A few months ago in my excited state I tweeted that we were going to be visiting Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia and I received a tweet back from a company called Ljubljananjam (which means Ljubljana Yum) who offered us a foodwalk around the city during our stay. I’ll be honest we have been to many places around the world and had never experience a food walk but the fact we love walking and we certainly love food, it seemed like a great offer and one we graciously accepted the kind offer. We made contact with Iva the owner of Ljubljananjam to organise and she couldn’t have been more helpful. She checked that we didn’t have any dietary requirements, which we don’t but if we did she would have tailored our food walk as necessary. She also provided details of a meeting point and map.
We were very lucky to have a private tour however Iva explained that she likes to keep her groups small so everyone can hear what she has to say and keeps it a personal experience and customised to the needs of the group. Iva is obviously a passionate foodie and passionate about her home town of Ljubljana making her a perfect tour leader. Not only could she answer our questions about the foods we were seeing/eating but she could also answer our questions about Ljubljana in general and point out great spots for us to take photographs from as we happily wandered the streets of this unique city.
Our first port of call was the Farmers market which is open every day of the week, excluding Sundays, and colourfully demonstrates how important fresh fruit and vegetables are to Slovenians when cooking. Also, fresh milk – we were surprised to see milk machines where people were refilling their bottles which we thought was fantastic and a great example of why Ljubljana is the European Green Capital 2016.
We were even introduced to some food that we had never tasted before let alone heard of. Iva explained that food is a big, social part of Slovenian culture, especially lunch when most people have a 3 course meal. We wandered here and there sampling many local delights as we went and chatted to stall holders and shop owners about their produce. Iva also took us to places off the beaten track that we probably would never have ventured to on our own.
We learnt that Slovenian cuisine has elements from many nearby countries and in fact you can find pizza that is just as yummy as you can in Italy, they are neighbours after all. Big favourites here are cottage cheese and asparagus so when we sat down for lunch, in one of Iva’s favourite restaurants, where we even bumped into her mum and dad and were introduced to the owners, we were happy to find that cottage cheese and asparagus flan was on the menu. There seems to be a very laid back atmosphere in Ljubljana when it comes to eating with a lot of it being done al fresco, well who wouldn’t when the weather is on your side?
We spent 3 hours with Iva but we could have easily spent 3 days with her, she is chatty, friendly and very knowledgeable. We would recommend taking her food walk as soon as possible on your trip to Ljubljana that way you have to opportunity to revisit one, or all, of the fantastic places she introduces you to. We were given a Ljubljana Culinary Survival Guide with lots of information regarding eating etiquette and useful phrases, which came in really useful.
Needless to say we don’t want to give too much away about what you can expect from a Ljubljananjam’s food walk, as we would love for you to experience it yourself. We hope we have whetted your appetite (see what we did there?!) Essential Food Walks (like the one we did) start at €35, which we think considering the amount of food and booze (yes booze!) we tried is great value for money. We walked away from our food walk with lots of pictures, lots of information, a great recipe for sourdough and very full bellies! Iva also provided us via e-mail following our food walk a list of the places we visited and links to their sites.
• we received our food walk on a complimentary basis in exchange for an honest review.