Slovenian cuisine (Slovene: slovenska kuhinja) is influenced by the diversity of Slovenia's landscape, climate, history and neighbouring cultures. In 2016, the leading Slovenian ethnologists divided the country into 24 gastronomic regions.: 15 The first Slovene-language cookbook was published by Valentin Vodnik in 1798.
Soups are a relatively recent invention in Slovenian cuisine, but there are over 100. Earlier there were various kinds of porridge, stew and one-pot meals. The most common soups without meat were lean and plain. A typical dish is aleluja, a soup made from turnip peels and a well-known dish during fasting. The most common meat soup is beef soup with noodles, which is often served on Sunday as part of a Sunday lunch (beef soup, fried potatoes, fried steak and lettuce). On feast days and holidays there is often a choice of beef noodle soup or creamy mushroom soup. Pork is popular and common everywhere in Slovenia. Poultry is also often popular. There is a wide variety of meats in different parts of Slovenia. In White Carniola and the Slovenian Littoral mutton and goat are eaten. On St. Martin's Day people feast on roasted goose, duck, turkey, or chicken paired with red cabbage and mlinci. In Lower Carniola and Inner Carniola, they used to eat roasted dormouse and quail. Until the crayfish plague in the 1880s the noble crayfish was a source of income and often on the menu in Lower Carniola and Inner Carniola.
Dandelion is popular as a salad ingredient in Slovenia and has been gathered in the fields for centuries. Even today dandelion and potato salad is highly valued. Since it can be picked only for a short time in early spring, much is made of it. Families go on dandelion picking expeditions, and pick enough for a whole week. In the Middle Ages people ate acorns and other forest fruits, particularly in times of famine. Chestnuts were valued, and served as the basis for many outstanding dishes. Walnuts and hazelnuts are used in cakes and desserts. Wild strawberries, loganberries, blackberries, bilberries were a rich source of vitamins. Mushrooms have always been popular, and Slovenians liked picking and eating them. There are many varieties. Honey was used to a considerable extent. Medenjaki, which come in different shapes are honey cakes, which are most commonly heart-shaped and are often used as gifts.
As of June 2015[update], twenty-two Slovenian foods and food products are protected at the European level:
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