Friday, June 12, 2009

A Kitchenlander day in ... Salzburg, Austria.

This is the Kitchenlandish side of a day in Salzburg, Austria.

We arrived late in the afternoon, after a rather adventurous journey, with weather spanning from unbearable heat to snow! In June! So we stayed in the hotel for dinner.
Maybe not very typical, but I got a nice and light meal with spinach palachinkas (kind of crepes) in a gorgonzola sauce:

I wouldn't be bothering to write about this if I didn't find the pairing very well chosen, and it's something quick and easy to make at home.

The day after, we were fresh and ready to discover the city.
Salzburg is Mozart's hometown, and you can never forget it: almost everything is about Mozart here (which is why we went, my 6yo can't quite get over the fact that the composer is dead).

So, one stop was at Mozart's birth house (Gebursthaus); deep inside I kind of questioned my recent buyings of nice kitchen tools, thinking that the meals that Wolfie had for the first seven years of his life were cooked in here

If a kitchen like that produced such genius, you don't want to know what will be of my two messy sprouts (I'm aware that Bree van deKamp should have taught me something!!).

The tour went on, there's another house, the one where the Mozart family moved when Wolfgang was seven, then we wandered around the city center.

Passing in front of a shop window, my eyes caught this cutie

"Hey, look at how they decorated this egg shell!"

"But hey, wait, there's more!"

"But we're in June, why did they have to make an Halloween themed window?"

As we lifted our eyes and got a more global view of the shop we were in front of, we realized that there was more

and more

The only thing the shop was selling were these real egg shells, painted, dressed and decorated with a patience that I won't have in 20 lives!
The massive quantity was really hard to register: I had never imagined to see so many eggs all together, let alone thinking of each one of those eggs being emptied and handled to produce that result! The price of the ones we checked spanned between 3 and 6.50 Euros (say between 5 and 11 USD), each.

So you can imagine my heart rate when I realized that these two

were actually those two!

Off we went, and for the first time since the kids are around we didn't stop for lunch, but hung out in a nice and tidy market, picking brezen and speck sandwiches

As for dessert, we were not far (well, the city center is pretty tiny, you are never far from anything) from the Stranz and Scio restaurant, which is famous for its "Capezzoli di Venere" (Nipples of Venus)

If you have seen the movie "Amadeus" (and if you have not, go see it! I mean, right now, I can wait!) these are the pralines that Salieri uses to convince Constanza to show him some of her husband's music sheets.
Their filling is of chestnut and nougat cream, with a drop of tart cherries jam and cognac.
They. Are. Goooood.

We spent the afternoon in the Hohensalzburg Castle, that overlooks the city, an impressive view and tour.

At night we had dinner at Gablerbrau, where the 6yo found a cutie 7yo girl from Kentucky to relieve the bore of waiting for dinner.

At Gablerbrau they have their own beer, like it often happens around there.

They like it unfiltered and they're quite right!

It seemed appropriate to order something that had the word "Salzburg" in it, so I went for a Salzburger Bierbrauerpfandl, that is "Salzburg beer brewer pan with roasted pork, farmer sausage, black pudding, sauerkraut, dumpling".

If only I didn't know how they make black pudding I would have probably eaten that, too, but I did, so I was content with the rest of the dish, cooked to perfection and with the right aromas.

My men went with wieners and fries

Just a few days before all this, the reveal day for Daring Bakers Challenge's Strudel had occurred; having seen all kinds of strudels from around the world, it was a no brainer to have it here.
I must say I wasn't completely satisfied, I wish it was cooked longer and less "robust".

We couldn't leave Salzburg without bringing with us a certain amount of Mozartkugeln, Mozart's balls. Not that you are at risk of forgetting, they are literally everywhere, even at greengrocers' shops.
In a spherical shell of chocolate you find a mix of praline creme, marzipan and pistachios, with different proportions according to the manifacturer.

They were invented by Paul Fürst in 1890, that is way after Mozart was gone.

The konditorei is still run by the Fürst family, and the kugeln are still hand made.

As it often happens, there are other versions, good as well even if industrially produced, as is the case of Mirabell Mozartkugeln, which are the most easy to find, popular even out of Austria, or Victor Schmidt's ones.

From left to right: Fürst's kugel, delicate and with a hint of marzipan, Mirabell's kugel, with a harder chocolate shell and a good balance of all flavours, Victor Schmidt's one, where marzipan is dominant.

If you have issues with spheres, Mirabell made it flat, too:

And after all this meat and chocolate bliss, may I offer you some digestive drink?

Chocolate cream, cocoa infusion and white chocolate liquors.

To the next trip!


  1. I was in Salzburg too, ages ago. It is such a cute town. I am jealous that you ate speck,it is hard if not impossible to find it in the Bay Area.

    My mother in law had many decorated eggs that she hang on the Christmas tree, I wonder if some where from Salzburg, where she traveled. Now you know how I feel when I take my kids to Venice and we visit the glass stores, I keep telling them: "non si tocca, non si tocca!".

    Have a fun trip!

  2. I was in Salzburg a few weeks ago, I must say, I'm not quite a fan of Mozart kugeln or Mozart kuchen. Tons of better apple strudel in Vienna though, visit if you get the chance! :)

  3. @ Ricediaries: we sure plan to visit Vienna, I just would like to have more than a weekend for that, because from where we live it's not as close as Salzburg and Bavaria (after Salzburg we were in Munich).

  4. It looks like you had a nice trip and you did such a great job capturing everything--I almost feel like I was there! Those chocolates looked amazing!

  5. lo so che non ci crederai, ma nei tempi preveggie, io adoravo il black pudding!