The many influences on Slovenian cuisine include Italian, Austrian, south Slavic, and Hungarian cooking traditions. A typical meal may consist of meat (chicken or beef), soup, green salad, and apple, cherry or cheese strudel and coffee. Pork, veal, chicken and turkey are popular on the menu. Organ meats are also valued. Green salad with oil and vinegar dressing is eaten in all seasons. Staples are potatoes, onions cabbage, celery, carrot, apples and walnuts. Mushrooms and berries are collected as additions to the meal. Home-made wine, brandy, sauerkraut, pickles, sausages, dried fruits and juices augment the diet. A healthy autumn meal may include blood sausage, potatoes, pickled turnips and dark bread. Slovenes also enjoy pastries, cakes and chocolate. Tea was once only used medicinally, but is now popular alongside coffee. Herbal teas are used for preventing or treating illness. Health spas are frequented and appreciated.
Traditionally, Slovenes eat in continental style, with the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right hand. Breakfast is usually taken early in the morning, a mid-morning snack, then lunch (kosilo) being the main meal at mid-afternoon. A light supper (vecerja) is eaten in the evening. Families try to eat the main meal together, though changing patterns of work, more convenience foods, and modern cooking facilities have changed this. People like to raise their glasses when drinking together, and toast each other's health with Na zdravje!.This toast customarily is offered before a meal. After serving, the host offers the blessing: dober tek! (Your health!) or zivijo! (long live!). Guests are always served first, but no-one begins eating till the host does. Glasses and plates are re-filled often.