Carinthian Cuisine Savouring the Seasons: A gastronomic voyage of discovery through Carinthia is as varied and full of surprises as the four seasons:
Asparagus – Spring’s Magic World
In the spring, when Carinthia’s fruit trees are in full bloom, a truly noble vegetable of the lily family also stretches its head towards the sun. Not for nothing is asparagus known here as “spring’s magic wand”.
Fresh Fish & Fragrant Herbs
Reindling is also eaten with ‘sour’ soup, a Carinthian speciality traditionally served at the countless fairs and festivals held over the summer in Carinthia. The original recipe for this delicious soup contains several different kinds of meat and various herbs finished off with a mixture of fresh and sour cream.
Fennel and aniseed give the creamy soup its distinctive flavour and saffron, otherwise more at home in Mediterranean cuisine, its yellow colour.
Cider and Other Fruit Specialities
After a hot summer’s day in Carinthia, nothing could be more relaxing than sitting outside with a glass of cider and a cold meat platter at a typical farmhouse inn.
These buschenschenken are only allowed to sell what they make themselves: generally speck, salami and crusty bread.
Great Delicacy: Gailtal Valley Cheese
Eighteen alpine dairies in the Gailtal Valley in the Carnic Region produce delicacies of a different kind. Following old dairyman’s traditions, they make tasty Gailtal Valley Alpine Cheese at an altitude of 1,500 metres above sea level, a unique speciality unrivalled throughout Europe. On the Tresdorfer Alm a show dairy lets you into the secrets of cheese making.
Game in Golden Autumn
Whatever is bagged adds a little variety to the menus in Carinthian hotels and restaurants: venison, chamois and game birds. These dishes are accompanied by fresh cranberries from the alpine meadows, wild mushrooms from the Carinthian forests and full-bodied red wine - all served up with hunters’ yarns round the regulars’ table.
Originally from Eastern Austria, geese now feel equally at home in Carinthia.
As grazing birds they are raised with great care in large fields.
Winter – Luxury for the Sweet Toothed
A good time to try all the winter puddings for which the province is famed – for example kletzennudel, which are pasta pockets filled with dried pears and served with melted butter, cinnamon and sugar. But small steamed dumplings with honey and melted butter or farmhouse doughnuts are also well worth the indulgence.
Kasnudel are always in season
Naturally there are Carinthian dishes that are in season all year round. One such speciality is Carinthian-style ravioli, once regarded as a poor man’s meal and now the national dish. They are large pasta dough envelopes with various fillings, including curd cheese and garden mint – the original kasnudel – but also minced ham, spinach, potatoes or mushrooms.
Good Taste Knows No Bounds
A gastronomic journey through Carinthia is also the ideal opportunity for a quick trip into the neighbouring countries of Italy and Slovenia.
They show you just how related cooking in the three countries is. Carinthian kasnudel are served as ravioli in Italy, while the Slovenian equivalent of reindling cake is gibanica. Prosciutto traditionally comes from the area round the Friuli town of San Daniele - but in Villach an innovative butcher has also specialised in making this kind of raw ham.