American Sylvia Onusic, who organizes culinary tours to Slovenia, advises providers of quality Slovenian food and wine that they should improve their direct marketing channels. “Worldwide, there is sufficient demand for quality food production on a small scale as we know it on the sunny side of the Alps,” says Onusic.
The automatic raw milk vending machines that are all over Europe and in Slovenia would be prohibited in America.
Sylvia Onusic had the idea to present on Slovenian food a few years ago. An expert on nutrition and public health, she lived in Slovenia for more than six years and got to know the features of the local cuisine. When she moved back to the United States, she presented her experiences at professional events. “When I spoke at the second International Raw Milk Symposium, I talked about Bled, Bohinj, the raw milk vending machines, the cika cow, and high pastures. It made an excellent impression on the audience, so much so, that I was asked to plan a tour to this beautiful country,” explains Sylvia Onusic. Above all, she wanted to show people Slovenian food freedom, such as drinking fresh milk; in America, bureaucrats have not allowed fresh milk vending machines.
|Milk-O-Matic raw milk dispenser Photo credit: Lidija Slana of Ljubljana|
“My guests were thrilled about this first culinary tour, Taste of Slovenia,” says Onusic who also writes a blog with the same name. The first guests to visit Slovenia last spring for a week of culinary indulgence were some of her American colleagues from the Weston A. Price Foundation.
“They really got tremendous value for their money, even more than you would get in Italy or Austria,” she adds. Under her direction, they traveled around Slovenia and tried the restaurant Archer at the Ljubljana Castle, Mlakar at Snežnik, the estate Movia, the Gostilna pri Lojzetu at the mansion at Zemono, Lipica Farm, Fonda’s seabass, the Salt Pans, and Velika Planina. Guests were most enthusiastic about the tour of the open air market led by Dr. Janez Bogataj, who is the advisor for the project “Taste of Slovenia.”
The guests pay for the flight to Slovenia themselves. “You have to be flexible,” she says about the question of traveling to Slovenia. “GoOpti is a great help.” However, you have to inform people well in advance of how you can fly or come by train.”
Onusic personally visits venues and asks providers a lot of questions. “If I’m not sure about something, I do not include it on the trip,” she says, because her tour is based on quality organic food and meeting with the locals.
She also strongly recommends that Slovenians be more focused on marketing themselves and their artisanal products. “Foreign guests would purchase much more directly from producers if a secure and insured service would be in place to pick up and mail their purchases to their home addresses,” she advises. Onusic presented a program on Slovenian Foodways at the Weston A. Price Foundation’s annual nutrition conference in November 2013. In June 2014 she plans to offer the tour, Taste of Slovenia, to guests with new destinations but with the same high quality cultural, social, and culinary experiences.
The original article was written by Jernej Kosec and translated into English by Sylvia Onusic.
Jernej Kosec is a journalist at Finance Business Daily (www.finance.si) and covers legal, political and business events in Slovenia and around the world. The newspaper promotes free enterprise and limited government. Kosec went to Ljubljana Law School and likes to spend his free time in nature. He was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia (Yugoslavia at the time) and grew up in the countryside in Šinkov Turn, which is a small village in the Vodice community, not far from the capital. Growing up, he helped his father in the garden and participated in all of the tasks at his grandparents’ farm, such as harvesting, cutting wood, cleaning the stables and putting the hay in the traditional Slovenian hay rack, a “kozolec”. Only a few farmers in the community still use the hay rack because the work is tiresome, but you can taste the difference in the animals that eat the hay.
|Sommelier Anze Kristan at the mansion Zemono serves Slovenian wines to the Taste of Slovenia tour group
Sylvia Onusic is the owner and creator of the culinary real food tour, “Taste of Slovenia“. The first tour, in 2013, was a huge success, and she is planning the 2014 tour for May 30 to June 9 with many new venues. The tour includes slow food as well as visiting the countryside, cheese makers and high pastures.
Details will soon be published on the Taste of Slovenia blog, www.foodtourslovenia.wordpress.com. Subscribe there to receive all of the details about the tour including information about venues on the tour and about the Slovenian culinary scene.
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