Slovakia, officially known as the Slovak Republic, is a scenic landlocked country in Central Europe. Bordered by the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Austria, Ukraine and Romania, Slovakia sits at the very heart of Eastern Europe, with many of its most famous national dishes being influenced by its neighbors. Likewise, Slovakia exerts influence towards bordering countries too, and many of the most popular dishes are ones eaten throughout the region in general.
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Most Popular Slovakian Dishes
Slovak cuisine tends to be quite simple and cheap, consisting dishes that were once associated with peasants and highlanders. Some of the most commonly used ingredients include milk, potatoes, carrots, onions and cabbage. This is due to the fact that the country has many vegetable farms.
Slovakians use less meat in their dishes than most of their neighbors, but when they do use meat is often poultry, pork or lamb. Beer is very popular, with many famous Slovak beer brands from different regions of the country.
So without further ado, here are the absolute must-try traditional dishes of Slovakia along with recipes for you to try for yourself.
Bryndzove Pirohy (Dumplings with Sheep Cheese)
Bryndzove Pirohy are sheep cheese dumplings that are prepared similar to typical Russian dumplings but with sheep’s cheese in the stuffing. They are served with sour cream and crackling. These dumplings are very popular especially in the Podhale region.
Halusky are small potato noodles that are usually served in cream-leathery sauce along with pork scratchings. You can order spinach haluski (spenátove halušky), with cheese and sausage (gazdovské halušky), with sour cabbage and ribs (pastierske halušky).
Bryndzové Halušky is often considered to be the national dish of Slovakia. It is often advised to try it many times, as its flavor varies from region to region.
Vyprážaný Syr (Fried cheese)
Vyprazany syr s hranolkami and tatárskou omáčkou is a breaded cheese dish usually served along with fries and tartar sauce. Its main ingredient is a special cheese from Slovakia that is unique to the region. The cheese is usually covered with flour, egg and breadcrumbs and then fried in a pan or deep fryer.
Sztrapacska (Dumplings with cabbage)
Sztrapacska is a very simple vegetarian dish consisting of noodles that are made from potatoes and flour which is cooked in salted boiling water. They are usually served with cracklings and cream or with sour cabbage (strapačky s kyslou kapustou).
Panenka v Slaninke (Tenderloin wrapped in bacon)
Panenka v slaninke is a dish of roasted pork tenderloin wrapped with thin slices of bacon. The dish is quite simple but it looks good on a dinner table and tastes good, which is why it is very popular at formal Slovak dinners. It can be served with potato gratin and vegetables.
Zemiakové Lokše (Potato pancakes)
Zemiakové lokše are potato pancakes are baked in a pan, prepared either salty or sweet. The salty ones are often served with duck or goose, and the sweet ones are eaten as a dessert with poppy seed or nut mass and chocolate.
In addition, a little apple puree is sometimes added which can give the dish with a contrast of flavors. It is eaten in its various different forms for breakfast, as a side for main dishes and as a dessert.
Kačica s Červenou Kapustou (Roast duck with cabbage)
Kačica s Červenou Kapustou is a dish comprising of roasted duck served with cabbage. Of the meat main courses, the most popular Slovak dish is duck with red cabbage. It is most often served with potato pancakes (lokse), dumplings or fried potatoes. This dish is a Slovak classic, served both at home during Sunday dinners and at official dinners.
Demikat (sheep cheese soup)
Demikat is a type of Slovak soup containing sheep cheese. The soup also includes potatoes, onions, sweet peppers and cream. It is usually served as a cream soup with fried bacon, croutons or extra boiled potatoes.
Kapustnica (Cabbage Soup)
Kapustnica is a cabbage soup prepared with sauerkraut, sausage, potatoes, sweet peppers and sometimes also pork meat and cream. It is similar to Podhale sauerkraut soup.
In Slovakia, cabbage soup is considered a traditional Christmas dish and in this version it also contains dried plums and apples. Both its preparation and its ingredients vary depending on the region of Slovakia.
Fazulovica (Bean Soup)
Fazulovica is a dense bean soup that traditionally includes small beans, chopped vegetables and bacon. The stock is usually prepared with pork ribs, and is topped with cream. Soups, in general, are among the most consumed dishes in the Slovakia. The most popular are onion soup, garlic broth, bean soup and cabbage soup.
Gulášová Polievka (Goulash Soup)
Gulášová Polievka is a spicy soup dish, made mainly with meat, onions, bell pepper and paprika. As with most Slovak dishes, the recipe tends to vary depending on the region. It is also eaten in neighboring countries such as Hungary where Goulash is the national dish.
Kokosové Ježe is a sweet treat consisting of small cube-shaped cakes made of sponge or sponge cake dipped in chocolate and then sprinkled with desiccated coconut. They are particularly popular throughout the Balkan countries where they are known as čupavci and are often made for special occasions such as Christmas, birthdays, weddings and baptisms.