Včela is the Slovak word for a bee and Včelovina is a drink made by fermentation of honey. We don’t like to call it honey wine, because Včelovina has nothing to do with grapes, although the fermentation process might be similar to that in wine making. Mead is a more acceptable English name here, and it’s also closer to med, the Slovak word for honey.
Včelovina is a trademark of Včelco s.r.o. – a small honey bee farm and meadery in Smolenice. They also do excursions and mead samplings, so check this link if you’re interested to see how this deluxe mead comes to life. You might have to use Google translator to find out more specific details, but don’t let this put you off – it’s worth it.
Now that we know what Včelovina is, let’s have a look at its culinary uses. Although it’s a wonderful drink to have on its own, especially in cold winter months, Včelovina also makes for delicious desserts. Replace it with a mead available in your country if you want to try the recipe below, though you might not get the same culinary experience.
Pancakes with Včelovina
- ½ l milk
- 10 heaped tablespoons wheat flour
- 5 heaped tablespoons rye flour
- 1 egg
- a pinch of salt
- oil for frying
- apricot jam (ideally home-made)
- 100 g chopped nuts
- mead to drizzle
- Heat the milk in a saucepan over a low heat until lukewarm. Put in a mixer and add the flour, the egg and the salt. Mix together until smooth.
- Heat a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan. Pour in a small ladle of the batter and tilt the pan slightly to spread the batter all around.
- Fry the pancake over a medium heat until its edges get lightly browned and start coming off the pan. Turn the pancake with a wooden spatula and fry on the other side until golden brown. Transfer onto a plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat until you have used all the batter.
- To serve, spread a teaspoon of the jam onto each pancake and roll it in. Put 3 – 4 pancakes on a plate, toss over the nuts and sprinkle with some warmed mead.
If you’re still thinking of getting the real thing while in Slovakia, Smolenice is a nice little town about an hour drive from Bratislava, Slovakia’s capital city.