A Taste of Salzburgerland


The Hills Are Alive with Austria’s Culinary Treasures – Part 3
Read Part 1 – A Taste of Vienna  
Read Part 2 – A Taste of Graz  

By Debbie Stone

From coffeehouses in Vienna to the Styrian fried chicken in Graz, and Salzburg’s award-winning restaurants, travel writer Debbie Stone talks about her culinary adventures in historic and beautiful Austria, on Big Blend Radio.

Salzburgerland is another culinary hotspot in Austria. This region, known as “top chef country,” has nine self-guided culinary paths or tours for food aficionados. Each pathway has a different theme and is suited for those with a specific food interest like “gourmets,” “fish fans,” “meat eaters,”  “organic connoisseurs,” and “cheese freaks.” Information and maps are provided indicating designated farms and restaurants geared toward the area of focus. On the “gourmet” route, for example, you’ll stop at Wirtshaus Döllerer, an award-winning restaurant and hotel of the same name, located in the delightful town of Golling. Dining here is akin to having high culture on a plate and in a glass. Chef Döllerer has a reputation for using regional products and melding tradition with innovation in dishes like blackened leeks, salt-baked fennel, venison fillet tips in cranberry pepper sauce, and pumpkin ginger soup.

If you’re a cheese lover, you need to put Fürstenhof Dairy and Cheese Factory on your list. It’s an organically-run operation that welcomes visitors interested in learning about the cheese making process. Your tour begins with a stop in the barn to meet the resident Jersey cows and eventually finishes in the shop, where you can sample some of the thirty plus delicious raw-milk cheeses made on site such as double malt, blue mold and Camembert with pepper. Those looking for a hands-on opportunity can become a cheese maker for the day.

Within Salzburgerland is the world renowned city of Salzburg, often referred to as the “Baroque jewel on the edge of the Alps.” The name Salzburg means salt-town. For thousands of years, the people around this area have been mining salt and for most of that time, this “white gold” has been incredibly valuable, as it was the only means of preserving food without refrigeration. Consequently, the city accumulated wealth, power and fame, which helped make it a place of extraordinary beauty and fine culture.

  • Hearty Pretzel Soup
    Hearty Pretzel Soup

Salzburg’s historic Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site characterized by an ensemble of medieval town houses, baroque sacred buildings, splendid palaces and sprawling squares. It boasts impressive museums, galleries, concert halls and theatres, while offering a whopping 4,000 cultural events each year. Home to the internationally acclaimed Salzburg Festival, it’s also a magnet for musicians and music lovers. The city’s celebrated son is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was born and raised here. His birthplace is now a museum dedicated to his life and work. It is one of the most photographed buildings, as well as one of the most highly frequented museums in the world.

Tourists also flock to Salzburg because of its connection to the 1965 film, “The Sound of Music,” which was shot on location in the city and its environs. Ironically, the movie was not popular in Austria and most Austrians didn’t see it until years after it was released in the U.S. They were unaware of its popularity until people began coming to Salzburg specifically to visit the film locations. Locals felt the story had been “Hollywoodized” and lacked authenticity, as it had a number of historical inaccuracies. Today, however, Salzburg has fully embraced its “Sound of Music” fame, offering tours, productions of the show and plenty of trinkets to satisfy the throngs of rabid fans.

When it comes to culinary highlights, Salzburg shines with award-winning restaurants and chefs. Opt to take a food tasting adventure with guide Astrid Zehentmayer of Salzburg For You. During your tour, you’ll stroll through traditional food markets and family-owned shops to sample different homemade local products like Monastery Bread, Liver Cheese and Mozartkugel. The bread, which is made only at Alteste Bakery, is mostly rye and baked in a log fired oven. Contrary to its name, Liver Cheese is neither a cheese nor is it made of liver. It’s actually comprised of ground pork, bacon and corned beef, which is then baked as a loaf in a bread pan. Mozartkugel is a special confection that was created by Salzburg master confectioner, Paul Fürst, in 1890 in honor of the famed composer. These sweets are in the shape of small balls that are filled with green pistachio marzipan and surrounded by a layer of nougat, then dipped into dark melted chocolate. Although there are many places in the city that sell Mozartkugel, only the four Fürst shop locations in town can claim to have the Original Salzburg Mozartkugel, which is still made today according to the old recipe and method.

Another specialty of Salzburg is Eachtlingsuppe or pretzel soup, which can be made with beer and cheese, and then topped with pretzel pieces. Pretzels themselves are ubiquitous in all of the markets in town and are most noticeable by their humongous size. One is definitely sufficient for several people! And while on the subject of bigger-than-life foods, the Salzburger Nockerin is in a class of its own. It ranks as one of the most popular desserts and has evolved from a recipe that dates back to the 1800s. The dish is basically a soufflé consisting of three large golden-brown “mounds,” sprinkled with powdered sugar and served on a silver platter. The mounds represent the three hillsides surrounding Salzburg. One order easily serves three.

For a meal with a dynamite view of the city, eat at M32 atop Mönchsberg Mountain near the Museum of Modern Art. And if you want to pull out all the stops, don your best dirndl or lederhosen and take a ride to nearby Lake Fuschl where you’ll dine in style at Schloss Fuschl Resort & Spa, a legendary fairy tale chateau built in the 15th century by Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg. You’ll feel like a queen or king for the evening, as you sup amid this royal setting.

If you go: 

If you stay:
Hotel Gmachl: www.gmachl.com

Deborah Stone is a travel and lifestyle writer, who explores the globe in search of unique destinations and experiences to share with her readers. She’s an avid adventurer who welcomes new opportunities to increase awareness and enthusiasm for travel and cross-cultural connections. Her travels have taken her to all seven continents, over 65 countries and 45 U.S. states.



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