Otočec Castle: Slovenian Easter Potica Festival 2017

This spring Terme Krka hosted the first Slovenian Easter Potica Festival. Potica is a traditional Slovenian pastry and Slovenia is trying to obtain the Traditional Specialty Guaranteed status for it from the European Comission. The honorary sponsor of the first edition of the festival was Dejan Židan, Slovenian minister of agriculture, forestry and food.

The public response exceeded the organizer’s expectations. Home-made poticas from all over Slovenia were judged by a jury at Otočec Castle. The expert panel consisted of ethnologist Janez Bogataj, internationally-acclaimed food critic Milena Skvarča and Otočec Castle chef Dejan Pavlič.

“Without a doubt in my mind, this festival proves that we are very creative in terms of gastronomy,” says jury president Janez Bogataj, PhD, author of Potice iz Slovenije, a book about potica in Slovenia. Most of the poticas were made with a walnut filling but Janez Bogataj says walnut potica isn’t only typical of Easter, it’s mostly baked at Christmas time. One of the most typical Easter poticas in Slovenia is tarragon potica or quark and tarragon potica. It’s considered to be a Slovenian delicacy because tarragon is typically used in savory dishes otherwise.

The festival jury chose the best three poticas. They received a gold, silver and bronze award and were then sold at auction. The first potica festival had a touch of charity as well. All of the poticas were sold and the money raised will go to children in need from Lower Carniola.

The winning potica symbolizes coexistence

The winning potica combined three flavors, resulting in a walnut, tarragon and poppy seed potica. It was baked by Jožica Dorniž, a journalist by profession. She likes to bake potica because she finds it relaxing. Since she works in the media world, she wanted to bake a potica that would tell a story. “My potica is all about coexistence. We need each other, we need to work together to ensure lovely flavors and a lovely community.”