*Enjoyment. (Particularly as it pertains to eating and drinking in Austria). Each Genuss
region in the country markets a product unique to their region that must contain a registered traditional food
, one that has been cultivated in Austria for either three generations or 75 years. Austria has over 250 registered traditional foods, everything from breeds of cows that have been raised in the alps since 1000BC to tea cakes introduced in Vienna in the 1930’s. I would love to see a similar list for America.
This was our second year visiting Austria’s Erntedank (Thanksgiving) festival, and this time we had a plan. Lunch first, in the main “biergarten” style tent, complete with a band playing authentic Austrian selections like, “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain,” “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” and the “Jetson’s” theme music. Hey, at least we knew the words!
The music was a perfect accompaniment to my burger with roasted onions and goat cheese. And, I have to say, this was the finest burger I’ve had in Vienna, not counting the ones from our backyard grill. (Sorry, Vienna, I’ve just not found a good burger within your boundaries.)
People watching is a given. Couples in coordinating Trachten were popular.
As were Dirndls, naturally. This is what I would expect a Dirndl to look like if Lily Pulitzer had dropped in on Vienna.
Look carefully. This Dirndl-ed Damen is sporting a tiara!
Following lunch came shopping at the bauernmarkt (farmer’s stalls) and the regional tents. Having a year to learn more about the artisanal foods that come from around the country, I was excited to shop!
From the Marchfeld genuss region, the area east of Vienna and stretching to Slovakia, something described as Feuerspeck (grilled or fired bacon). The area is better known for its spargel (asparagus); this grilled item looked more like a flour tortilla, however.
Tirolean Strawberry Sturm (new wine). Jack was brave enough to try it; Tony and I followed suit when we learned it was not at all sweet. The Tirolean region of Austria is to the west, and borders Italy. Being alpine, I would have guessed cheese and sheep to be the main focus, not necessarily strawberries.
Quince, Hollanderflower, and Walnut Liqueur. We admired the color and beauty of the products, but did not taste them.
Award winning Honigwein (Honey Wine) from the Steirmark region. We sampled, and now there is a bottle in our cabinet at home. Not at all how you might think it tastes.
Pumpkins and their squash cousins are a tough sell with my team in general. None of them tried any of the spreads from the Weinviertler genuss region, alas. Kürbiscremesuppe (pumpkin creme soup) is as far as they reach; no pumpkin-chicken liver spread on bread for them!
Calvados? The apple brandy from the Carinthia genuss region was available for those 12 and older! (Anna Grace took a pass.)
By the end of our visit my tote had a good sampling of Austria’s specialties: scarlet runner beans from Styria; pure apple juice from a Salzburg genuss region; herbed noodles from the waldviertal (the northwest part of Austria), onion marmalade from Lower Austria, and much more.
Enjoyment in Austria, indeed!