The Story of Jota

Jota is undoubtedly one of the most popular traditional home stews, and it is especially good during the colder part of the year. Served cold, it can also be a nice summer dish. Jota’s origins are not completely clear. According to most information, it comes from the Kras and Furlanija regions, and it is said to have spread from there to the Primorska and Goriška region, and eventually throughout the whole of Slovenia and even outside its borders.

The name of this stew is derived from the Gaelic word for soup. The basic ingredients of this delicious stew are pickled turnip or sauerkraut, dry-cured bacon, potatoes, beans, a bay leaf, garlic, pepper and salt. The preparation and ingredients used for Jota differ slightly in different regions and also seasonally.

The shortage of meat after World War I led to a vegetarian Jota, especially in the Tržaško region, which was then larded with roux. This type of Jota became very popular with vegetarians. The Istrian Jota is usually prepared without potatoes and is served with white or yellow polenta.