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The Frika festival: Competition in Cooking "Frika"

14. 8. 2014




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The Frika festival is an annual event which happens every September since 2008. The idea for the festival originates in a proverb: "Each village has its own unique voice." And also Frika can be prepared in many different ways and has many different tastes (foresters’ frika, shepherds’ frika, wealthy people’s frika, etc.) even though the main ingredients are the same (locally produces fat, potato and cheese).

The recipes differ from village to village. The event takes place in Tolmin at the old town square with a recognizable fountain. Invitations are sent to the villages in the area and the event is also advertised on a local TV and radio. Teams, who want to participate, have to apply in advance. Usually teams from Tolmin and surrounding villages register for the competition along with at least one team from Benečija (Slovenians from Italy). On the day of the event, each team gets a stand which they have to decorate. Then they start to prepare frika. As all visitors, a panel of anonymous judges, which consists of local connoisseurs of this dish, walk around from stand to stand, observe the preparation process and the decoration of the stand and eventually taste each frika to decide which one looks and tastes the best. The winner is always the frika that manages to achieve the right balance between the three main ingredients – fat, cheese and potatoes.
Visitors are also invited to participate in different games; there are sketches and storytelling performed by local amateur groups of actors. In the evening there is a concert and a dance. At the end of the day, there is no one who would not agree that all the participating teams are winners as they are ready to give away some of their time, hard work and good mood in order for others to have fun. This is also the main goal of the organisers of this festival.
Locality Tolmin, Slovenia
Time Annually since 2008
History (cyclicality) Tolmin Tourist Association
Organizer Local government
Realisation team 8-12 cooking teams with 4-6 members (cooking competition), speakers, music band and other performers in side programmes
Target group Local people from Tolmin and surrounding villages (400-600 visititors)
Traditional culture elements
It maintains and spreads knowledge how to prepare this local dish; it demonstrates the dish can be prepared in many different ways and have many different tastes (foresters’ frika, shepherds’ frika, wealthy people’s frika, etc.) even though the main ingredients are the same (locally produced fat, potato and cheese).
Ethnographic criterion The event helps to preserve a local tradition, presents a local dish and gathers people of all generations.
Environmental criterion The outdoor event takes place on the old Tolmin's square. The street is closed for the traffic during the event.
Cultural-historical criterion The dish is a part of common local food culture: its ingredients are local (cheese, potatoes, fat, in some variants also eggs). In the past, it was an important dish to feed the forests workers or haymakers.
Aesthetic criterion N/A
Ethical criterion No conflicts.
Psychological criterion This is a small local event without commercial aspirations. Organisers hope that the event will remain at this level in the future. It brings people together to have fun, enjoy tasting local dishes and listen to music and dance. The event also strengthen social consciousness that frika is a local specialty.

Courtesy of Turistično društvo Tolmin/ Tourist Society Tolmin


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