Christmas is behind the corner and it is about time to think of Christmas prezzies for our closest ones. I have to be honest, I usually do all my Christmas shopping at the last minute even though I promise myself not to make the same mistake the next year. Somehow, I always do. What I want to do right now is to inspire those of you who buy presents in advance and want to surprise your closest ones with a nice, original gift from Slovakia. If you missed my first blog post, check it out here.
For those of you with a sweet tooth, Marlenka is here to rescue. It is a honey cake made from nut dough with layers of caramel cream. It is my absolutely favourite desert and now it is available in different sizes and shapes. It originally comes from Czech republic and it is produced by Marlenka company founded in 2003. During its first few years of existence it was exported only to V4 countries, Slovakia including, and this honey cake became a part of our culture. Marlenka is available in almost all the grocery stores and it is only up to you if you choose a honey cake, honey nuggets, honey rolls or other Marlenka products to make your day . Enjoy!
I have always enjoyed getting a gingerbread heart as a present and I have been usually keeping it as a decoration on my shelf for many years. It is something you could always find on Slovak fairs, festivals and markets, Christmas markets including. Gingerbread heart is a lovely present to give to someone and the best part is that you can choose from a variety of inscription (in slovak, of course). So why hesitate.. Find a heart that says ‘Lubim Ta’ (I love you) and give it to your other half. With love. From Slovakia.
Let’s move to something more interesting for those ones who does not have a sweet tooth but more like a liqueur tooth. As I mentioned in one of my previous post, Tatra Tea is a tea-based herbal liqueur composed of black & white teas, herbs and natural fruit extracts. You can choose from different flavours as well as different percentage of alcohol. Amongst the most popular ones belong Tatratea 52% Original as a best-seller with more than 500 000 bottles sold every year in Europe. The best thing about the Tatratea Selection is that you do not have to choose one bottle but you can have few of them! And even better, the design looks amazing and you can fit it into your purse to keep yourself warm during the cold days.
You can find Tatratea selection in different souvenirs shops in the Old Town or liqueur shops in the shopping centres. Alternatively, you can pay a visit to the Kon-rad supermarket where you can get it a bit cheaper than in the city centre and save a buck or two. .
How to get there: Take a tram no. 4 or 10 or a bus no. 53, 56, 65 or 514
Getting off: Tram stop Zlaté piesky, Bus stop Kon-rad
Wood Carving Products
Wood carving is an amazing craft and I remember that since I was a child I have always admired all the beautiful work of the craftsmen on the fairs and markets. My grandma used to collect wood carving images and they all perfectly complimented her house interiour.Wood has always been used by people to display the image of folk traditions, the image of the village, shepherds and their herds and everyday life of ordinary people. Woodcarving was used to capture the good in their lives and reflect their culture and way of life. Hence, the products made in different parts of Slovakia used different motives and they are all unique and make a great present for someone who knows how to appreciate this type of craft.
There is NOTHING more Slovak than Kofola. Kofola is our favourite drink, you can get it in all the stores, pub and restaurants and I have got one at home, too. Kofola entered the market in early 60´s and have become a main competitor of Coca Cola and Pepsi in Slovak and Czech market. It is a dark sweet and sour syrup Kofo which has become an essential component of a soft drink Kofola launched in 1962. Kofola had few very successful campaings and nowadays, every child can recite the Kofola´s slogan “Keď ju miluješ, nie je čo riešiť..” Also, in 2004 Kofola created a Christmas TV commercial which became a number one commercial in the hearts of Slovak people and it has been on TV every Christmas ever since then. Hope you will like it, too, even though it is only available in Slovak.
Check out Kofola products and learn more about the company here.
Have you visited Slovakia and now you are interested in learning more about this country? Do you plan on visiting Slovakia and you want to learn a bit about beforehand? Or do you want to surprise your friends and relatives with a nice book? For all of the above, it would be a great idea to treat yourself and your closest ones with one of the beautiful books about Slovakia which are also available in English. Bratislava guide, High Tatras, castles or Slovakia in general .. Check ou the list and pick a book which you find the most interesting.
Products made from Sheep Wool
Socks, slippers and other clothes made from sheep wool are very popular in Slovakia. Mainly, because they will keep you warm in cold weather. During the Christmas markets you will have a great opportunity to come across few stalls where you can find various sheep wool products. I have a pair of socks myself. It is fuzzy, comfortable to wear and I love that it keeps my feet warm even during the coldest nights. There are many other products made from sheep wool, such as pillows, blankets, decorations and so on so feel free to take your time and select the perfect fuzzy gift.
For your inspiration, you can visit Ovcie veci, Matesko, Ovečkárňa and many more websites that specilize in sheep wool products. Just type into google search “produkty z ovčej vlny” and you can start browsing!
I hope that I made it easier for you to find a perfect and unusual souvenir you will get to remember your trip to Slovakia. Which one is your number one?
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