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FOOD & DRINK

Five dishes to enjoy this apricot season in Austria

The apricot harvesting season has begun in Lower Austria, which means Marillenknödel - sweet apricot dumplings - are appearing on menus around the region.

Five dishes to enjoy this apricot season in Austria
Photo: wachauermarille.at

Unfortunately, due to late frosts and turbulent weather, the yield is expected to be a lot lower than previous years. 

Despite the troubled times for apricots, it is still possible to enjoy a variety of apricot dishes at markets, restaurants and heuriger around the region.

Here are some of the Local Austria's top apricot dishes to try out:

Marillenknödel

Wikimedia/Saschathegerman
This delicious pastry dumpling is a favourite around the Wachau region and much of eastern Austria. It is made by forming the sweet dough around the apricot, which is then cooked inside and served up – sometimes two or three of them together – with a dollop of cream and icing sugar.

Marillenmarmelade

Photo: kochen_in_wien.at
You can make a batch of this stuff at home if you have enough apricots but it is also on sale at farmers markets and delicatessens in the region, particularly this time of year. Ladel it onto some freshly baked bread or a milchbrot as a quick morning snack. A little spoonful has also been known to work well with a bowl of cereal and natural yoghurt.

Apricot salad (with fillet of beef)

Photo: ichkoche.at / Blanka Kefer / Geschirr & Deko: www.ikea.at
When it comes to apricots, it does not always have to be sweet. This delicious-looking recipe uses apricot salad as a garnish with a fillet of beef. With plenty of seasoning, fennel, and a squeeze of lime, this simple salad would be a great addition to a sunday BBQ knees up.

Marillentorte

Photo: Christine_R/chefkoch.de
Although there are many varieties of torts, a Topfen cake topped with apricots and edged by pastry (like this one!) is a yummy way of doing it. You can find Topfen – the curd known in Germany as Quark – everywhere in Austria and sometimes this cheesecake filling can be a bit overwhelming when served on its own. For those who normally turn their noses up at the unusual filling, the Local recommends trying it with some fruit and see if it changes your mind.

Marillenkuchen

Photo: www.kochrezepte.at
Alternatively, keep it plain and simple with a classic sponge Marillenkuchen. This is a fairly dense sponge cake commonly found in Konditorei and bakeries around Austria. The classic butter-flour-egg mix is topped with halved apricots firmly lodged in the dough and, to make it even more ‘Austrian’, sometimes a shot of alcohol is added – normally rum.

Got any more ideas? Share your favourite apricot recipes or dishes in the comments below.

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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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