Cuisine

In general, people living in villages that are now situated in the area of the Park and its vicinity fasted (dial. "smo držali puast"), i.e. abstained from meat at times of major economic, political and social changes in the second half of the 20th century, every Friday of the week and, above all, on the occasion of Christmas Eve (dial. "viljo bžičnuo", "božičnuo viljuo"), Ash Wednesday (dial. "pepelnicuo", "peppeunico") and Easter Friday (dial. "velki pj'tk", "veliki pj'tk").
LENTEN PERIOD ("puost", in the local dialect)
However, they did not notice a great difference since meat was not on the table every day. During the week, potato or bean minestrone was often eaten (dial. "kr'mpj'r in f'žu") as well as hashed potatoes (dial. "kr'mpj'r z'ru'št'n", "kr'mpj'r u kazici"). They sometimes treated themselves to polenta with sausage (dial. "palj'nta s klobasuo") and on Sundays with the so-called "dry soup", i.e. soup from dried pork (among others smoked pork, pork bones, dried chine, leg etc).

According to the local inhabitants, the most common Lenten food included kale and salt cod (dial. "št'kviš", "stokviš", "bakala") that homemakers had purchased at reasonable prices a month or two beforehand in Trieste or in a nearby shop. There were exceptions, however, and it often happened that the smell of rice or potato minestrone (dial. ""rajš in kr'mpj'r") enriched with oil came from the kitchen on Easter Friday, since lard could not be used in cooking during the (strict) Lent period. Homemakers prepared salt cod in tomato sauce (dial. "šž šalšo") or without it (dial. "n'čku t'ku"). First, they soaked salt cod in water for two days; then they cooked and cleaned it and fried it on boiling-hot oil and garlic. Finally, they added tomato pulp. Some added a little water, flour and tomato pulp to fried salt cod. They then served it with homemade mlinci (roasted flat pasta) or polenta (dial. "paljnta s'z štakviž'm"). Dinner on Lent day included pickled beans or prežganka, which means browned flour soup (dial. "pržganko") as well as lunch leftovers. They sometimes ate kale dressed with fat and garlic or pickled kale with hashed potatoes.

Essential food on Christmas Eve was oil-fried salt cod served with mlinci, pan-cooked kale and pickled beans. A slightly better Christmas dinner consisted of salt cod in tomato sauce served with mlinci, hashed cabbage (dial. "tj'nstnu zj'le") or kale (dial. "vrzu'te"), pickled beans (dial. "fežu u salati") and home-baked white wheat bread. Folk wisdom held that if beans were not served on Christmas Eve, the yield of beans would be poor the following year. On this festive dinner, the table was not covered with a tablecloth and individual dishes were brought on the table in a specific order.

Lent lasts 40 days, beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending at Easter. In accordance with the local customs, at the end of the 19th century and perhaps even in the first decade of the 20th century, women had to wash all dishes in the house so that no grease remained in them on Ash Wednesday, i.e. on the first day of the 40-day Lent. Traditional Lenten food in the village of Betanja was minestrone and homemade pasta (dial. "l'zanje") drizzled with oil.
Informants:
  • BABIČ, Nadja, 1943, Naklo, B’sk’va.
  • BAK, Albina, 1927, Škocjan, Žvank’va.
  • GOMBAČ, Zorka, 1921-2004, Betanja, Šimc’va.
  • IVANČIČ, Mira, 1931, Matavun, Komarj’va.
  • MAHORČIČ, Gabrijela, 1910-2006, Naklo, B’sk’va.
Prepared by: Darja Kranjc
Sources:
  • KRANJC, Darja, TZ 77/2003, Škocjan.
  • KRANJC, Darja, TZ 84/2003, Betanja.
  • KRANJC, Darja, TZ 85/2003, Naklo.
  • KRANJC, Darja, TZ 89/2003, Matavun.