MAKING BOVEC ‘KRAFI’
The Bovec region, with its Alpine-Mediterranean influence, has developed dishes from simple ingredients with a unique local flavour. At the centre of Bovec cuisine are ‘krafi’, a simple dessert made from local ingredients which on the plate reflect a synthesis of cultural experience. The name is of Germanic origin, cinnamon comes from the Adriatic ports, and the filling is made from domestic Sackel pears. For the main holidays, when the housewife was carefully preparing the home for a family celebration, ‘krafi’ were never lacking on the table. The whole preparation process takes at least five hours and it can be briefly described as follows: for filling mixture – ‘bulja’, dry Sackel pears, called ‘kloce’ must be cooked and mashed, corn flour is added for thickness, fried onions for sweetness, ground walnuts – ‘bure’, grated apples, raisins – ‘cvejbe’, sugar and rum for richness. Steamed dough pockets are formed, to be filled with ‘bulja’ and pressed on the top with the fingers, into the shape of a rooster’s crest. The ‘krafi’ are then cooked in salted water and served with melted butter and roasted breadcrumbs, and are lightly sprinkled with cinnamon - ‘kanela’.
‘Krafi’ are, as a festive dish, part of Christmas celebrations, as people eat them on Christmas Eve before going to midnight mass. Many locals still adhere to tradition and prepare ‘krafi’ only on Christmas Eve, while others prepare them for different holidays and special occasions. The recipe allows some freedom; the filling or dough slightly differs from household to household, but they all have ‘kloce’ in common, which is unique in the territory of Slovenia. Today ‘krafi’ are eaten as a dessert and are also an integral part of the culinary offerings at some restaurants and cultural events in Bovec.