Do you like good food? Austrians are known to sing about their food, because it has lifted up their spirit: Wolfagang Ambros sings about the healing properties of a “gulasch and a glass of beer”. The famous “salbzburger nockerl”, a divine sweet from Salzburg, received a wonderful song in a musical that every Austrian knows, saying they are sweet as love and tender as a kiss. Udo Jürgens won the European song contest in 1976 with a song that describes what happens to older ladies, who meet once a day in their favorite bakery to eat cakes and ice creams. In the German language, there are so many words for cake, like eskimos have names for snow!
Austrians divide their seasons not by the trees growing leaves or turning colorful. They rather have culinary seasons. There is special treats for every time of the year. Now is the time of carnival, and the country offers special “krapfen”, a doughnut like bakery, filled with jam or cream. People go visit each other or their favorite restaurant to eat a “herringschmaus”, an assortment of different fish salads, mostly made with herring and offered only at this time of year. If you travel through the country in summertime, you are in for many kinds of asparagus or strawberry treats. European vacations are the perfect chance to indulge in these seasonal treats.
Even regional Austria is talking about “enjoyment regions” like “genuregion salzburgerland” when talking about their cultural and political districts. In the east, around Vienna, the schnitzel and gulasch, dishes inspired by Italy and Hungary in the times of the k&k monarchy, the times many Austrians think back with a big sigh of greatness to remember. In the west, dishes are more heavy with cheese from the alpine region, like “kässpätzle” or tiroler gröstl. Nowadays a whole new come back is happening on remembering dishes from the past, like grandma would cook it, good homemade dishes. They celebrate a comeback to even fine restaurants. “Klachelsuppe” and “Heidensterz” are 2 examples, and if you can order it then try the “Hoargneisnidei” in Salzburg.
Also, all dishes are served with either Austrian local brewed beer or Austrian wines, which I have to say in full honesty, are among the finest wines of the world. Why you don’t hear much about them? Well, our small wincers are producing just enough to supply our own country, so we don’t bother to sell them abroad, we simply enjoy them ourselves. As an Austrian living abroad, coming home for food is my ultimate happiness. And I have heard that from others in my position as well. Guiding Austrian tours, it is my pleasure to introduce you to our Austrian cuisine and to dine with you on our cycling tours in some of the fines places in the country. I am already looking forward to it. Mahlzeit!
Your friendly Austrian guide,