It was born – at long last! The book I’ve been struggling to publish for so long has finally seen the light of day. I’m quite good at containing my emotions (either positive or negative), and I’m certainly not the one that would dance with her book around the flat taking selfies and posting them online.
But I feel a real sense of achievement when I leaf through a copy of A Taste of Slovakia book filled with traditional recipes, stories from the past that explain the origins of our typical ingredients, or full-colour photos showing my country’s diverse folk culture. A Taste of Slovakia blends my love of cooking and writing with a new hobby I took up on the way. It was more out of necessity that I started to take pictures – I couldn’t afford a professional photographer – but as soon as I grasped the basics, I found myself totally immersed in the new challenge.There’s nothing more rewarding for an author than to see their book on a shelf in a real bookstore. More even, if this is a first-time author who has published the book herself after years of hard work, wondering whether her efforts will ever materialize.
Artforum Žilina bookshop in Slovakia was the first to accept the book, and I feel immense gratitude not only to the booksellers, but to all those who, by buying a copy, quietly acknowledged the book’s worth and dispelled a clump of uncertainties that had accumulated in my mind over the years. I’m now trying to find more contacts in and outside Slovakia that would help me spread the word about the book. Hopefully, the list of sellers and distributors will grow over time; I’m really looking forward to making a more tactile connection with food enthusiasts around the world.
In the meantime, here is what you can find in the Summer book of A Taste of Slovakia, which is meant to be the first part of a four-volume series covering the four seasons in a Slovak kitchen:
- Bryndza – the Queen of Slovak Cheeses ( history of the protected Slovak cheese with recipes, including our national dish)
- Traditional Slovak Cheeses (other protected cheeses like korbáčik, oštiepok, parenica, history and production)
- Mushrooms – the Gifts of Our Forests and Meadows (most popular Slovak mushrooms and recipes using them)
- Preserving Fruit and Vegetables (a collection of recipes for favourite Slovak pickles, compotes and jams)
- Celebrating Summer Harvest (grain harvest and traditions linked to it, flour-based recipes)
- Honey – Our Food and Medicine (beekeeping, honey products, mead and recipes)
- Beer in Our Drinking Culture and Recipes (history of beer production, small breweries and craft beer labels + recipes)
- Goulash Parties (cooking together in the great outdoors with recipes for goulash)