10th December 2016

Pete is 26 and working in an advertising agency in London. He is here in Salzburg staying in a Catholic Communitty for a week of retreat. “This is my second Kaiserschmarrn – we had it for breakfast cold the other day but it’s definitely better warm!” The Christmas Kaiserschmarrn “tastes of pure Christmas! A delightful winter warmer is definitely a recommendation to any British tourist”

Pete ist 26 Jahre alt und arbeitet bei einer Werbeagentur in London. Jetzt gerade ist er in Salzburg und verbringt seine Zeit in einer katholischen Gemeinschaft für eine Einkehrwoche “Es ist mein zweiter Kaiserschmarrn heute. Zum Frühstück hatte ich kalten Kaiserschmarrn, aber warm ist er wirklich besser! Der Weihnachtsschmarrn schmeckt total weihnachtlich! Eine wunderbare, warme, winterliche Nachspeise – ein Muss für jeden britischen Touristen hier in Salzburg!

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7th December 2016

Daniel, from Hungary, eats the special Christimas Kaiserschmarrn, with nuts which he notices are soaked in rum. “The dough was different than Kaiserschmarrn that I’ve had before – it reminded me of a Hungarian dish called Plumball”. He is currently visiting Salzburg on a Choir tour – and after singing in the Basilica, they are taking a look around the Christmas market. Apart from singing, Daniel is a food photographer, avid chef and has a food blog . However hasn’t explored traditional dishes like this much – “Not sure how many Austrian recipe’s I know, but I love deserts and I love this Kaiserschmarrn””

Daniel aus Ungarn isst besonderes gerne Weinachtskaiserschmarrn, er bemerkt dass die Nüsse in Rum eingeweicht sind. „Ich habe schon gemerkt dass der Teig anderes ist als der von normalem Kaiserschmarrn – Es erinnert mich an eine ungarische Speise, die Plumball heißt“ Gerade ist er in Salzburg mit ein Chorgruppe zu Besuch – in der Nacht haben sie in der Basilika gesungen, und sie haben sich am Christkindlmarkt umgeschaut. Außer dem Singen ist Daniel auch ein Essen Fotografieren, passionierter Koch, und er schreibt einen FoodBlog. Aber er hat noch nicht viele traditional Speisen ausprobiert. „Ich bin mir nicht sicher wie viele österreichischen Rezept ich kenne, aber ich liebe Nachspeisen, und ich liebe diesen Kaiserschmarrn!“

4th December 2016

Maximilian und Yasemin sind aus München und besuchen Christkindlmarkt in Salzburg. Sie essen normalerweise gerne Kaiserschmarrn mit Rosinen, Nüssen und Apfel, aber hier probieren sie Kaiserschmarrn ohne alles, nur mit Vanille Sauce und Staubzucker. “Only basics”. Yasemin empfehlt Café Rischart in München für gutes Kaiserschmarrn. Maximilian natürlich sagt, dass die Kaiserschmarrn von seiner Oma die beste ist. “Ja, stimmt” sagt Yasemin “Sie macht mega gut Kaiserschmarrn”.

Maximilian and Yasemin are from Munich and are visiting the Christkindlmart in Salzburg. They normally eat Kaiserschmarrn with raisins, nuts and apple, but here they are eating Kaiserschmarrn without any of that – only vanilla sauce and icing sugar. “Only basics”. Yasemin recommends Café Rischart in Munich for good Kaiserschmarrn. Maximilian, of course, claims his Grandmother makes the best Kaiserschmarrn. “Oh Yeah” says Yasemin “She makes awesome Kaiserschmarrn”.

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3rd December 2016

Noah und Lukas, beide aus Augsburg essen Apfelmus und Zwetschgenkaiserschmarrn. Die beiden lieben beides. Noah arbeitet in einem Restaurant als Koch und erklärt, dass Rosinen immer eine wichtige Rolle in seinem Schmarrn spielen. “Der Staubzucker ist auch sehr wichtig, er rundet alles perfekt ab und gibt dem Schmarrn den gewissen “touch”. Das lustige ist: Noah und Lukas essen gerade Kaiserschmarrn ohne Staubzucker und Rosinen – aber sie mögen ihn trotzdem.

