Taste Buds Come Alive with the Flavors of Salzburg

As the winter ground begins to thaw and things start to become a little greener, we spring into a season that brings both diverse and colorful flavors and landscapes. It only seemed appropriate to feature two delectable dishes from the fairy-tale city of Salzburg, which is now included as a full-day tour on our Old World Prague & the Blue Danube River Cruise. Due to overwhelming demand by our travelers, we're excited to share that we've added four new departures of this popular River Cruise for 2012.

Salzburg, Austria is not only home to the picturesque rolling hills where the “Sound of Music” was filmed, but it also boasts some of the region’s richest culinary traditions. Although the name Salzburg literally means “Salt Castle,” Salzburg cuisine satisfies both salty and sweet cravings with dishes that have been heavily influenced by Hungarian, Czech, Italian, and Bavarian cuisines. Our regional office in Bratislava recently shared two authentic Salzburg recipes: Kasnocken (cheese dumplings) and Salzburger Nockerln (a meringue-like dish). These two Salzburg delicacies feature a harmonious blend of ingredients that are sure to make the taste buds come alive. Bon Appetite! Or as the Austrians say: Mahlzeit!


Kasnocken

For a taste of a truly authentic Salzburg dish, try Kashnocken—Austria’s answer to macaroni and cheese. Kashnocken are small dumplings combined with melted cheese. With numerous types of cheeses produced in the dairy paradise of Salzburg, it’s no surprise that Kashnocken has become a favorite dish of both locals and tourists. The dish features Spätzle, which are tiny egg dumplings.

Ingredients:

1 cup water
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
½ cup broth or stock (or even water)
4 oz. cheese (Emmental or Gruyere)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 medium onion, chopped or sliced
1 bunch chives, finely chopped


Preparation:

Spätzle:

  1. Mix flour, eggs, water, and salt carefully to create a dough (it should not be whisked; the dough should neither be stiff nor too soft).
  2. Pass the dough through a special sieve (a colander also works fine. You can push the dough through the holes of the colander with a spatula if desired) for dumplings into boiling, salted water.
  3. Boil the small dumplings for about 3 minutes, and then strain and quench them with cold water.

Kasnocken:

  1. In a pan, heat the vegetable oil and butter, and saute the sliced or chopped onion until slightly colored.
  2. Add the dumplings and season them with salt and pepper.
  3. Stir and combine, making sure the Spätzle are heated through.
  4. Turn to moderate heat and gradually add grated cheese, stirring vigorously.
  5. Pour in the broth or water so the cheese melts. Stir until the cheese melts and liquid disappears.
  6. Sprinkle the dumplings with chives.

Servings: Serves 3


Salzburger Nockerln

A specialty of Mozart’s hometown, Salzburger Nockerln is a large, airy, sweet soufflé. Local folklore says that Salzburger Nockerln was first created in the 17th century by Salome Alt, the mistress of the archbishop of Salzburg. The heaping mounds of meringue resemble the hills surrounding the city of Salzburg: the Gaisberg, Moenchsberg, and Nonnberg. What’s the secret for making the heaping meringue hills come alive in flavor, texture, and aroma? Patience. The egg whites must be beaten slowly and at medium speed. Salzburger Nockerln is served warm with a dusting of powdered sugar to represent the snowcapped hills. A truly rich, indulgent, and utterly delicious dish!

Ingredients:

Raspberry Jam:

12 oz. fresh raspberries (about 2 baskets)
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Salzburger Nockerln:

5 eggs
4 Tbs. icing sugar
1 tsp. flour
Grated lemon peel, to taste
2 Tbs. milk
3 Tbs. butter


Preparation:

Raspberry Jam:

  1. In a small sauté pan, combine 6 ounces of raspberries, sugar, orange juice, and lemon juice.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes, whisking vigorously to break apart the raspberries. (The mixture should resemble a loose jam.)
  3. Remove from the heat and add the remaining 6 ounces of raspberries, stirring gently until well-coated.
  4. Set aside.

Salzburger Nockerln:

  1. Separate the yolk and egg whites.
  2. Place the egg whites in a very clean mixing bowl. Start mixing them on medium speed. When they form soft peaks—but still look a little gray—sprinkle 3 tablespoons of icing sugar over them slowly, and keep beating.
  3. Beat until they are stiff and glossy.
  4. Add three yolks, flour, and grated lemon peel. Set aside.
  5. Mix the butter and remaining tablespoon of icing sugar with the milk, and warm the mixture until liquid.
  6. Pour this warm, creamy mixture into a small casserole dish.
  7. Take the “dough” (mixture of egg whites, egg yolks, flour, and grated lemon peel), and separate into three equal pieces, placing each in the small casserole dish over the warm creamy mixture.
  8. Bake the Nockerl at 395°F. until golden, the tips should be lightly brown.
  9. Add some icing-sugar and serve immediately with raspberry jam and fresh whipped cream.

Servings: Serves 3-4