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FOOD & DRINK

Cancer report on processed meat ‘a farce’

Austria’s Agriculture Minister Andrä Rupprechter has defended Austrian sausages as "the best there is" after a report from the World Health Organization (WHO) said that processed meats such as bacon, sausages and ham cause cancer.

Cancer report on processed meat 'a farce'
A Käsekrainer sausage. Photo: MyLastBite/Flickr

Commenting on social media Rupprechter said that the report was a “farce” and that as far as Austrian sausages are concerned “they are and remain the best”. He said that the WHO report was spreading fear, and tweeted an image of himself tucking into a huge plate of cold cuts (pictured on the right).

 

“Placing ham on the same level as asbestos is outrageous nonsense and only serves to unsettle people,” Rupprechter wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

The WHO report said that 50g of processed red meat a day – less than two slices of ham or one sausage – increased the chance of developing bowel cancer by 18 percent.

It is the first time the WHO has said that there is “sufficient evidence” to make the link between processed meat and cancer. It said that red meats were “probably carcinogenic” but that there was limited evidence.

Processed meat is meat which has been smoked, cured, or had salt or preservatives added to it to extend its shelf life or change its taste. It is the chemicals involved in the processing which could be increasing the risk of cancer.

The WHO report findings are sure to be felt keenly in Austria, which is famous for its gourmet hams and different varieties of cured sausages. Austrians devoured a whopping 65.3 kg of meat in 2013.

Pork consumption in particular has increased in Austria in recent years, overtaking beef, veal and poultry. Pig farming remains an important part of Austria’s agriculture. Around 2.9 million pigs are kept on 25,600 farms, according to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture.

Within Europe, only jamón-loving Spaniards consume more pork than Austrians (with Denmark and Germany close behind).

The new guidance on processed meat is also bad news for wurst-gobbling Germans, hot-dog-loving Swedes and the sausisson-scoffing French.

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FOOD & DRINK

Hugo, Almdudler and Radler: 5 drinks to try in Austria this summer

It is easier to face the summer heat with a proper cold drink in your hands. Austrians know that well and have created (or made popular) several delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Here are five you should try.

Hugo, Almdudler and Radler: 5 drinks to try in Austria this summer

The debate of which is the perfect summer drink is undoubtedly a very controversial one.

While many people would argue that nothing can beat the Italian Aperol Spritz (which is also very popular in Austria), some would rather stay with a simple cold beer.

If you are team Spritz, then you should know that Austria has a love for things g’spritzt, with their own versions of sparkling drinks (with or without alcohol). However, for those who prefer a beer, the alpine country is home to several famous brands, including the Styrian Gösser, the Viennese Ottakringer, and Stiegl, from Salzburg.

READ ALSO: Five Austrian destinations you can reach by train to escape the heat

In any case, when living or visiting a new country, it’s always fun to try out the traditional dishes and, in this case, beverages.

Here are five drinks you should try during the Austrian summer.

Hugo drink summer drink austria

Hugo is a very popular (and sweet) summer drink in Austria (Photo by Greta Farnedi on Unsplash)

Hugo

Some say this is the Austrian answer to the Aperol Spritz, but its sweetness from the elderflower syrup makes it quite different from the bitter bright orange Aperol.

There is also a bit of controversy as to where this drink, which Austrians love to drink during a nice summer afternoon, originates.

Internationally, it seems to be widely accepted that this alcoholic aperitif comes from South Tyrol, a German-speaking region of Italy with deep Austrian roots. Ask any Austrian, though, and they will tell that just proves the drink is from Austria.

READ ALSO: Eight ways to talk about the heat like a true Austrian

Italian or Austrian, the sweet drink is made with prosecco, elderflower syrup, seltzer and mint leaves. Serve it with lots of ice in a large glass, and you have a perfect summer drink.

white wine drinks party

Mix your white wine with sparkling water and you get a refreshing gespritzt (Photo by Matthieu Joannon on Unsplash)

weiß gespritzt

This is extremely popular, relatively cheap even in fancy restaurants, and somewhat controversial, but take some white wine and add a little sparkling water (sometimes ice) and you get a weiß gespritzt, or a g’spritzter.

READ ALSO: The best Austrian wineries to visit this summer

Not everyone appreciates mixing your wine with water, but it makes for a refreshing and lighter drink. In Austrian restaurants, you might be asked whether you want a summer gespritzt, which means it has higher water content and, therefore, is lighter, or a “normal” one.

It is by no means an Austrian drink, and you may have to ask for a Weinschorle instead of a Gespritzter in Germany, but it is a popular drink in the German world.

gösser radler drink

Austrian brands sell some of the most popular Radlers in Europe (Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash)

Radler

A Radler is another drink that though not from Austria, is extremely popular here. Not only that but some of the most popular Radlers are sold by Austrian brands.

Traditionally, all you need to make a Radler is to mix beer and lemonade. However, the drink is also found bottled and sold by beer companies such as Gösser and Ottakringer. The mix has also expanded and you can discover Radlers with a citrus or berry mix.

READ ALSO: Austrian old folks toast success of ‘Grandma and Grandpa’ beer

It is a lighter and sweeter beer, perfect for enjoying the summer with a fresh drink that is not so alcoholic.

Mixing apple juice and sparkling water creates a perfect non-alcoholic summer drink. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP)

Apfelspritz

Following the Austrian love for adding sparkling water to drinks, a very common and non-alcoholic beverage is the Apfelspritz.

It is a mix of apple juice and (you guessed it) sparkling water. It is popular in Biergarten as a non-alcoholic alternative, with kids joining in on toasts with their apple and soda mix.

The drink is also very common in Germany (where it is known as Apfelschorle), Switzerland and Hungary.

READ ALSO: Cash and Schnapps: A guide to visiting pubs and cafes in Austria

almdualer gerhard schilling

Almdudler’s CEO Gerhard Schilling holds a bottle of the traditional Austrian drink (© Philipp Lipiarski)

Almdudler

Another option for a summer light and non-alcoholic drink is the Almdudler, which is technically the name of the Austrian brand that sells the famous carbonated soft drink.

The drink is a blend of 32 “natural alpine herbs, beet sugar and soda water”, according to the website. It has a very distinctive logo and can be found in almost all Austrian households – being one of the most popular beverages in the country.

Did we forget about your favourite summer drink? Then let us know in the comments below or send us an email at [email protected]

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