Let me introduce some of the people behind history in the making: Sisters Alenka Lotrič on the left and Breda Tolar to the right.
On an early summer’s day, Matej and I had made our way through the misty Slovenian Alps and met Breda and Alenka in Breda’s home in Dražgoše.
The sisters are these types of lighthearted do´ers, who bridge the modern world with long-held tradition. They both lead modern lives, have careers and families and interests. In this picture, they happen to both be wearing the t-shirts for the local mountaineering group. This is not the sort of mountaineering group that dreams of venturing to Everest some sunny day, this is the mountaineering sort who gets up every single morning, meets up and treks the three quarters of an hour to the nearest summit, and back. These are the women who trek, work, bake, bring up their families and live life whilst they leave it to other to write phd´s on the post-yugoslave cultural clash with western capitalism and the scope of digital economies opportunities for The Republic of Slovenia. Whilst they do that, they practice Slovene traditions, reinvent them and designs contemporary culture in the midst of this ex-eastblock, post-eurocrisis, Balkan-Germanic Mediterranean mountainous medley.
Breda and Alenka are following local tradition and roll the sweet honey dough into elaborate patterns as the mother and aunts, and their mothers and aunts before them. They tell us that the patterns are very personal and that they can even tell who is behind the kruhek from the ornate pattern. Already their mother was a master of the Dražgoški kruhek craft and there are pictures in the family scrapbook of national news reporting on the private pasticerie, with an eight-year old Breda picking up the trade from a large group of women.
Dražgoški kruhek is the symbol of much of what is good and great in the region. These little sweet gems tell the tale of regional pride, biodiversity, war and peace, population displacement and community resilience. There is growing awareness of the heritage value of Dražgoški kruhek amongst the locals – contributing to that you will of course find no other than our own Breda and Alenka, creating away with school children and gathering special Slovene bake-offs.
If your mouth is watering for Dražgoški kruhek, send a mail and we´ll help you get to the honey treasures.
We found this whole drašgoše story so fascinating, that we have a whole series, read also about single mum and farmer Marjiana, beekeeper Peter and the overarching drašgoše kruhek story.