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<b>EUROPA — Gastronomy<p>Slovenia's Roll Cakes or Poticas</b><p>In terms of culinary art, Slovenia has established itself on the gastronomic map of Europe as a country whose cuisine reflects its unique geographical position bringing together the culinary traditions of the Mediterranean, Alpine and Pannonian regions. Since the 1920s, and especially following WWII, individual influences of the neighbouring Balkan, some great European and world cuisines have begun to appear. Over the centuries, country's unique position and special lifestyles have created a rich variety of specialties that add to the culinary diversity of Europe. One of Slovenia's most prized culinary specialties is a roll cake called "potica". The cake stuffed with various fillings has developed over the centuries into a round, ring-shaped cake as we know it today. The form itself is actually very old, only the technology of preparation has changed. The present practice of baking the cake in special moulds with a protrusion at the centre has been around for some 200 years. It replaced an earlier form of filled and rolled up dough called "povitica" (the name potica probably originates from this word, which means "rolled-up"), which was placed on a wooden baker's peel and put directly in traditional farm stoves where it was baked without a pan. Potica is a common dessert of every region and almost every home in Slovenia. Endless varieties differing in the preparation of dough, fillings and ways of baking are the reason why we often speak of poticas and not just potica. Today the walnut filling is probably the most common, even though at first fillings mostly consisted of honey, tarragon and greaves (ocvirkovka). The choice of walnut, poppy seed and tarragon poticas is not just a coincidence. They have been selected to represent three geographical regions – the Alps, the Mediterranean and the Pannonian plain and their culinary creativity.
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