Heavenly tomatoes, fishing delights, pumpkin seed oil and organic baked bread are only a few of the healthy pleasures that Austria tempts with. We are happy to succumb!
|Tomato Heaven ||In Austrian dialect, tomatoes are known as ‘paradisers' (apples of paradise). Erich Stekovics is renowned for the tomatoes he grows in his fields in Frauenkirchen, on the eastern shores of Lake Neusiedl and has been dubbed the ‘Emperor of Paradisers' by local inhabitants. Every summer, he takes visitors across his fields where they can see the many types of tomato, peppers and other vegetables that he grows. He rejects the concept of greenhouse-grown fruit and vegetables and instead embraces growing his produce under the open sky, completely open to the elements. He doesn't even water his plants but waits for the rains to come. |
|Fishing Delights ||If you're keen on fish, either catching them or eating them, a visit to the Gut Hornegg estate in the south of Styria is a must. Run by Heinrich Holler, the estate breeds fish species naturally in ponds that are fed by natural brooks and streams guaranteeing high quality water. You can buy fish directly from the estate and visitors are also encouraged to go angling themselves. If you're not fish mad there's plenty more to keep you busy - during the warmer months, there's swimming in the Spiegelteich lake and numerous beautiful running trails and tennis courts are closeby. All the food is organic. |
|Green Gold |
|In the region of Styria, pumpkin seed oil is regarded as sacred. Locals will tell you that salads and boiled beef are unimaginable without it. For 100 years, the farmers here have cultivated the soft-shelled pumpkin seeds, creating the so-called ‘skinless Styrian pumpkin seeds' for their famous oil. Deep and dark green in colour, it has a nutty aroma and intense taste and is known as the ‘green gold'. In 1998, more than 2,300 local pumpkin seed farmers and 30 mills (where they are ground and processed) merged to form a co-operation and were given the EU protected geographic status which means the oil can only be produced here. |
|Secret Recipes |
|The best organic baked bread in all of Austria is reputed to be Mauracher Strutzen, baked on the Mauracherhof farm in Rohrbach in Upper Austria. Visit and you'll learn how it is made from the very beginning - the recipes used on the farm have been passed down through the generations. Baked from rye and sourdough, the unparalleled quality of this bread is renowned. Dough is given plenty of time to mature, the water is from the streams that filter through the rocks in the high altitude of the Mühlviertel region and the grains used are those with hefty, thick roots, which provide the cereals with vitality and a strong aroma. |
|Days of Wine and Good Food ||There has always been a very special connection between a country’s cuisine and its wines. In Austria, it’s a match made in heaven. The best place to enjoy wine and good food is at a ‘Heuriger’, a true Austrian institution. these are mainly family-run pubs or restaurants, some traditional, some more contemporary, with a limited license to offer homemade wine and dishes from local produce. |