Slovenia Revealed
Locals hope that the pan-European network will bring even more visitors interested in tasting Slovenian cheese and experiencing Slovenian culture first hand. Foto: Peter Zajc

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On the Trail of Cheese

Slovenia Revealed
22. February 2018 ob 06:29
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

In the popular imagination, a stereotypically Slovenian landscape tends to consist of idyllic mountain scenes with cows and flower-filled pastures. The imagery gives some indication of how important dairy farming has always been for the people of Slovenia. Now, several “cheese trails” have seen set up to draw attention to the country’s tradition of cheesemaking, to keep old farming practices alive, and to introduce Slovenian cheese to international travelers.

In the Bohinj area alone, a cheese trail links up more than twenty cheesemakers. The initiative came to life shortly after the turn of the millennium; one of its key goals was to promote dairy farmers both in the Bohinj Valley and in the age-old pastures scattered throughout the surrounding mountainsides.

One such pasture is Zajamniki. Surrounded by forests and grassland, the settlement consists of a row of traditional wooden houses, where cheese, cottage cheese, butter, sour milk, and other dairy products are sold to a growing number of visitors.

The renewed interested in traditional dairy products, spurred in part by the cheese trails, has enabled many dairy farmers to expand their operations and begin offering traditional, almost-forgotten cheeses such as the Bohinj “mohant.” Now, the network of cheese trails also includes the areas around Bled and Kranjska Gora; throughout the system of trails, distinctive yellow signs guide visitors and urge them to explore a part of Slovenia’s culinary heritage.

Other parts of Slovenia have decided to follow suit. In the Soča River Valley, in the far western part of the country, more than a dozen farms have joined forces to create another cheese trail. Their focus is on local cow’s and sheep’s cheeses, which have been made in the area for centuries. The recently established Soča Cheese Trail is part of an international network of dairy trails, which currently includes Slovenia, Spain, Malta, Latvia, Bulgaria, and Italy.

Locals hope that the pan-European network will bring even more visitors interested in tasting Slovenian cheese and experiencing Slovenian culture first hand.

Jaka Bartolj
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