F is for Faschingskrapfen

The first time I visited the town of Bad Aussee, my brain fritzed out a little; irony wired city hipsters like me have a hard time processing a place where lederhosen and dirndls are common attire, even amongst the young. Bad Aussee is very pretty; it’s a spa town but it came to regional prominence …
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K is for Kipferl

Austrians like to claim they invented (fill in the blank) when it comes to food. Thing is, they once had such an extensive empire that okay, okay, the well known (fill in the blank) was probably conceived on their turf while they had that turf. Austrians claim the kipferl, the progenitor of the croissant, as …
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T is for Topfenstrudel

We have had extended kitchen table discussions — in Austria and the US — about what, exactly, “topfen” is. I contend it’s ricotta, but the Austrians insist its something different. These state department level negotiations have not prevented topfenstrudel from appearing in my Seattle kitchen on numerous occasions, though said strudel has always appeared upon …
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E is for Eierlikörtorte

This part of the Ennstal is a river valley lined by a bunch of tiny villages. People have lived here for a good long time; the church just up the hill was established in the 1100s, but there’s still not much by way of urban — or even suburban — development. The bakery closed, and …
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Ennstal Black and White

Top:  Campers stowed for the season in the Aigen campground. Bottom: View towards Puttererschlössl from across the lake. Established in 1200, it was the seat of a fancy local land baron. Now, it’s a youth hostel.