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Potica goes America after being discovered by Pope and Melania

Ljutomer, 12 July - After being made into a global hit by Pope Francis and US First Lady Melania Trump, the Slovenian traditional cake potica will soon hit the American market in what is a response by an entrepreneur to the criticism that Slovenians are not able to take advantage of such opportunities.

Murska Sobota
Presentation of The Potica project at the Welcome Home annual gathering of Slovenians living abroad
Photo: Marjan Maučec/STA

Murska Sobota
Presentation of The Potica project at the Welcome Home annual gathering of Slovenians living abroad
Photo: Marjan Maučec/STA

Murska Sobota
Presentation of The Potica project at the Welcome Home annual gathering of Slovenians living abroad
Photo: Marjan Maučec/STA

Murska Sobota
Presentation of The Potica project at the Welcome Home annual gathering of Slovenians living abroad
Photo: Marjan Maučec/STA

Murska Sobota
Presentation of The Potica project at the Welcome Home annual gathering of Slovenians living abroad
Photo: Marjan Maučec/STA

Frozen rolls of "The Potica" will be made by the Sastela bakery from Ljutomer and marketed by IT Pharm from the same north-eastern Slovenian town.

IR Pharm director Borut Babič got the idea to try to sell the traditional artisan rolled-dough dessert in the US as he was driving his car and listening to the news on the radio.

The news was that potica was mentioned during Pope Francis's audience for US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania in May.

The pope's question to Melania "What do you feed him on? Potica?" caused quite a confusion with the global media, as the interpreters and later journalists mistook potica for pizza.

Not only that mentioning potica at the audience made the Slovenian cake into a global hit, but it also brought criticism that Slovenians are not able to take advantage of such an opportunity business-wise.

"Why wouldn't we try? I knew that almost every household is able to make a very good potica and I think that it is a dish that suits Americans well, if it is marketed well," Babič told the press.

The brand of potica that will be offered on the American market is exactly the same as consumed by the pope, according to him.

A special packaging for the product is also ready and now the company is awaiting permits from the US Food and Drug Administration, which are expected in a month.

"The Potica" will be sold as a frozen product, as Americans prefer, and what is important is that it features only natural ingredients and no preservatives, Babič added.

The product was first presented at the recent Welcome Home annual gathering of Slovenians living abroad in Rakičan Mansion in the Slovenian city of Murska Sobota.

zm/eho
© STA, 2017