Tucked away in the far northeast corner of Italy is the border town of Gorizia, which is home to anything but routine Italian cuisine. The city’s location right on the corner of the Italian border with Slovenia, allows both countries to influence and shape the taste of delicious local fare.

One of the most unique foods originating from the Gorizia area is what is often affectionately called Gorizia’s rose. It is actually a special kind of chicory that is rather rare and grown in orchards near the city during the winter. Chicory most often resembles a salad leaf in texture and color, but Gorizia’s version of this vegetable generally has varying shades of red or pink in a shape that is reminiscent of a rose, hence its nickname. This type of chicory can be eaten on its own, in salads, or even with potatoes or eggs.


Cured meats and local cheese are common starters in Gorizia. The showstopper is usually the Rosa di Gorizia cheese. This specialty is made by filling several leaves of the local type of chicory with a mixture of goat cheese, spices, pine nuts, and more. The mixture is placed in the middle of the leaves, rolled up tightly, and secured by a strip or two of pancetta for cooking and flavor.


Although other types of pasta can be found in Gorizia, gnocchi is often the pasta of choice. Here, gnocchi, a potato dumpling, is served several different ways. One version of gnocchi is to serve it with cooked liver, apricots, and plums for a touch of sweetness. Gnocchi is also sometimes served with speck, a salted, spiced, and slow smoked pork meat.

Much like gnocchi, the Slovene dish of zlikrofi is a potato-based dough that has what many describe as an unusual hat shape. This traditional dish is often stuffed with homemade cheese and spices as well. Zlikrofi is typically served with a meat sauce of some kind for added color and flavor.

One variation of gnocchi is called gnocchi di pane raffermo alla goriziana. The dough is made with stale bread, cheese, egg, and flour. The gnocchi are quickly cooked in meat broth then served with a meat sauce and topped with plenty of cheese.

Stews and soups are other common first course dishes in Gorizia. A locally popular stew referred to as jota is a warming combination of beans, sauerkraut, potatoes, meat, and bacon. It is a hearty appetizer that is sure to warm you from the inside out. Many variations of bean soup, often served with barley, can be found on the menu as well.


Many of Gorizia’s second courses revolve around some form of meat, most often pork.

Muset e brovada is a traditional dish of Gorizia. The brovada, or fermented white turnips that are similar to sauerkraut, are served with muset, a pork sausage. Although the two ingredients are both listed in the dish’s name and are served together on the same plate, they are cooked separately.

Gulasch is another popular first course of Gorizia. This hearty dish typically consists of beef, a vegetable mixture of diced peppers and mushrooms, spices, and either potato or pasta. Gorizia’s version differs from the one found in Hungary or other parts of Europe because it does not include tomato sauce. In addition to being served as a second course dish, gulasch may also be served with gnocchi during the first course.

Pork tends to be the meat of choice for the city. Kaiserfleisch is an excellent cut of pork meat that is cooked and usually served with sauerkraut. Another frequently requested dish is diced ham that is cooked in bread.

Cevapcici are cylindrical meatballs made of beef or lamb. The meatballs are seasoned with salt and herbs then served on their own or with onions.


One of the most common side dishes in Gorizia is patate in tecia. This dish is made by boiling potatoes then chopping them and sautéing them in lard with onions. Pancetta may be added for extra flavor.


When walking the streets of Gorizia, the most commonly served street foods tend to be those that the city and region of Friuli Venezia Giulia are known for. One of these foods is the area’s internationally renowned cured hams of San Daniele and Sauri prosciutto. Frico, a fried Montasio cheese that is mixed with potato and most often presented in the shape of a potato chip, is another popular street food.


The most traditional dessert of Gorizia is gubana goriziana, also sometimes called presniz. This sweet bread is a puff pastry of sorts that is filled with dried and candied fruit, honey, sugar, herbs, and butter. Although there is some variation in the ingredients as it passes hands from generation to generation, the biggest changes usually come from the quantity of particular ingredients used which may differ amongst bakers. This bread is generally recognized by its unique shape of a snake-like coil.

Some other local sweet treat favorites include putizza, pinza, and palatschinken. Putizza is made from topping a thin layer of cake with a mixture of ingredients such as raisins, fruit, and nuts and then is rolled up before baking. The Goriziana Pinza is a traditional Easter bread. It is round in shape and has somewhat of a crispy outer crust. Palatschinken is a type of chocolate and apricot omelet that closely resembles a thin pancake or crepe.


In the city of Gorizia, two DOC wines are the most prevalent, Collio and Isonza. Both of these wines include Cabernet, Refosco, Merlot, and Pinot grapes. For those wanting something a little more unique, many of the locals enjoy a glass of Friulano wine because of its taste and ties to the region.

The food of Gorizia is best described as a mixture of the cuisine of Central Europe, Friuli, and Trieste. While in Gorizia, be sure to savor the city’s multi-cultural flavors from gnocchi and gulasch to frico and gubana.

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