Prior to Donald Trump assuming the most powerful position in the world, First Lady Melania’s country of birth was known to but a small number of American’s. Slovenia has never been a hotspot vacation resort for the jet-set and if there is any significance to the quiet tiny nation it’s gone largely unnoticed.
The Republic of Slovenia, as is its official handle, is bordered on the west by Italy, Austria lies to the north, Hungary to the northeast, followed by Croatia to the southeast, and the Adriatic Sea to the southwest.
At one time Slovenia belonged to Yugoslavia and it reports a current population of 2.1-million. The 2020 population of NYC is 8.3-million, give or take.
For the past four years, Slovenia has welcomed their small unanticipated international fame. They’ve seized the opportunity by promoting their First Lady products worldwide.
But now with Donald Trump, and more especially his bride Melania, only weeks away from vacating the White House, maybe, Slovenia is concerned their time of newfound prosperity may come to a screeching halt.
Torta Melanija, named after the pride and joy of Sevnike, the town of Melania’s birth, takes front and center place in the display case of a bakery located in the First Lady’s hometown.
In Melania’s honor, the delicate to die for pastry is made using the town’s famous celebrities’ favorite colors. Light golden chocolate is spread in enormous waves atop a huge layer of cream-covered white chocolate mousse.
Nusa Vidmar, the owner of the Slascicarna Julija patisserie said, “We wanted the cake to be elegant, to resemble Melania – with gold, because of the Trumps, and white because of the White House.”
The people of Sevnike use their connection to Washington D.C. to their advantage, but they don’t care so much about politics. “In our patisserie, we have a lot of people from all over the world – they all tried the Torta Melanija, but I don’t think they just came for the cake,” Vidmar said. “It was a big thing for us – a big thing for Slovenia as well. It was a historical moment – and I don’t think that we will see such a moment again.”
The population of Sevnike is but a mere 5,000, most of who have resided in the town for generations. The only access to the town is via a winding road through a deep forest that runs parallel to the River Saga. Once you reach a sawmill full of heavily laden log trucks, you’ve arrived.
When a woodcarver from the area carved out a life-size statue of Melania and planted it squarely in the center of town, it only lasted a few days before someone burned it down in the dead of the night.
It wasn’t because putting Melania’s likeness on display was objectional to anyone. Townspeople were complaining that the carving looked nothing like her and they weren’t having it. It was blasphemous. A second statue has taken the first one’s place and so far it has not been reduced to ashes.
In hopes their claim to fame might continue, in a 16th-century castle looming high over the city, one is invited to browse the array of Melania inspired gifts. With all certainty these gifts do not bear the First Lady’s seal of approval, especially considering the salami hanging from the rafters bearing her name on the intestinal casings. Probably not the type of recognition she would want…
The town Mayor, Srecko Ocvirk, said that the community has taken a unified approach in their discovery by the world outside of their tiny boundaries.
“Sevnica is not a traditional tourist destination. But what happened four years ago had a very good effect on the recognition of the town,” he said. “That brought local people together and encouraged businesses to join forces and co-operate.”
So whether this tiny town in this tiny country can maintain their fame and notoriety once Melania steps down from the throne, remains to be seen. We hope they thrive beyond measure.