In last weeks food post about the Austrian Cuisine I talked about the “Big Four” and none of them offered an alternative for Vegetarians or people who want to reduce their meat consumption. Today I want to offer you with some great alternatives, which are not sweet. Austria is famous for its Sweet dishes and I will come to them later on …
Here are my four nominations for Vegetarians:
This is a traditional dish from Vienna, which came to Vienna through Bohemia. It is some sort of Austrian Pasta (the Fleckerl) with white cabbage. Krautfleckerl are not really a posh meal, but I like them and they are great after a day of hiking or walking through a city. Be aware that you might sometime get a version with minced meat and Cheese, so ask if you want to avoid meat at all cost.
“Eierschwammerl” is the Austrian name for the german “Pfifferling”, in english: chanterelle. They are used to make a delicious version of Gulasch, which for many people, beats the meat version. If you do like mushrooms or are vegetarian, this classic will help you to try your hands on some Gulasch, without the need to eat meat. This is kind of a seasonal dish and I would be rather careful, if you get it offered in spring. But from late summer to early winter, this is a great dish. Most time its served with “Semmelknödeln” – dumplings made of bread and wheat.
Spinatknödel – spinach dumplings, are a traditional tyrolean dish, which spread all over Austria. Its basically Semmelknödel, which have spinach added before cooking. You normally get them served with hot butter sauce over it, so its not really a dish to loose weight. But its definitely an extraordinary highlight of classical farmers kitchen, as it provides a hungry stomach with a lot of energy, its rather easy to cook and it is made out of local ingredients. I would recommend to try this, if you stay in Tyrol or after a long hike up on a hut in the Austrian Alps.
There are lots of versions of Kässpätzle – in Salzburg they are known as Kasnockn. As I am from Vorarlberg I believe that we have the best version(s) and many people agree with that, as the chosen cheeses are one of the most important things for delicious Spätzle. But you will get them all over Austria, so if you love cheese you can go for them almost everywhere. Kässpätzle are small dumplings whith cheese – the cheese should be rather tasty and this is a hungry mans dream. You will get it with potatoe salad, green salad or in some Vorarlberg places with apple sauce. East from Vorarlberg it is made in a pan, in Vorarlberg the cheese gets put over the hot dumplings and melts that way (or sometimes is put in a oven for just a minute). Traditionally you have a Schnaps afterwards, as it helps with digestion: if you drink alcohol I strongly advice to do so, as it completes the meal.
There are a lot more traditional vegetarian meals, as farmers could not afford to eat meat, too much. But a lot of them are rather hard to get in restaurants. But the four mentioned meals should be available in most places (and most times) and they are a great meat-free alternative for everyone.
I hope you liked this post – next week I will do another post about desserts, which I am really looking forward to. The week after I will try to introduce you to Debbie from Kindness Kronicles dish she mentioned in a comment – I hope my guess is wright.
I would love to get some comments about my posts about Austrian Cuisine and am more than happy to (try to) answer any questions about Austrian food.