Idrija is famous for many things, and since the middle of the 19th century, one of these things has been Idrijski Žlikrofi. Žlikrofi are little pasta pockets or dumplings if you will, often filled with potato, bacon, onions, and different spices. Idrija Žlikrofi are served with various sauces. Idrija’s famous dumplings gained protected status in 2010, the first Slovenian specialty to do so.
Idrija is famous for its rich heritage, comprising a mercury mine, Idrija lace, and delicious Idrija žlikrofi or Idrijski Žlikrofi as we call them in Slovenia. Now Idrija is not only on the culinary map due to Idrija Žlikrofi according to the locals. They will often advise you to try the invigorating prfarski štruklji and the zeljševka chive roulade, accompanied with a sip of geruš, and you are bound to enjoy the exploration of the rich world of Idrija tastes.
Origin of Idrija Žlikrofi / Idrijski Žlikrofi
Idrija Žlikrofi or Idrijski Žlikrofi are delicious dumplings. In the world where almost every country has its version of pasta dough dumplings, Slovenian Idrijski Žlikrofi are on the smaller side.
As we mentioned, Idrija Žlikrofi is a type of pasta filled pocket that carries a delicious surprise on the inside, often made from spiced balls of cooked potato, onions, and lard. The exact origin of the Idrija Žlikrofi remains a bit of a mystery. Despite the unknown origin, it is said the first Idrija Žlikrofi were made over 150 years ago by a German mining family, as the name bears some resemblance to the German word ‘schlichtkrapfen’ or ‘slippery dumpling’.
The shape of Idrija Žlikrofi resembles Napoleon’s hat. However, these claims about the shape of Idrija Žlikrofi is not completely certain. Idrija žlikrofi still represent the staple in the restaurant offer of our oldest mining town.
How to make traditional Idrija Žlikrofi / Idrijski Žlikrofi
Taste the mysterious festive miners’ dish in your home.
Ingredients (for 150 pieces)
- 300 g flour
- 1–2 eggs
- oil, water or milk if needed
- 500 g potato
- up to 50 g crackling lard (regular minced lard or smoked minced bacon)
- 50 g onions
- chives, marjoram, black pepper, salt
Make a springy, non-sticky dough from flour, eggs and water or milk. Shape the mixture into a loaf, cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes. Roll it out as thin as possible. Mash the still warm boiled potatoes for the filling, add salt and toss with your fat of choice (i.e. minced lard called “zaseka”). Stir in fried onions, seasoning and herbs.
Shape the filling into balls the size of a nut. Set the balls of filling on the rolled out dough. Cut the dough between the balls of filling in strips and crosswise. Fold the top of the pasta strip over the line of filling and press down to seal each ball in. Indent the top of each parcel to create a bicorn-hat shape. Place the pasta in salted boiling water, stir and cover. The bicorns will rise to the surface when done. Drain and serve hot as the main dish. You can toss the dumplings with the signature local “bakalca” sauce or any other meat sauce, or sprinkle with gorgonzola etc.
Source of the recipe: STO
Celebration of Idrija Žlikrofi
Every year the oldest mining town in Slovenia, which is also on the UNESCO Heritage List due to its rich heritage (aka mining of mercury), Idrija, organises a special festival dedicated to this Slovenian pasta dough specialty. Idrija žlikrof Festival is usually hosted in the summer, around the month of August. The town’s main street will be filled with stands where you can taste different little dumplings shaped like Napoleon’s hat, buy local products and just relax. Locals from Idrija will tell you Idrija Žlikrofi taste best with with bakalca, a lamb and vegetable sauce.
Make sure to visit Idrija žlikrof Festival and taste this amazing Slovenian delicacy.
Idrija Žlikrofi – another Slovenian specialty under protection
Often described as a ravioli-type dish, Idrija’s famous žlikrofi dumplings were the first Slovenian dish to receive recognition and protection under the EU’s Traditional Speciality Guaranteed label, which took place in 2010, some eight years after it had been granted traditional product status domestically by the Slovenian Ministry of Agriculture.
Since Idrija Žlikrofi carry the Traditional Speciality Guaranteed label, they can only be served to you by certified experts of this Slovenian delicacy.