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Slovenian gastronomy is strongly influenced by the Balkan region and its neighbouring countries of central Europe and Italy. Due to its geographical location - among green valleys - the country is rich in meat, both beef and game. Generally, many of the typical dishes are accompanied by vegetables grown locally, as well as potatoes or Ajdovi žganci, a mash similar to Italian polenta to which wheat flour and pork rinds are added. The climate also influences Slovenian cuisine, where stews and soups of meat and vegetables abound, thought to keep the people warm in the cold winters. Additionally, Slovenia also has numerous unique sweet dishes.