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German vocabulary: Seven of the tastiest foods for autumn

Autumn in Austria is filled with delicious, warming foods ranging from pumpkin soup to rich 'Rouladen' rolls. Guten Appetit!

German vocabulary: Seven of the tastiest foods for autumn
Kürbissuppe (pumpkin soup) served inside the 'Kürbis'. Photo: DPA

Come Autumn in Austria, most markets big and small abound with seasonal delicacies. Here are our top picks for fine fall cuisine, both sweet and savoury, that will have you feeling gemütlich throughout the season.


One of the most traditional fall foods is the pumpkin. It can be combined with almost every meal to add a fall touch to it.

Often pumpkin soup is served as an appetizer or a main course. The recipe can vary from plain pureed pumpkin with cream and spices, to variations with coconut milk or curry. Usually, hokkaido pumpkin is used for this dish, but Halloween or butternut pumpkins do the trick as well. 

These varieties of pumpkins can simply be purchased in the supermarket or at the “Kirmes”. The “Kirmes” originally began as a church celebration, but nowadays people mainly refer to it as a food market. These markets, also called “Erntefest” (harvest fest), sell food, other items, and offer activities such as pumpkin carving.

Martin Gans

The traditional food of the fall is the “Sankt Martins Gans” (Saint Martin’s goose). November 11th commemorates Saint Martin who, legend says, hid in a goose stall to avoid him being voted to Bischoff but was revealed by the gaggling of the geese. Since then the geese were served for dinner which turned into a feast in honour of Saint Martin.

This feast entails a cooked goose as the main dish, often stuffed with apples or prunes. The dish is traditionally served with side dishes such as Rotkohl (red cabbage) and boiled potatoes, but often with extras such as Rosenkohl (brussel sprouts), Semmelknödel (bread dumplings)l, Grünkohl (green cabbage) and Maronen (chestnuts).

This memorial day also includes the traditional Martinsumzug, where children and parents (often together with the kindergarden or school), walk through the streets with homemade lanterns, singing songs about Saint Martin.


A very delicious hearty meal are “Rouladen” which can either be served as cabbage rolls filled with meat (Kohlrouladen) or meat rolls filled with vegetables (Fleischrouladen). The preparation of this meal is slightly time consuming until you get the hang of how to roll the “Rouladen” perfectly. They are served with potatoes and the gravy that is created during braising. As comfort food at its finest, this is very filling dish that will warm you up from the inside.


Goulash is a very typical seasonal food in Austria (Photo by Farhad Ibrahimzade on Pixels)

This meal originates from Hungary but is loved by Austrians, and still considered to be a very Austrian meal. Goulash consists of braised meat, mostly beef or pork, in a thick brown sauce. Often it derives a fruity flavour from cranberries, apricots or plums, and is served with Knödel (dumplings) or, my favourite, “Spätzle” (a sort of egg-noodle). “Spätzle” is a Swabian (southwest Germany) traditional food that goes great with any thick sauce and especially with game.


Linseneintopf (Lentil stew) is not the most appealing dish to the eye, but a very satisfying meal for a cold fall day. It often contains cubed vegetables such as potatoes, celery and carrots and pieces of bacon or sausage. You can make it yourself, but for a lazy afternoon, canned lentil stew is just as appetizing.


Germanics love their potatoes. “Erdapfelsuppe” (potato soup) is a great meal to fill up on and warm your belly. It is easy to cook, and great to make in big batches in order to freeze it and then defrost whenever you need it.

It is rich and has a thick consistency, so it is technically a stew. Of course, it can be varied by added vegetables or meat to cook it to your liking.

Not only is Austria’s savoury cuisine very delicious but it is also renown for their desserts.


Apfelstrudel traditionally comes from Austria but nowadays is an international dessert. The classic Austrian apple strudel focuses more on the apple and strudel taste.

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‘Prost!’: A guide to toasting in Austria

As we head towards the festive season in Austria, there’s a high chance you will be involved in more than one “prost” in the coming weeks. Here’s how to do it properly.

'Prost!': A guide to toasting in Austria

For many people, “prost” is one of the first words they learn in German, which comes in handy as it often comes up in social situations. 

But if you’re new to Austria and wondering what it means, or you simply want to make sure you’re doing it right, here’s a useful guide.

READ ALSO: Austrian traditions: How to celebrate St. Martin’s Day in Austria

What does “prost” mean?

“Prost” is the German equivalent of “cheers”. The word comes from the Latin word “prosit”, which basically means to wish good health before drinking.

Some alternatives to “prost” that you might hear are “zum Wohl” (to good health) or simply “gesund” (healthy).

But whatever you do, try to avoid mixing terms. If someone says “prost” or “zum Wohl”, then say that back.

When is it used?

“Prost” is used in the same way in Austria that you would use “cheers” – when having drinks with other people and clinking glasses.

So you will probably come across it at the pub with colleagues or during a weekend get together with friends. 

You will almost certainly say it before having a beer or schnapps with others.

READ MORE: How did the Wiener Schnitzel become an Austrian icon?

How to say ‘prost’ – the Austrian way

There are a few rules to be aware of when prost-ing. 

First, make sure you clink your glass with everyone involved in the prost (within reason – if it’s a room full of people at a wedding, for example, just raise your glass and nod your head towards others instead).

READ ALSO: Wiener Weinwandertag: Everything you need to know about Vienna’s ‘Wine Hiking Day’

Second, always maintain eye contact. If there is a group of four people, you will say “prost” and clink the glass of every person while looking them in the eye. This is standard practice and you will be called out if you don’t.

In fact, some Austrians will tell you it is bad luck (or a sentence for “seven years of bad sex”) not to look into the eyes of the person you are cheering with. Clinking glasses and making eye contact is an absolute must, then.

Third, do not start drinking until everyone has clinked glasses and said ‘prost’. As explained in a guide by Visiting Vienna, not waiting for the prost to finish before taking a swig of beer is like queue jumping in the UK. Terribly rude behaviour that will be noted by everyone else involved.

So get ready to socialise like a local and impress your Austrian friends with your prost etiquette.