Story by Jenny Paulson – In southern Europe, in a small country called Slovenia, “Potica” is one of the most known dishes. It is a type of cake or bread, depending upon the version, cooked and shared with friends and family typically on special occasions.
The dish has been passed down through the generations in Pueblo, just as it has in Slovenia, and has become an ethnic staple in our community. Potica is most popular at Christmas time in Pueblo, but it’s also served during the Easter seasons and some local businesses cook and sell it year round.
It’s is one of the many local food items that symbolizes what a melting pot Pueblo really is. It’s a cooking tradition that natives still learn from their mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers. Some, I found, are hesitant to share old time recipes but we found some in blogs and in a book, a Pueblo native published, that’s all about Potica.
Potica isn’t a known national dish in the United States, in fact it might be unknown in many places. However it hit the national news when Melania Trump was asked by Pope Francis, who was trying to make small talk in 2017, what she cooks for her husband during the holiday season. Potica?
Pueblo was also featured in the Oprah Magazine in a story of famous food items throughout the U.S., that included two featured food items in Colorado: a unique roasted bone marrow dish from Ft Colllins and Pueblo’s Potica, which they described as:
“At Pueblo’s Mauro Farms & Bakery, you’ll find a rugellach-like Slovenian bread called potica, a sweet dough spread with fillings like walnut paste or cream cheese, then rooled into a spiral, like a cinnamon bun’s rustic cousin.”
The closest Amercian translation of Potica would be the nut roll, but our tasteful Potica beats it hands up. Potica, in the Slovenian tradition, can be bought at Mauro’s Farm in the in the county or here in town at local bakeries including Janessa’s Gourmet, Zoelsmann’s. It can also be bought at local Farmer’s Markets.
This story is a part of a series on how Pueblo’s “melting pot” culture is evidenced in its food, which that makes Pueblo just a diverse, unique and cultural place to live and visit.
Photos from left, walnut Potica at Mauro Farms, Potica in pans by Janessa’s gourmet and a Potica photo in the Washington Post’s story on First Lady Trump.
If you haven’t joined, our Pueblo Eats Facebook group on a mission to explore Pueblo’s unique food culture – https://www.facebook.com/groups/PuebloEats/