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What to eat in Bratislava: A quick background on Slovakian cuisine
Hearty. Simple. Earthy. These are the three words that first come to mind when sampling Slovakian, authentic Slovakian, food. There is a reason for this straightforward earnest taste palate-Slovakia is comprised of flat Danube lowlands, Alpine mountain ranges, wine producing regions, and snow-capped mountains. Put all these together and you have simple food raised in the region with no strong spices or overly complicated exotic flavors.
Kapustnica – this dish is made from dried mushrooms and smoked meat and sauerkraut. This is a great soup to warm your bones during Christmas meals. In fact, it is usually served right on Christmas and followed up by a meal consisting of a potato salad and fried fish. Interestingly enough, kapustnica tastes better if you wait a day after you cook it. The soup settles in the fridge and something happens overnight to truly make its tastes come alive.
Segedin Goulash – as you can probably tell from the name, there is a Hungarian influence to this dish. This is not surprising since Bratislava and Slovakia were part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. This makes for a great main dish. It can be the star of the show due to its meatiness and heavy constitution. This sauerkraut and pork dish can definitely hold you captive for a while. It is usually sesrved with some steamed dumplings. Slovakian cuisine is quite distinctive in its preference for serving dumplings with soups.
Plum dumpling – Since Slovakian tables often feature rich stews and dumplings, some of the best dumplings to serve as the main course are plum dumplings. While they are quite sweet, they are not served as dessert. No sir, they are served along with stews and soups. There is a distinct Slovakian taste that celebrates sweets along with the tastes of main dishes. Usually, soup is served ahead of the dumplings. Plum dumplings are often topped with poppy seeds.
Buchty – These sweet buns are filed with poppy seed, jam, and cottage cheese. These are quite easy to make and round out the flavor offerings of a typical Slovakian meal.
Steamed dumplings – these dumplings take a bit of work to prepare. It is not the mixing and kneading that is challenging but having to waiting for them to puff up. They are well-worth the wait though since offering steamed dumplings along with rich Slovakian soups and stews make for a full and satisfying meal. Be on the lookout for Slovakian restaurants in Bratislava that can prepare steamed dumplings properly. They are well-worth the visit.