Noah and Lukas, from Augsburg, eat Apfelmus (apple) and Zwetschgen (plum) Kaiserschmarrn; both think that both versions taste really very good. Noah works in a restaurant as a cook, and explains that raisins are always a crucial part of his Kaiserschmarrn. “The icing sugar is also an important and finishing touch to the desert, and this all gives my Kaiserschmarrn something special”. The funny part is, Noah and Lukas are currently eating Kaiserschmarrn without icing sugar or raisins – but despite that they are still totally enjoying it!

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2nd December 2016

This is Elena and her Mother. Elena is living in Salzburg but from Romania. “I make pancakes, well crepes, but I’ve never tried making Kaiserschmarrn.“ There is something similar in Romania to Bauern Krapfen (donut like dessert), but nothing like the Kaiserschmarrn.

Hier ist Elena und ihre Mutter. Elena wohnt in Salzburg, kommt aber ursprünglich aus Rumänien. “Ich mache Palatschinken, oder Crepes, aber ich habe noch nie versucht, Kaiserschmarrn zu kochen. Es gibt Bauern Krapfen in Rumänien, aber nichts wie Kaiserschmarrn.”

1st December 2016

Meet Anna, Judith and Isabella, all from Austria, studying History and English in Salzburg. They are eating ‘exotic, juicy and very Christmassy’ Gingerbread Apple Kaiserschmarrn.

Raisins? For Isabella a definite yes, for Judith “I like raisins, but honestly never in my Schmarrn”.

And who cooks the best Kaiserschmarrn in their opinion? “Grandma” of course says Anna. Isabella’s sister was working in a restaurant and naturally cooks a great Kaiserschmarrn. Judith laughs as she recalls her and a friends attempt at cooking the dessert, resulting in a burnt mess.

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Treffen Sie Anna, Judith und Isabella. Alle drei sind aus Österreich und studieren Geschichte und Englisch in Salzburg. Eine weitere Gemeinsamkeit: sie essen “exotischen, saftigen und sehr weihnachtlichen Lebkuchen-Apfelkaiserschmarrn”.

Rosinen? Für Isabella ein absolutes Muss! Aber Judith “Ich mag Rosinen, aber echt nicht in meinem Schmarrn”.

Und wer kocht den besten Kaiserschmarrn? “Oma!”, sagt Anna natürlich. Isabellas Schwester arbeitete in einem Restaurant und kocht natürlich einen tollen Schmarrn. Judith lacht und erinnert sich an die Zeit, in der sie und Freunde versuchten das Dessert zuzubereiten, was schlussendlich in einer “verbrannten Katastrophe” endete.

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BierBeisl Imbiss in Los Angeles

In the midst of Downtown LA you can find BierBeisl Imbiss, a café – or better literally translated “snack bar” – serving modern Austrian street food. The owner and chef Bernhard Mairinger, an Austrian but resident in Los Angeles, has established BierBeisl in the city, and still has boundless entrepreneurial-like vision for the years to come.

I visited this place on a weekday evening, along with some colleagues (an Austrian and two Americans). The food game in Los Angeles is strong, and although many don’t know what to expect from the Austrian cuisine, expectations were naturally high.

With wooden benches, an open view kitchen and hospitable staff, this café felt immediately like a home, tucked away between towering Downtown buildings. The menu was flooded with the finest exotic offerings: Stiegl, Kartoffelsalat, freshly grated horseradish and Leberkäse. Special attention was paid to authenticity in BierBeisl, for example, there is a bakery attached which ensures the Leberkäse is accompanied by fresh semmel by regional standards.

We began by stuffing ourselves with fresh Pretzels, Schwarzbrot, a cheesy quince dip (I feel this was the American influence seeping in) and steins of beer and Radler. Next came the Leberkäse or, as my American colleague passionately described it – an ‘awesome hot dog burger’ – along with the award winning sausages. Yes, we can ensure you the Käsekraner (cheese sausage), Hungarian and WeißWurst thoroughly deserve the #1 spot on the Discover Los Angeles best sausages list.

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Photos: Cheesy quince dip, Rädler and Stiegl (top), Leberkäse Semmel (middle), 3 types of wurst (bottom)

Enough with the build up. Here’s what we came for – the Kaiserschmarrn. We watched as Mairinger swiftly crafted three variations of the desert for us to enjoy – effortlessly serving them alongside two compote variations.

