Many times this delicious and picturesque cookie is simply called Gingerbread; however, Slovenian is a bit different. We can say, it belongs to the same family, but Slovenian is full of love and a great reward for our taste buds!
The tradition of making a long lasting biscuit is well known all around Europe. The origin of the cookie should be in Armenia, from where monks brought it to the area of today's Italy, France, in late mediaeval time to the northern countries like Germany, Belgium, Netherland, England, and Sweden as well. At last, cookies were presented, with a help of European migrants, to the area of today’s Americas.
Mostly they are called (from Latin zingiber via Old French gingebras) gingerbread, however there are some local expressions as well, like pain d'epices (French), peperkoek (Netherlands, Belgium) or Pfefferkuchen or Lebkuchen (German). Since German was until the end of the WWI an official language in most of today's Slovenia, we have this funny word: LECT.
Preparation of honey bread cookies- LECTARSTVO is an old and renowned traditional handicraft of Slovenia. Two of the oldest bakeries overall European continent are in Slovenia: Perger family in Slovenian Carinthia Town Slovenj Gradec making them since 1757 and Lectar in a picturesque Upper Carnelian Town Radovljica making them since 1766.
For tasty cookies, we need a simple honey dough (honey, flour, water and natural colours). The dough matures for a few days. Later it is shaped, baked and left to dry. The most important is colouring. Typical LECT is hand made only, coloured with natural colours. The heart should be red- the colour of love. They are decorated with a swirling outline, some small flowers, leaves and dots…If it was meant as a gift to the beloved one it should have a small mirror as well- to see, who is in someone’s heart for the rest of the life. Today, LECT is a great souvenir from Slovenia, a very joyful ornament for a Christmas tree or Easter Bush or a prominent protocol gift.
Mentioned workshops in Slovenia are still producing LECT. We would like to share the knowledge of this prominent tradition with you. Join us on a Half - day Tour or a Full day Tour (if you would like to combine it with a visit to Bled or even Bohinj Lake activities). On a private, custom made tour with one of our Guide/Drivers we will have enough time to do some »extra stops« and unusual discoveries.