Slovenia is located in central Europe and shares boundaries with Austria (north), Hungary (east), Croatia (south), and Italy (west). It has a small coastal area in the southwest region, which borders the Adriatic Sea.
Next to Italy in the west are the Julian Alps and various mountains and valleys with numerous rivers in the east.
The climate in the coastal strip of Slovenia is determined by the Mediterranean Sea. Its inland climate ranges from mild to hot summers, with cold winters in the valleys and plateaus of the east.
History and Food.
From as early as the A.D. 800s, Slovenia has fallen under foreign control, gaining its independence only in 1991. For over 1,000 years, Slovenes lived mostly under German rule as part of the Holy Roman (962–1806), Austrian (1806–1867), and Austro-Hungarian (1867–1918) empires. World War II (1939–1945) divided present-day Slovenia among German, Italian, and Hungarian powers. Each of these countries, along with neighboring Austria to the north, has contributed significantly to Slovene cuisine.
German cuisine is typically heavy in meats and starches, which has carried over to Slovene cuisine. Germans relied on pork, sauerkraut, and potatoes for a majority of their dishes, as seen in present-day Slovene meals.
Austria, located north of present-day Slovenia, brought klobasa (a type of sausage), breaded, and pastry items, such as zavitek (strudels) to Slovene cooking.
Hungarian influences included golaz (goulash), paprikas (chicken or beef stew), and palacinke , which are thin pancakes filled with nuts or jam and topped with chocolate.
Italian pastas, such as njoki (potato dumplings), rizota (risotto), and zlikrofi , similar to ravioli, became part of the Slovene diet as well.
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