I’ll start with the texture – the most melt-in-your-mouth Kaiserschmarrn I’ve ever tasted. The pancake mixture had a delicately crispy shell, which instantly dissolved to leave a non-eggy pancake that was both light and wholesome. No messing around with small pieces, the Schmarrn was very loosely chopped, rather folded, which meant you retained the steaming hot freshness as you took a mouthful.

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Photos: ‘normal’ (top), Chestnut (middle), Raspberry (bottom)

The selection of flavours was outstanding. The chestnut Schmarrn had the most sophisticated feel. The shavings of chestnut, complimented best by the chunky apple and rhubarb compote (with plenty of cinnamon) gave it a very wintery taste. The raspberry Kaiserschmarrn was unanimously the favourite of the evening – the berries were mixed into the pancake mixture in the pan, eliminating the need for the side-serving of compote (a technique I’ve only seen once before in Gabühelhütte). It moistened the dish even further, and the juices from the fruit burst over the pancakes, creating a sugar coating with slight raspberry glaze. With every forkful came more exclamations of delight from each one of us, as we constantly struggled to find another ‘mmm’ noise to express how delicious each mouthful was.

Although the quantity defeated us, the waiter packed the leftovers in boxes for us, even providing a takeaway tub for the compote, meaning we could bring it into work the next day for mid-meeting fuel (I like that this is becoming a more regular concept!).

So thank you to BierBeisl for giving us such a wonderful evening, and most importantly, delicious Kaiserschmarrn. For anyone visiting or living in Los Angeles – this place should be on the map.

Website here: www.bierbeisl-imbiss.com

 

Kipferl in London

Even though I was only in London for a very brief visit, word got out that The Schmarrn Kaiserin was in town.

Half way through a day full of meetings, one of the others from the office had gone to Kipferl Café, located off Camden passage in Angel, to pick up takeaway Kaiserschmarrn. Even though he, nor most of the other guys in the UK office had never heard of the traditional Austrian dish before, everyone was intrigued by this dish and wanted in.

The Kaiserschmarrn came in these takeaway boxes (see picture) and I thought this rather hipster brown box was a great look for it. Despite it’s journey on a London bus, it arrived still warm. No compote, but with strawberries to garnish. The pancakes looked great, perfect array of torn sizes, and the portion size per box was good.

The taste and texture of the Kaiserschmarrn was amazing, the edges were crispy, middle gooey and fluffy. Ample raisins, plenty of icing sugar, and despite the lack of compote (I think may have been due to taking away), each mouthful was moist and absolutely delicious. There was a prominent vanilla taste (perhaps vanilla icing sugar was used) and a note of lemon, which gave it a flavorsome edge, a substitute the lack of fruit tang from the compote.

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As this experience was completely out of the context of Austria, and I was dubious how this dish would taste in a London office setting. Usually Kaiserschmarrn flourishes when enjoyed in a mountain hut mid-hike. However the delightful taste and spot-on texture was first-rate, and put many other Kaiserschmarrns that I’ve tasted in Austria to shame.

So to anyone in London, living there or just visiting – go to Kipferl! Whether it be a lazy weekend Austrian style brunch, an dinner date with a difference, a special occasion for the biggest foodie in your life who is always wanting to try the latest dish – or, as proven by the guys in the office on this occasion – go and pick up a takeaway from Kipferl and experience the mid-meeting Kaiserschmarrn!

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Check out the Kipferl website here, or visit the locations in Camden Passage or Golborne Road.

Stay tuned for the next blog post later in the week – another London special – giving you a rundown of what’s on offer in the city. If you are intrigued to taste more from the Austrian, German, Bavarian….the overall Kaiserschmarrn world of cuisine, then this one’s for you.

Stadt Alm in Salzburg

When it’s the weekend. When the weather is sunny. And when you’ve spent all afternoon in a beer garden. Eat Kaiserschmarrn.

That’s exactly what we did. And it was great.

Colleagues of mine were spending some time in Salzburg. They were over from the US and had never heard of Kaiserschmarrn (despite Buzz Feed together with LA based but Austrian born chef Wolfgang Puck creating a viral video about the dish).

It was a 30-degree weekend in Salzburg, and we opted to have a non-mountain, non-lake day, and explore the city. You can definitely ‘do’ Salzburg without booking onto an organized tour or immersing yourself into the sea of tourists that swarm the city. All you need to do is carefully select the places that show off Salzburg for what it really is, and plan your day around these stops.

