POTICA, a traditional pastry, is a must for every holiday in Slovenia, be it Christmas, Easter or a family celebration. Since Slovenia boasts a wealth of culturally diverse regions with a variety of culinary traditions, there is a whole range of potica pastries to be found here, from simple nut rolls to veritable masterpieces with lavish fillings. The filling for this exquisite pastry is entirely up to the baker and his or her creativity – there are as many delicious potica recipes as there are housewives and cooks. And the little secrets that are so important for making a good potica are passed down through generations.
Walnut potica is the most common and popular type; traditionally it should be baked inside a bread oven in a POTIČNICA – a round, clay baking dish, usually handmade and modelled on the crown of Jesus Christ. This is how the most delicious potica pastries are baked.
Potica is a traditional holiday pastry in Slovenia. Symbolic of the crown of Christ, it is one of the foods included in the Easter baskets that are brought to the church for blessing on Holy Saturday.
The first written mention of potica dates back to the 17th century. In his book about our country and its traditions, polymath J. V. Valvasor also writes about the potica pastry, which he describes as a roll of thin dough with a honey and walnut filling. The Slovenian name for the pastry, "povitica" or "potica", probably originates from the verb "poviti", to roll.
The tradition of baking potica is much older than its first written mention. Potica has always been made here in various forms, with or without yeast, and eaten hot or cold. At one time, it was often included in tax payments and in meals served to landowners.
There are countless varieties of potica made in all the Slovenian regions. The dough can be made using various types of flour and coated with different fruit or herb fillings. Potica can be enjoyed hot or cold, with a knife and fork or (better yet) with your fingers.