The Karst Ham
The Slovenian Karst is a very special, lyrical landscape, spreading over the south-western part of the country near the border with Italy. It is the meeting place of many special regional features of Slovenia. The immense Nanos plateau and the distant Carnic ridges to the north indicate a passage to the Alps; low hills to the east and south indicate its closeness to the sea; and the openness of the sky towards the west gives a hint of the Friulian Marches extending deep into Italy. This region is also home to strong winds like the Bora, which blows briskly from the cold Alps towards the warm Mediterranean, and gives the distinct taste to the Karst dry-cured ham – pršut.
The Karst is simply fantastic. The strong winds have sculpted the stony landscape of sharp edges, limestone caves and the rare greenness of pine trees (the dominant coniferous trees in this part of Europe). Only strong people, full of energy and optimism, have successfully adapted to the rough environment. Many have emigrated. But, the Karst today is a greener, gentler landscape due to extensive afforestation. Nevertheless, its inhabitants have remained in love with their region, whose outstanding wild beauty has made it one of the most popular parts of Slovenia. In addition to the Bora winds, two of the most prominent characteristics of the region are the famous Karst Teran wine and Karst dry-cured ham.