Alpine Summer in the mountains of Austria is gradually coming to an end. The cows will say a final “goodbye” to their idyllic summer homes on the high pastures and return to their warm barns in the valley. There, the locals celebrate Harvest Festival across the length and breadth of Salzburger Land, and busily bring in their crops. To rustle up mouthwatering apple, red currant and plum cakes, for example. And potatoes, for a favorite childhood dish of mine. Mmmmmh...
A time for hiking, and Pinzgau Erdäpfinidei
Autumn is approaching in the mountains of Austria. Our life is slowly shifting from outdoor swimming areas and terraces to cozy indoor spaces. But the key word here is nice and “slowly”. Because the autumnal days before us still promise ideal hiking conditions. And if you do get out there to do some hiking and burn a few calories in the process, you will definitely have earned a plate of Erdäpfinidei, which I have loved to eat ever since I was a kid. Needless to say, it was my grandma who made the best Nidei. Actually, quite easy to prepare, but indescribably delicious. So easy in fact, it wouldn’t take you much effort at all to prepare some of your own during your autumn getaway in an apartment or holiday home.
Here’s what you will need:
500 g of starchy potatoes (ideally, one day old and boiled in their skins)
120 g flour
Pinch of salt, nutmeg
Butter or clarified butter
And here’s how to do it: Peel the potatoes and finely grate, then loosely mix with the salt, nutmeg and flour. Stir in the egg and kneed to create a dough. You will have to be quick, otherwise the dough will become too sticky and you will have more of it on your hands than on your work surface (speaking from personal experience). Now, use the dough to make rolls that are roughly as thick as your thumb, then cut the rolls into Nidei that are about 2 cm thick. Slowly fry the Nidei in hot butter or clarified butter. They are done when they are a beautiful golden yellow, brown and a little bit crispy. They taste best with sauerkraut, cabbage salad or fresh green lettuce harvested from your own garden. Enjoy!
Since we are on the topic of potatoes: Due to its special climate and soil with a high humus content, Salzburger Lungau is one of the best potato-growing regions in Austria. Lungau potatoes are called “Eachtlinge” – just one reason the region is known far and wide as a delectable culinary destination. That said, you will definitely have no shortage of great dining opportunities at and close to the Carpe Solem Mariapfarr and the Thomalwirt.
Salzburger Land: Harvest Festival is the time to celebrate!
The “fifth season” is a wonderful reason to pay us a visit, not only because of the marvelous culinary opportunities, but also the numerous folk celebrations. Harvest time in SalzburgerLand is well and truly celebrated: In total, 73 different towns and villages participate in Harvest Festival (indicated by posted signs as well as special Harvest Festival decorations) and host traditional festivals. In corona-free years, this equates to around 2000 different Harvest Festival events that include food markets, homecoming parades and village fairs. Most also feature demonstrations of traditional artisanal crafts as well as local folk customs. On average, approximately 14,000 participants contribute to the success of the celebrations, with 500,000 visitors (locals as well as guests from out of town) joining in the festivities.
Harvest Festival highlights close to our 6 Salzburg ALPS RESORTS:
- Tauernresidence Radstadt: Every other year, Radstadt marks the end of Alpine Summer with a magnificent homecoming parade and Harvest Festival fair. The beautifully decked-out cows are driven down from the Unterkarleiten Alm in Untertauern through the center of Radstadt to their barn at the Untersulzbergbauer farm.
- Alpendorf Dachstein West: The world’s biggest parade of figures made out of hay takes place in Lammertal at the beginning of September. In addition, there is a Hay Figure Path which summer visitors staying in Alpendorf Dachstein West may choose to hike along.
- Carpe Solem Mariapfarr: a long Lungau tradition: At the conclusion of summer, many local eateries invite guests to participate in "Schafaufbratln". It is then that diners can enjoy a plate of Schöpsernes (tender lamb) - ideally served with Lungau potatoes, horseradish and a cabbage salad.
- Carpe Solem Rauris: At the beginning of September, a two-week Harvest Festival program is offered including guided hikes, National Park excursions, workshops and various excursions.
- Tauernsuites Mitterwirt: Bartlmä-Fest in Piesendorf: In the center of Piesendorf, every two years they host the big Barthlmä-Fest including a parade, country wrestling tournament, village market, music and folklore performances. In the midst of it all: Tauernsuites Mitterwirt.
- Tauernlodges Uttendorf: The town folk band will perform at the Bauernherbst Festival, plus you can also look forward to folklore performances as well as a delectable selection of Pinzgau delicacies including farmhouse-style doughnuts.
Autumn in Salzburger Land definitely has the potential to become everyone's favorite season. Hiking, eating, celebrating life itself. Going to be part of the fun?
Photo materials (c) Roasted lamb: Ferienregion Lungau; Hay figures: TVB Annaberg-Lungötz; Almabtrieb title photo: TVB Raurisertal (Florian Bachmeier); Almabtrieb in Radstadt: TVB Radstadt (Lorenz Masser)