In todays issue of Austrian Cuisine I want to focus on dishes which are typical for May in Austria.
Maibock (deer) is the first deer you will get served in Austria during the year. This is because the hunting season starts at the beginning of May and traditionally the hunters try to shot some two year old deer, which will later be served as “Maibock”. After the rather poor food deer eats in Winter in spring they begin to eat fresh grass and herbs again and they start to gain some weight .
Maibock is traditionally served with vegetables who are very common in Spring, like spinach, green onions, chard or aspargus.
You should be careful when ordering Maibock – because in Bavaria its a very strong beer which is only brewed in May and if you confuse these two, you might spend an afternoon being drunk and hungry.
Aspargus is the other traditional dish in May – in the Marchfeld in Lower Austria there are huge fields of Aspargus and the markets and shops are full of it. You will get it with sauce hollandaise and potatoes, you will have it as a side dish with a Maibock (see above) or fish and some people also make salad out of it. Grüner Veltliner is my wine of choice with any Aspargus dish!
Moreover in Austria we celebrate Mothers Day on the second Sunday of May – which will be this weekend. In my family there is the tradition that the kids prepare breakfast for Mum and also have some small gift (like flowers or something sweet). Other families do some trips and have lunch or dinner with the family. Restaurants and Cafes are generally very crowded, as a lot of Austrians celebrate Mothers Day outside of their home. So be prepared, that it might be very busy in restaurants on the second Sunday of May … reservations might be needed.