Thursday, July 28, 2011

Eating Our Way Through Burgenland

Part II of our trip to Austria focuses on FOOD!

My mother is an excellent cook and she has always said that her mother was an excellent cook. My grandmother immigrated to the U.S. in 1906 from Tadten, which today is located in Burgenland, Austria. This small village of about 1500 people is just minutes from the border with Hungary. When my grandmother lived there, there was no border - it was all part of the same country - consequently, many of the dishes she prepared were very typical of Hungarian cooking.

Each day of our two-week stay we enjoyed delicious food prepared by some fabulous cooks (many of them were cousins or friends.) I couldn't help myself; I had to take pictures of many of the wonderful things we ate!

Each morning we started with a simple breakfast at our Pension in Tadten. Breakfast consisted of a Kaiser roll (baked fresh each morning at the town bakery!) We had two types of marmalade to choose from - cherry and apricot - and both were homemade by the daughter of the Pension owner. The apricot was my favorite. Of course it is also customary to have meats and cheeses available. (This is a picture of my mom, too bad we didn't think to take the picture before we ate breakfast!)

In Austria, it is customary to eat the "big" meal of the day at lunch time. In fact, you will find that in many of these smaller villages, businesses are closed from 12 noon until 1:30pm or 2:00pm so that the employees can go home for "Mittagessen."

Here are some of our favorite lunch time meals (in no particular order):

Kraut Knockerln (Cabbage Noodles)

Unfortunately, I don't have a photo (must have been the jet lag) but this was our first "Burgenlandische" meal and it was delicious! The cabbage is chopped and fried then mixed with square-shaped noodles. We also had liver dumpling soup which was very good!

Gsottener Strudel
The filling is "Topfen" which is almost like a ricotta cheese. You then cover it with a bean sauce or a tomato sauce (if you don't like beans!)

Hungarian Goulash with Salzstangerl
Trust me - it was delicious! (Nothing compares to homemade rolls; Pillsbury Dough Boy, step aside!)

As crazy as it sounds, we just had to do McDonald's one day (actually we ended up eating twice at the McDonald's in Sopron, Hungary!) Our fish filet and chicken sandwiches tasted just like at home.

Kraut Strudel (Cabbage Strudel)

This is the day my mother thought she died and went to heaven! Before our visit was over, she had eaten five pieces of this delicious strudel! If you've ever had authentic Austrian apple strudel, this is made the same way, but with cabbage as the filling. We also had some interesting soup with our Kraut Strudel; you've heard of tomato-basil soup? Well we had something different "Basilicum Suppe" - it was Basil soup with tomatoes in it! Interesting taste; it was green in color.

Yep, that would be piece number five (as we were heading out the door...)

Check out this delicious meal - new potatoes with parsley, a salad made with green and red peppers, tomatoes and onions in a vinegar sauce, and pork medallions! Notice the wine on the table - did I tell you that some of the best wines in the world are produced in Burgenland?

What? Burger King? Quick familiar lunch at the Budapest Airport!

The evening meal was the lighter of the two meals and usually consisted of bread (real bread, not the soft white stuff we have in America), cheese, sausage, fresh veggies and fruit from the garden, and wine of course!

The weather was so beautiful we usually ate dinner out in the garden or on the patio of my cousin's house. There was always good conversation too (auf Deutsch!)

Such a "lustig" bunch - check out the spread on the table.

We always gave my cousin Martin a hard time - he always loaded his bread with lots of butter!

I could go on and on about all of the wonderful things we had to eat! I do have some dessert photos to share with you, but will save those for another post. Guten Appetit!


Siobhan said...

Cathy, seeing your pictures and reading the descriptions of the food reminds me of Rosie's cooking from the Sue Grafton books. It looks good!! YUM-o.

I enjoyed seeing the photos of the lace, too. I know you will treasure it for the skill that went into making your piece. Lovely stuff!

Lynn said...

I very much enjoyed the descriptions of the various foods. That cabbage strudel sounds very intriguing! Thanks for sharing.

Edgar said...

great snaps and super commentary!! What a fun trip you both had!!

Katrina said...

Yum, yum, yum!!!! Everything looks delicious, the cabbage strudel sounds wonderful!!!! I love to cook so I always enjoy seeing what people from other countries eat :-).

Bekca said...

Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos of all the food you enjoyed. I love European dinner of bread, cheeses and meats - delicious!