The story of Kranjska klobasa in Slovenia


The Kranjska klobasa or Kranjska sausage is one of the most internationally recognizable Slovenian traditional specialties. Not only is it known internationally, but is also known in space. Yes, that’s right, Kranjska klobasa traveled to space a few years back!

Kranjska klobasa is also known under the name Carniolan sausage or Kranjska sausage. Kranjska klobasa is one of the most famous Slovenian culinary specialties, which is allowed to be produced by no more than 13 Slovenian food producers. It is a sausage with its own certificate. How about that?

This heavily smoked sausage is traditionally eaten with mustard, horseradish, bread, sauerkraut, and fermented turnip. When visiting Slovenia one must try this Slovenian specialty, which si Kranjska klobasa. Unless you are vegetarian or vegan.

Origin of Kranjska klobasa

Besides the traditional potica, Kranjska klobasa is one of the most known Slovenian dishes. Kranjska klobasa or the Carniolan sausage originates from the times of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy when the territory of Slovenia was known as Carniola. First mentioned of Kranjska klobasa dates back to 1896. Kranjska klobasa was mentioned in the book by an author by the name of Katharine Prato in her cookbook Süddeutsche Küche (in translation South German Cooking). Prato in 1896 described how to properly cook the Kranjska klobasa. The anecdote or legend from that time tells us how Emperor Francis Joseph stopped at the inn in Slovenia (somewhere around Naklo) on his way and the innkeeper offered him only a plain sausage, exclaimed: “This one is not an ordinary sausage, but a Kranjska klobasa sausage!”. 

Kranjska klobasa orginated in the Gorenjska region, where it also got its name “Kranjska” or “Carniolan” sausage. The popularity of Kranjska klobasa in Slovenia quickly grown and it was spread across the whole country in a matter of years.

Kranjska klobasa

Emigrating Slovenians took Kranjska klobasa with them out into the world, making it famous worldwide. In the German-speaking world, the Kranjska sausage is known as “Krainer Wurst”, while the English-speaking world knows it as “kransky sausage”. Sounds kinda funny, right?

The recipe for Kranjska klobasa

The first recipe for Kranjska klobasa was written in 1912 by Felicita Kalinšek in the sixth edition of “Slovenska kuharica” (in translation Slovene Cookbook). Chroniclers of old Ljubljana mention the Kranjska klobasa as a part of menus at important and gala events. Kranjska klobasa used to be quite a fancy dish.

Kranjska klobasa has to be made from the finest pork and bacon with added sodium nitrite and seasoned solely with garlic and pepper. Kranjska klobasa is held together with a wooden skewer. Kranjska klobasa in Slovenia has a reddish-brown color on the surface and bears a faint scent of smoke; in cross-section, the meat is pinkish-red, while the bacon is a creamy white color and not dissolved. The texture of the Kranjska klobasa is taut, crunchy, and juicy, with a full aroma that is characteristic of desalinated, specifically seasoned and smoked pork.

Kranjska klobasa

Kranjska klobasa or Kranjska sausage has to be cooked before consumption. It is usually eaten hot, together with sour or cooked cabbage or sour turnip. A white bun, mustard, and grated horseradish are mandatory companions. Kranjska klobasa can also be enjoyed with different beverages. Wine is preferred, but it also goes well with beer. Cheers to that and dober tek as we say in Slovenia.

The Carniolan sausage that went to space

That’s right. You heard correctly. Kranjska klobasa went to space in 2006! Not many sausages can say that now can they. Kranjska klobasa traveled to space with the American astronauts of Slovenian roots, Sunita Williams. We have heard that the astronauts on board of International Space Station loved Kranjska klobasa so much, it has become a regular dish for them.

Protection of Kranjska klobasa in Slovenia

Like we mentioned before, Kranjska klobasa can be produced by only 13 sausage producers in Slovenia, which all have obtained a special certificate for its production by the European Union. All the certified pridecers of Kranjska klobasa use a special label on their Kranjska klobasa, which ensures you as the consumer that you have bought the right sausage. Check out which are the producers of Kranjska klobasa in Slovenia below.

Kranjska klobasa as a traditional food product is protected by geographical indication in the country of origin (Slovenia) and represents a symbol of cultural heritage that we Slovenes are justifiably proud of. Furthermore, Kranjska klobasa has been listed among the protected agricultural products in the European Union in 2014. Now that is one protected sausage.

By making it on to the list of protected agricultural products in the European Union, the Kranjska klobasa has joined the group of Slovenian dishes that already had the prestigious label of protected geographical indication. Kranjska klobasa is the twenty-second Slovenian product registered by the European Commission and the 11th to have protected geographical indication.

Celebration of Kranjska klobasa

Since Kranjska klobasa or Kranjska sausage is such a popular dish for Slovenians, they decided to organize a festival in the name of the sausage, where they celebrate the quality and unique taste of Kranjska klobasa.

Let yourself be convinced about its quality and unique taste at the Kranjska sausage festival, which takes place every August in Sora near Medvode. A competition and evaluation of individual types of Kranjska klobasa or Kranjska sausage is followed by an award for the best one. Taste the best Kranjska klobasa in Slovenia on your next trip! Don’t forget to try other traditional dishes as well! Explore the top Slovenian dishes below!