Slovenia - Traditional Customs
»LECTOVO SRCE« could be translated as gingerbread heart. It is also known as Lebkuchen which is the traditional German equilivant. I find it as one of the sweetest and cosiest symbols in Slovenian cuisine.
While wandering in the centre of Ljubljana through the stalls of fruit, vegetables and other local products, I stopped at the stand with all the gingerbread products. I haven't seem them for a while so I admired them, I picked a few of them and later I found out many curious particulars. The word derives from german word » LEBEZELT« , ZELT means tiny cake. »LEB is an old slavic word for bread. All these terms only serve to confirm the origins of this craft.
The first gingerbread decorations were »born« around 1597 in the time of Ferdinand II. They were used for christmas tree decorations or decorations for hanging around the house. This kind of decoration became a Slovenian tradition with catholic festivities.
Today they are still actively produced in approximately 10 workshops, the most well known are: Family Perger Workshop with a tradition since 1757 in Slovenj Gradec, Radovljica Inn Lectar since 1766 and the Celecova lectarija in Murska Sobota ( Medičarstvo Celec)
The most well known product is » Lectovo srce« which is decorated with typical etnologic ornaments, with a little mirror in the middle and always accompanied with some unique verse underneath. Which means every heart is an unique product, made for a special person or event.
Usually they are coloured red, which symbolises love and passion, yellow ribbon represents infinity, a green one with flowers represents growth and evolution. The mirror is there for a special reason, for girls and women to admire their beauty in it.
Making Lectovo srce is a long traditional procedure, usually a few days long ( mixing, baking, drying, decorating…) It is made of powder, water and honey. In the olden days they used the colour from beetroot, nowadays it is red. In Slovenian tradition only the front part is coloured, the rest remains brown. (In Croatia both sides are coloured).
Lect is decorative sweet which is usually not eaten. ( You can eat it few days after being made before it becomes hard). It is a very nice gift for someone you love, for a birthday, aniversary, ceremony, for some special occasion. This kind of gift will last at least 10 years.
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About the Author:
My name is Damjana Bensa and I'm a proud contributor for Triprovider.com. I come from the famous wine region of Goriška Brda which borders the Italian border in Slovenia. If you haven't been there yet then you must come, it's a very special place with vineyards and amazing views all around.
I am doing a study on the influence of typical slovenian cuisine on tourists. I'd love your opinion! Please come and join us in beautiful Slovenija and I hope I can inspire you to visit the places I write about. You are most welcome in Slovenija!
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