No vacation pleasure without appropriate culinary experience – no resort town without an inviting table set with a wonderful meal and a special drink! Already the old farmers knew that “food and drink keep body and soul together”!
This fact is well acknowledged throughout the food service industry of the Val Gardena Valley and reason why high end hotel restaurants as well as cozy village eateries are so dedicated to present traditional foods inspired by a national and international cuisine enriched by many local specialties and crowned by top quality South Tyrolean wines.
South Tyrolean Speck
A unique delicacy of our province. This is a typical form of South Tyrolean smoked meats. “Speck” can be enjoyed in a variety of entities and flavors. Spicy or mild, served on a wooden board or as a sandwich, a great selection of South Tyrolean “Speck” leaves no desires of the “Speck-enthusiast” unfulfilled – guaranteed!
Kaminwurzen:You’ll be hooked! Kaminwurzen are smoked dry sausages from pork and beef with a rustic, spicy flavor, measuring about 18 cm long and 1 cm in diameter. Kaminwurzen are used in a variety of ways. The can be part of a hearty meal or can be enjoyed just as a snack for in between. They are also used in a cut-up form of dice to serve as a filling in dumpling dough. A marvelous pleasure!
Cheese from South Tyrol - Graukäse (Grey Cheese):An appetizing flavor! Graukäse is a very special form of aged Ricotta cheese. It has a low fat content and is flavorful and pleasant. The aging time is about 15 days. Graukäse must not be stored too long but has to be eaten within a short period of time after purchase due to its tendency to acquire a sour aftertaste. Famous for its Graukäse production are mainly the towns of Sexten in val pusteria valley and Algund in Vinschgau.
South Tyrolean Almkäse (Alpine Pasture Cheese):A piece of pure nature! There are approximately 1,500 high alpine dairy operations in South Tyrol, still providing an ample supply of natural pastures. The natural surrounding, proper management, and the good food supply for those cows create a special kind of milk. This fresh, high-alpine milk is then used for the production of the “Almkäse”. This “Almkäse” is created through a delicate process without chemical additives or flavor enhancing substances. The fresh high-alpine milk enriches it with its natural mild aroma. A pleasure at its best!
Bread and Pastries from South Tyrol-Original Vinschgauer Schüttelbrot:A refined delicacy from the South Tyrolean kitchen. “Schüttelbrot” is a mildly flavored flatbread variety made from rye and wheat flour. The dough is being shaken during baking till it ends up being extremely thin. The “Schüttelbrot” is very flat and has an irregular surface. This bread variety is commonly enjoyed crunchy and on the hard side. When preparing a sandwich with it – one may use a variety of cold cuts or cheeses – the possibilities are unlimited. A real taste-bud pleaser!
South Tyrolean Zelten:A fruit bread of a special kind. Dried nuts and fruit are mixed into the dough, but no flour, which gives the “Zelten” its incomparable flavor.
Vinschger Paarl :Pure perfection of flavor! “Vinschger Paarl” are most often pairs of connected well-seasoned flat breads made from rye flour. These are – as indicated by their name (Paarl = pair) - baked together. The dough will be seasoned with fennel- and caraway seed or such. Since we do not want you to miss out on anything on your visit to South Tyrol you need to try one of those “Vinschgerle”.
South Tyrolean Wine
The Southern Tyrol Wine Road (the main growing region of South Tyrol) runs at the west side of the Etsch Valley along the Mendel Mountain Range from Sigmundskron through the wine growing towns of Frangart, Girlan (winery Brigl), Eppan (with St. Michael, St. Pauls and Missian), Kaltern, St. Josef at Kalterer Lake, Tramin, Kurtatsch, Magreid, and Kurtinig towards Salurn. This area annually produces 300,000 to 400,000 hectoliters of wine of which 65% is red wine and 35% is white.
The most well known South Tyrolean varieties are the Vernatsch (ruby red, dry, mild and refreshing, consumed as a young wine), the Lagrain (mainly grown around Bolzano with 2 varieties: the Lagrein-Kretzer: a rose, fresh, fruity and enjoyed young; the Lagrein dark: full bodied, deep red, and velvety. The Gewürztraminer (mainly grown in Tramin) a heavy, full bodied white wine with a rich bouquet. The Blauburgunder (originally only grown in France) a dark, dry and full bodied red wine. The Merlot (brick to ruby red, light, pleasant and refreshing, and the Cabernet (first dark and ruby red but during prolonged storage turning brick red with a mild taste).
These excellent South Tyrolean wines can of course be sampled at a winery tour with wine tasting at the end or during the Wine Tasting Weeks. The most famous Wine Tasting Weeks are: The Bolzano Wine Tasting (in spring), Comparative sampling of Gewürztraminern from around the world (in Tramin in May), the Kalterer Festival (in late summer), the Traminer Wine Tasting Stroll (end of September), and the Unterlandler Wine Tasting Week (in Auer at the second part of October), plus many more.