Monday, November 13, 2017

South Tyrolean Foods You Must Try

As I am wrapping up my time in South Tyrol, a coworker wanted to host a dinner for me at his home and asked me what I would like to eat! I love all of the different South Tyrolean foods as they have a mix of Italian and Austrian food in this region. I told him -whatever he made, I would love it! But if I had to be honest, I do have some favorite foods here that I tend to order from restaurants or at festivals. Below are my top 5 favorite South Tyrolean dishes that I will miss eating back in the states.

5. Tirtl - These fried beauties are filled with savory ingredients like spinach or sauerkraut or sweet things like strawberry jam. The sweet ones are dusted with powdered sugar and so good when warm! The salty ones are great with beer. To eat, just rip them with your hands and get to munching.

4. Gelato and Ice Cream - In the summer, I ate a gelato every other day as there were three shops on my way home for work. The milk in this region is especially good as the cows graze on the grasses around here rather than some pre-made feed. The best ice cream I had while here was this apple, speck and schüttelbrot ice cream had at a house in the mountains during a friend's nephew's birthday party! Literally, apples with this smoky hint of bacon and topped with a bread that is made with fennel and cumin - AMAZING!

3. Erdäpflblattln mit Sauerkraut- These are some very traditional potato pancakes eaten with sauerkraut! I had them at a summer festival in Olang - if you are in the area, they have three festivals on Wednesdays during the summer if you would like to try these! These are eaten by filling the pancakes with sauerkraut on one side, rolling the pancake like pigs in a blanket, and biting into all of that acidic goodness or tearing off little pieces and rolling with sauerkraut.

2. Epic Cheese and Meat Plates - Before your main meal, you get to enjoy these massive plates of meat, cheese, and delicious accompaniments. The meat and cheese here are super fresh and delicious - I usually eat more vegetarian that carnivore but the meat here converted me for a while to eat outside my usual box. One thing to note, speck - the smoked ham of the region - should be eaten with schüttelbrot - a crunchy dry bread made with fennel and cumin. To eat, wrap the speck around this special crunchy bread and go to town!

1. Knödel and Schlutzer - These two types of dumplings are staples of the region and I love them. Served with butter and lots of parmesan, I think they are the perfect marriage between Italian and Austrian cuisine. Everyone has their own recipe but in general - knödel are made with speck or spinach or beets in the dough while schlutzer is made with a spinach and ricotta filling. These are a must try if you come to the area and if I can manage to make a version of either in the US, I will post the recipe to my blog!

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