Monday, February 02, 2015

Austrian food

I just spend an enjoyable couple of days skiing in Austria with a couple of mates. I haven't been to that part of the Alps for many years and it made a nice change to see how things have moved on and developed in the past 20 or so years. I must say the lift system in places like St. Anton and Ischgl is second to none, nice big covered chair lifts and comfortable cable cars, some even with heated seats! The slopes were very busy, especially on Saturday but overall everything moved along quickly, I can't recall having  to wait more than a few minutes at any lift, which is not the case in some resorts.

The only thing that hadn't moved on much seemed to be the food and the drink available. Lot's of pig based meals and fizzy beer; not that there's anything wrong with this of course but even after only 4 days I must confess I was struggling to work up the enthusiasm for yet another sausage or rasher of bacon. One rather strange looking dish which seemed to be ubiquitous was the "currywurst" (see picture above) There were a couple of variants but it was essentially a big bratwurst kind of sausage that's cooked in a spicy sauce and then smothered with curry powder, typically served with chips. I had heard of this before but never seen one so I had to try it. For me the experience was a bit like eating a McDonald's burger, i.e. seems like a good idea at the time but was instantly regrettable; I suspect that like the infamous kebab (from a van) here in the UK this is a popular choice after a few beers. On the subject of beer, unfortunately the beer revolution going on in the rest of the world doesn't seem to have reached Austrian ski resorts yet; not much choice available that I could see. Perhaps the bars there are even more tied into particular brewers than most pubs are here? In any case Austrians still have a way to go to match the more enlightened French or the even more enlightened Americans when it comes to apres-ski refreshment!

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