Lictar hearts are hand made out of gingerbread like substance. They are colored red and decorated with a swirling outline, small flowers, and a small mirror. The tradition of making Lictar Hearts in Slovenia goes back to 1757 when the first Lictar workshop opened in 1757 in Slovenj Gradec. In the same shop, nine generations later, Lictar souvenirs are still being made. The town of Radovljica also shares a long Lictar tradition. In the basement of the restaurant Pr Lectarju, skilled workers make traditional Lictar Hearts in front of visitors, who can take the finished souvenirs home to their loved ones.
Idrija Lace is a bobbin tape lace, made in Idrija in western Slovenia. Since its introduction in the seventeenth century, this type of lace making has been an important part of Idrija’s tradition.The skills of lacemaking are passed down from generation to generation, but due to the rising interest in this craft form, a Lacemaking School was opened in Idrija in 1876. The school still operates today and plays a significant role in preserving the lacemaking tradition. Small cloths are the most common finished product of this craft, but handkerchiefs, gloves, and even earrings can also be made from Idrija Lace.
Named after the town Bovec, this cheese is produced on farms in northwestern Slovenia. It is made from sheep’s milk, which gives it a strong smell and taste. This cheese takes sixty to ninety days to mature, and the final product has a hard shell with a compact and elastic texture inside. Sometimes cow’s or goat’s milk is added during the process, which produces cheese with a less intense flavor. However, for it to be marked as Bovec Cheese, the final product needs to contain at least eighty percent sheep’s milk.
Beehive Panels are small wooden planks that beekeepers used in the past to close the front of the beehive. Different motifs painted on the planks were used to mark and differentiate between the beehives. Planks were hand painted with one of over six hundred traditional motifs. Motifs painted on the planks either portrayed religious scenes, rural life, or scenes from folk stories. Beekeepers stopped using the beehive panels after World War I. Today, these beautifully painted wooden planks are still made and are one of the most popular souvenirs from Slovenia.
Each year, Piran Salt is hand harvested on the Sečovlje Salt Pans, located on the Slovenian coast. The location of the salt pans and the seven centuries old procedure that is used, gives Piran Salt a recognizable flavor. The best product of Sečovlje Salt Pans is the Salt Flower. This particular type of salt is a thin layer of the finest salt crystals which is scraped from the surface of sea salt pans. Salt Flower is considered to be one of the best salts in the world.
Ribnica and its surrounding towns have an over five hundred year old tradition of wooden ware making. Historically, different towns specialized in the making of different wooden products (spoons, ladles, pails, tools, bowls, etc.) which were then sold around Slovenia and neighboring countries as Ribnica Wooden Ware. Today, salesmen from Ribnica can still be found at local markets, and their handmade wooden ware is a great souvenir for visitors to take home.
Slovenia has a long and rich beekeeping tradition. Local beekeepers around the country produce delicious honey and honey-based products. For almost ten years Slovenian honey has been a product of protected geographical indication, ensuring the highest quality of the honey. Visitors can purchase honey from local shops or visit a Medex store in Ljubljana. In cooperation with more than 2000 beekeepers, the Medex store offers various kinds of honey, natural sweeteners, and cosmetics based on bee products and other natural ingredients.
Prešeren Figs are a top quality praline honoring Slovenia’s greatest poet Dr. France Prešeren. This delicious treat is made of dried figs covered in cream and chocolate. When still alive, Prešeren carried dried figs in his coat pocket and handed them out to local kids. This practice earned him the nickname Dr. Fig Fig, and is the reason that the main ingredient of this delicious praline is figs.