First for us was brunch, at the famous Café Fingerlos followed by a walk through the dwarf statues and mazes within a secret garden, which, despite being right next to Mirabell Gardens, keeps itself hidden from the masses. After stopping at 220 Grad for some iced coffee, we continued on to Stieglbrauwelt’s courtyard beergarden, where we soaked up the shade and sampled many-a-beer.

By this point we were pretty tired, the sun was strong and it was a good while since our brunch. We headed up to the shady Mönchsberg – a surprisingly vast park area on the top of the ‘hill’ that towers over the old town. Up on the top there are lots of paths to explore, as well as M32 (museum and café) and the fortress. Tucked away in the middle is Stadt Alm, a quaint gasthaus, with a small inside cabin area and a good amount of outside seating overlooking Salzburg.

The menu is quite extensive here, but of course we ordered the Kaiserschmarrn. A plateful arrived laden with icing sugar dusting, and a pot of Zwetschgen compote, garnished with mint. The Zwetschgen compote was really great – compared with other Kaiserschmarrn I’ve tried, the alcohol taste was pungent. I enjoyed this, as it the flavor melted the plum skin and non-blended chunks of fruit into the sweet plum juice. Although the pancake mixture had a nice vanilla taste to it, the texture let it down slightly – it was neither fluffy nor crispy, instead it was something between the two, with no variation to it. The result was chewy pancake pieces. Digging for the smaller and crispy pieces in the bottom of the dish and lathering these in the sauce was the best way to eat this Kaiserschmarrn.

 

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I would definitely recommend this place to eat, and when I return I will take the desert again (fully aware that the texture easily changes day-by-day, dish-by-dish), as the views and flavor meant it was still an enjoyable and satisfying Kaiserschmarrn.

Check out Stadt Alm here.

 

 

Forsthofalm ‘Holz Hotel’ in Leogang

The UCI mountain bike world cup was in Leogang this summer. I’ve never taken much interest in this before, but since living in Austria for over a year, I have fallen culprit to be a keen winter season’s ski pass holder. I came to realize that the skiers summer twin sister is inevitably the downhill biker, and it would be somewhat hypocritical to not delve into this summer biking world.

We had friends over for the weekend so decided that Leogang was worth the 1.5hour drive from Salzburg, albeit slightly drizzly.

The atmosphere was buzzing. Dozens of tents with bike mechanics, latest bike wear tech, and the pro-biker’s crews littered the Bergstation car park. Everywhere you looked a rider, covered head-to-toe with mud was pushing his bike back to the station. We made our way to the bottom of the track, purchased a ticket that allowed you access to the viewing areas all the way down the course. The path skirted the edge of the course all the way to the top, lined with spectators who had obviously set up camp there all day. It was so atmospheric being up close to the athletes – not only did you get flicked by mud each time they skidded past, but you saw and felt how insanely steep the whole course really was.

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Climbing up the adjacent path was not easy in the rain and mud, and as the races were winding down for the day, we veered away from the course and headed for the Forsthofalm. The wooden paneling and vast deck area gave visions of bustling après ski holiday makers – to the extent that we even thought it may be closed, biding time until the winter – but as we got closer we realized there were indeed summer visitors, the mountain bikers.

We went inside the large dining areas, at a large wooden table. This hotel prides itself for offering luxurious wellness facilities, and it’s décor reflects a modern take on the traditional alpine style.

Amidst a variety of vegetarian soups and superfood salads we of course ordered Kaiserschmarrn. The helping was very decent, served in a pan with a decent helping of plum compote on the side. The pancake mixture was on the more eggy side, but the texture was well balanced, not too airy yet not too heavy or stodgy either. The icing sugar had slightly melted into the steaming hot pancake pieces to create a moist sugar coating, adding some sweet taste to the plain pancake chunks. The plum chunks in the sauce, which had a more liquid consistency than most, was not overly sweet. This meant that you could fully dunk the pieces in without risk of ruining a very palatable mouthful!

As usual, we were stuffed after this portion, but my English friends thoroughly enjoyed it. Although Forsthofalm’s Kaiserschmarrn didn’t include much variation or any special twist to this traditional dish, their plain Kaiserschmarrn was nevertheless satisfying! Somehow their wellness approach had seeped into the dish to perhaps leave you feeling a bit less unhealthy after eating it!

Replay some best moments from the UCI downhill event here. And check out the Forsthofalm website here.