Best Restaurants awards last year recognized Ana Roš, from the small town of Kobarid, as world's best female chef. Ms. Roš does not hide the formula of her success: vegetables produced in Hiša Franko’s own garden, herbs, mushrooms, and fruits picked in nearby woods, and other top-quality ingredients produced in the pristine Alpine nature of Soča Valley. Using the best natural ingredients is the best recipe for good food, and one of the reasons why Slovenia is increasingly recognized by lovers of great food and wine, not only in neighboring countries, but also in the Far East.
Potica, a typical Slovenian cake.
Photo: Emma Kate, VisualHunt