Monday, June 25, 2012

Austria: Surprisingly Ingenious!

Austria definitely showed their ingenuity as part of Fancy Food Week 2012.  Hosted at swanky L2 Lounge in Georgetown, the Austrian exhibitors showcased the best of Austrian cuisine, wines and beers with a mix of unique Austrian food products.  The diversity of flavors set Austrian food on a whole new level with crisp white wines, creamy cheeses, schnitzel and an amazing sauerkraut strudel.

I really was enamored with the sauerkraut strudel.  Growing up, I distinctly remember the pungent aroma and flavors of sauerkraut that overwhelmed me; this has nothing in common with that association.  The strudel was moist and flavorful, while the sauerkraut flavors offered my palate an exhilarating combination of tangy and savory, hints of sweet and a fantastic crunch.  The sauce on the strudel offered a creaminess that balanced some of the sour flavors nicely.

As some one who would happily eat cheese and bread for dinner the flavors of the Austrian cheeses offered complexity and depth in flavor and texture.  The Schardinger Rote Monch, a creamy cheese and Rollino, a hand rolled cheese with layers of herbs complimented the Hillinger Zweiegelt, a mild red, well.  

On display at the tasting were Austrian food products like Vienna Iced Coffee, Stoger Ol pumpkin seed oil, Kotanyi spices, Salzburg Schokolade chocolates and confections, Pepperland jarred peppers and the innovative GO Tube, a premixed drink in a tube.  I was intrigued by all the food products made in Austria and creative approaches to packaging, something that is quickly overlooked here.  

This sampling of Austrian foods really inspired me to further explore the cuisine and culture.  I am definitely planning a trip there to try more of the great food!

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