Soča Valley in a bowl
Bovec local food
Summer in the Soča Valley is alive. Nature is showing off in its best colors. Under the alpine peaks, there is an outburst of physical activity – people in tracksuits are counting their kilometers, rafts are lining up on the Soča river, cyclists, hikers, adrenaline enthusiasts – everyone is on the move. Yet, a person needs to take a break and grab a bite. That is why we are bringing you on a slightly different, turbulent, and slippery journey – through the stomach into the soul of the Soča valley. Have a taste of Bovec local food.
Original, humble, and straight from grandma – authentic homemade food makes up a good part of the valley’s experience, and with all those outdoor pursuits to try you can rest assured it is all very hearty! These bold flavors tell the story of the place, preserve the tradition and inspire creative modern cuisine that satisfies even the pickiest. Does this make your mouth water? To ensure that you don’t miss out on any of the local specialties, we’ve created a list of the top five authentic dishes and the best places that serve them.
Sheep cheese at Černuta eco-farm. Photo: Rok Petelin
Sheep, goats, cows – cheese
Cheesemaking has a long and rich tradition in the region. Cheese is present in almost every traditional dish, so you just can’t avoid it. Young, ripe, hard, soft, smoked, with herbs – each reel has its own story, beginning with sheep, goats and cows. The art of cheesemaking is magical: fresh milk gets a shape, a hard crust, and over time develops that spicy taste. You can find the best original Bovec sheep cheese at the Černuta eco-farm in the picturesque village Log pod Mangartom, at Ostan and Škander in Bovec, and at eco-farm Jelinčič in the village Soča. You can sample organic goat cheese and albumen curd at the eco-farm Cuder and Mlekuž. We recommend visiting the Bogata estate, where Tolminc cheese is made from raw cow’s milk.
Potato and cottage cheese
Boiled, unpeeled potatoes served with salted sheep curd. This modest and simple dish surprises with its rich taste. There is no restaurant under the Bovec sun without it on the menu. Our favorite place to try this dish is Bovec kitch’n, a charming wooden stall in the middle of the town, owned by daughter and father, Anja and Bojan, where you can find all local goodies.
Potato and cottage cheese. Photo: Rok Petelin
Frika is a must try
Although it originates from the neighboring Friuli, Frika is the unconditional queen of the Soča region. It is a typical shepherd’s dish, very tempting, outrageously greasy, sinfully good, and a real treat for the hungry ones. Ingredients? Depending on who you ask. There are plenty of varieties, and a pretty passionate debate can develop about which frika is the right one. Briefly, it contains baked potatoes richly coated with old, full-bodied cheese. All this is stacked on a large, black, well-worn pan and placed over the fire – sizzle, sizzle, sizzle. The result is a pizza-like alpine omelet. It is not for dieting, but it is excellent for socializing after a long sporty day. You can try a piece of “frika” with cow cheese at the Bovec kitch’n stand.
Frika. Photo: Anja Rot
Bovec kitch’n. Photo: Anja Rot
The marble trout – the fish with respect
Fast, mysterious, elusive, rare – marble trout. It was on the brink of extinction, but the species managed to survive with the help of local fishermen. In addition to the pure Soča trout, which can only be found in a handful of restaurants, you can taste rainbow or brown trout. Wrapped in prosciutto, served with cottage cheese or local cheese,… – roasted with almonds is served at the restaurants Metoja and Sovdat.
Sweet Bovec pockets
Do you have a sweet tooth? “Bovški krafi” are the perfect way to top off your tasty journey. Although they were created as a festive dish, served only on special occasions, Bovec pockets are a popular homemade treat. The thin layer of dough is filled with stuffing made out of dried pears called “kloce”, enriched with ground walnuts, grated apples, raisins, sugar, and rum.
Making Bovec pockets. Photo: Rok Petelin
Pockets are best served warm, topped with melted butter, and sprinkled with cinnamon and breadcrumbs. You can find this sweet delight on almost every restaurant menu. We love the ones at Paula’s stall on the Bovec main square. Made with love and served with a great amount of wittiness.
Bovec pockets. Photo: Paulačinka
While modern cuisine is galloping forward, the classic flavors of tradition remain alive in the Soča region. Local dishes even have their festivals from Frikafest, Jestival to Čomparska noč. Now it is time to pull out the chair, sit and explore the most delicious sides of the Soča region. Enjoy your meal!
Shepherd’s lunch at Černuta eco-farm. Photo: Rok Petelin