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Tržič Bržola Festival

This stew-like dish is a true local specialty with a centuries-old tradition behind it. To preserve and promote this famous dish, the Tržič Tourism Society began organizing the annual Tržič Bržola Festival, a cook-off for Tržič bržola, cooked over an open fire.

Tržič inhabitants have long used sheep meat to make a kind of mutton stew. They added garlic, onions, potatoes and various herbs and spices seasonings to the meat, using  lot of savory,  juniper berries, and other seasonings. A delicious dish emerged, whose appearance, smell and taste was more akin to beef than to mutton stew.

Recipes from old cookbooks say that Tržič bržola consists of a piece of meat from a ram that must be cooked in one piece, like a roast, but with seasonings like those used to make a stew. Thus poorer families prepared an abundantly watered Tržič bržola so that a small piece of meat could feed a lot of hungry mouths, while at feasts and in the dining rooms of wealthier townspeople succulent roast mutton was enjoyed.

Tržič bržolas are still to be found today on the menu of Tržič households. Each cook makes it a bit differently, but all the recipes share the main features of the dish.

Old inhabitants of Tržič would say the following about this dish in the local dialect: "Baje so bl `nkat na Kofcah n gunarji, pa so mav žinglal. Poj so pa ratl vačn, pa so ktel eno beco ujet pa jo skuhat. Pa jm je res ratov eno staro beco ujet pa so jo žačel rontat. Poj je pršu nasledn dan kmet gor, pa b jh nagravžn nakneftrov če b zvedu, de so mu beco zakval. Pa je tel probat kuga rontajo, pa je reku de to ni beca ampak de gušta k govedna. Tko de more dobra bržola zmeri imet žmah kukr govedna."

In translation: "They say that once upon a time there were some rowdy lads up on Kofce drinking and carousing  They got hungry and so the y decided to catch a young sheep and cook it. And they did in fact manage to catch an old ewe (old ewes have tough and tasteless meat). The next day the farmer came up to the mountain pasture, and he would have beat the living daylights out of them if he'd learned that they'd cooked one of his sheep. He sampled the stew but he believed it was made from beef, not from his sheep. For this reason the meat in Tržič bržola must always taste like beef."

Date of the next event

Sunday, 3. September 2017

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