Food in Slovakia = Good Stuff

Yes, yes, yes…and yes again. I like Slovakian food! So much good stuff; all of the recipes below will be on regular rotation in my household. Let’s jump right on in, shall we?

Goulash Soup (Gulášová polievka)

Adapted from a recipe at

I hesitated to make this, since goulash seems so tied to Hungary. It’s apparently very popular in Slovakia as well, so that’s good enough for me. I’ll just make it the Hungarian way when I get there. This is truly a soup; it’s not thick like the standard goulash. I’ve read that this is often in made in a cast iron pot over a bonfire…I’m sure that takes the taste level over the top.

Goulash Soup
Goulash Soup, On the Stove (image by The Global Reader)


  • 1.5 lbs of beef
  • 1.5 lbs of potatoes
  • butter for cooking
  • one onion, diced
  • one green bell pepper, diced
  • one red bell pepper, diced
  • one yellow bell pepper, diced
  • one clove of garlic, minced
  • one tomato
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Pepper
  • ¼ teaspoons Caraway Seeds
  • 4 Tablespoons Sweet Hungarian Paprika
  • Pinch of red pepper
  • Water to cover


  1. Melt butter in a pot and brown the beef
  2. Add onions and cook 5 minutes, or until softened
  3. Add the three sweet peppers and cook until softened
  4. Add spices and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes
  5. Add water to cover, cover and let simmer on low heat until the beef is soft (this will take a while – about an hour)
  6. Check the spices, adjust to taste
  7. Add potatoes and tomato, and continue cooking, covered, for another hour
  8. Serve with hearty bread, on a cold rainy day. Enjoy!
Slovak Goulash Soup
Slovak Goulash Soup (image by The Global Reader)

Bryndzové halušky

This is amazing stuff. My husband lost his mind when he first tasted it; he asked me in the very nicest way to please make this ALL OF THE TIME. The dumplings are easy and fantastic – they would be delicious even on their own. But you really, really want to make the complete dish; it’s rich, comforting, and so very satisfying.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 4 potatoes (small, peeled and pureed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lb bacon
  • 1 package of feta cheese
  • 3/4 of a pack of cream cheese
  • 3-4 tbsp of milk
  • 1 lb bacon
Halusky Ingredients
Halusky Ingredients (image by The Global Reader)


  1. Fry bacon until crisp. Crumble and set aside.
  2. Peel potatoes and puree them in a food processor.
  3. Add eggs, baking powder, salt and flour Make a dough that is not too tough but not too watery. You may use more or less flour or add a little bit of water if it is too tough. I was scared that my dough was too thin, but it turned out just fine.
  4. Boil water w 2 tbsp of salt. Drop in dough when water is at a full boil. I used a spaetzle maker to create the dumplings.
  5. When haluskzy are done they will float on top of the water. Strain and allow to drain for a minute or so.
  6. I was unable to find bryndza; from what I can tell, it’s not that common in the US. Instead, I used 1 package of Feta Cheese and 3/4 of a pack of cream cheese, and 3-4 tbsp of milk. Mix together in a medium bowl until smooth.
  7. In a large serving dish, place the drained halusky. Add the cheese, and top with the bacon. I mixed everything together after that – don’t know if that is authentic, but it was GOOD.
Spaetzle Maker
Spaetzle Maker (image by The Global Reader)
Halusky with all the fixings
Halusky with all the fixings (image by The Global Reader)

Bublanina Cake

This has quickly become a favorite in our house; I make it at least once a week. You can mix up the recipe with any combination of citrus and fruit in season. In the summer, I made it with limes and plums. This is a simple and straight-forward dessert, not too sweet but full of flavor. It can be served warm, room temperature, or even cold (which I think is best!)
Adapted from a recipe at Taste My Plate.


  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs divided (room temperature)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • zest of two small to medium lemons
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of cream tartar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups fresh fruit


1. Heat oven to 350 F with rack in center
2. Grease and flour a round cake or pie pan
3. In a medium size bowl cream together butter, sugar and yolk until light and fluffy.
Add lemon juice, lemon zest and salt. Mix well
4. In another medium bowl beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff
5. Alternately fold in egg whites and flour into the butter mixture
6. Spread batter into the baking pan and scatter fruit pieces over top, lightly pressing fruit into the batter
7. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean from the cake’s center

Bublanina Cake
Bublanina Cake (image by The Global Reader)

Reading About Slovakia: Year of the Frog

Year of the Frog by Martin Simecka

Set in Bratislava in the early 1980s and told through the eyes of the main character, Milan, it’s a coming-of-age story that is much more than that phrase sometimes conveys.

Milan encounters the trials we all go must go through as we enter adulthood: What do I believe in? What am I going to do with my life? What does it mean to really love someone? Add to that a father imprisoned as a political dissident, a mother who is losing her grip on health and sanity, dead-end jobs, constant surveillance…but he still finds hope on his search for a deeper meaning to life.

It’s a lovely, melancholy book, and an amazing first novel for long-time journalist Martin Simecka.

Panorama of Bratislava
Panorama of Bratislava (image by Tauba via Wikimedia Commons)

Country #17 – Slovakia

Back to Europe for our next stop – County #17 is Slovakia.

I know the history is going to be interesting, and the food delicious. I’m excited to see what new things I’m about to learn!