Some of Vienna’s food and wine

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Firstly, I would like to say thank you all so much for your concern and I’m sorry to cause concern… we’re all good but reminded that life takes us around unexpected corners! I am looking ahead to our last 9 weeks in Italy and right now I must complete the Vienna experience as I have been informed Vienna is an up-and-coming holiday destination for a few bloggers out there.

As I said before, the cafe scene is big and bursting with avid food lovers, I have also never seen so many signs in cafe windows stating they are vegan friendly- this is something new to me. Of course, you are always going to have average food shops in the city centre where tourism is at its peak, however, if you just take a walk to a neighbouring suburb you won’t pay half as much and no doubt get something home made and delicious. Take for example our neighbourhood of Neubau: plenty of cafes to choose from at very reasonable prices. We settled on this one called Ulrich which was situated in the St. Ulrich Piatz just off Burggasse and just happens to be the new ‘hip’ place.

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Hip new cafe/bar

We loved the outdoor seating and the relaxed atmosphere of the place. What we did find was they tend to ask you if you have a booking. We never did. However, most of the tables outside were pre-booked but we were told if we were gone before the booked time then they were happy to accommodate us. We figured an afternoon beer won’t take all evening to finish so we sat down and enjoyed the atmosphere. Our server here was a lovely guy who use to study in Bologna last year…and how did we find this out? We kept answering in Italian! 

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Flat nuts – the perfect beer snack

We ordered beers (I had a Weissbier and Nic had the local Zwickel beer) and a bar snack, then sat back and enjoyed the afternoon along with everyone else. I have to say Nic and I both enjoyed Austrian beer much more than the wine. We are big red drinkers and favour a full bodied Shiraz which is very different to the Austrian reds we tried. They were very sweet, light and fruity. I think next time we will try more rieslings and definitely more beer. Our bar snack was delicious, the bread was crisp and house-made from whole wheat flour served with extra virgin olive oil and a dukka mix of crushed nuts, sesame seeds, salt, cumin seeds and a hint of chilli: absolutely delicious and very morish.

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Fruit and veg vendor

Another of my favourite places to walk around in Vienna was the Naschmarkt, this is a wonderfully massive food market. You will find anything from food stalls, produce stands, restaurants, cheese vendors, old guys selling pickles and sauerkraut right out of the big barrels…and pretty much anything else you can think of that is food related. The first shop we came across was an Asian grocer so we stocked up on supplies to bring back to Italy (and sadly left them on the train!!) and then we found white asparagus. Big, fat, beautiful white asparagus, I love the stuff and can’t get enough of it at home as the supply is very small and very expensive. Another reason I love to stay in apartments is the fact that I can cook with local products, so I purchased a big bunch of white asparagus and served it for dinner and breakfast the following day. I would of been in heaven if I had brought my truffle salt too… But I managed to buy some mini brats wrapped in bacon that tasted pretty yummy, so breakfast the morning after the markets was pretty delish and gave us plenty of energy for a day of sightseeing.

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Poached egg with sauteed asparagus and bacon wrapped mini brats

 

Another one of my favourites in Vienna was frittaten; pancakes seasoned with herbs, cut into thin strips and served in a rich beef stock. I can understand why this is popular with the locals, it is full of flavour and the texture of the pancake works beautifully with the  rich flavours in the broth.

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Frittaten

 

I’m not sure I want to post this next picture but Max absolutely LOVED his cordon bleu. The kid has not stopped eating since his 12th birthday and Vienna was his mecca for large plates of meat! I have to say I did try a piece of his lunch this day and it was very yummy, however, my tuna salad was made beautifully and the right choice for me. What I am trying to say is if you have hungry pre-teens then Vienna is your town.

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Giant cordon bleu

Right that’s it, I cannot possibly end this with that picture so here is one more delight you can have in Vienna- pastries 

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Mango and pineapple pastry, apple and sultana and jam filled pastries

By the way, the mango and pineapple pastry on the left was my favourite and if you need a few cake recommendations I hear the esterhazytorte and the dobostorte are delicious…and how could I forget the classic apfelstrudel!

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Pastry heaven

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I’m actually wondering if I really need to write anything at all after the above photo? Is anyone reading or are you all like me and drooling over which one you’d like right now!?

I mean why would you bother making them when you can just pick them up from the local pasticceria? This is funny coming from me who has a business back in Sydney making High Teas for people. I would never in a million years make petite bites here in Italy……there is just no comparison and I’d be first in line to pick up my own bundle of joy!

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The boys and I were around at Melanie’s last weekend, Melanie and I had been discussing food to be paired with a lovely bottle of wine she was sent from a wine company in Canada. We decided to put our creative minds together and see what we could come up with. After finalising our decisions we decided to make Sunday lunch and see if the families agreed with our food/wine pairing.

When we first tasted the wine all we thought of was chocolate. Somehow we came up with this…

IMG_0650Gorgonzola dolce whipped with truffle honey and served with a poached pear, cracked pepper and cinnamon compote. It sounds a little bizarre but the flavours complimented each other beautifully not to mention the wine. Mel and I kept on wishing we were sitting by a fire eating and drinking!

Of course we had to come up with a main dish so after a lot of ummming and arring we finally settled on this….

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A very Tuscan bollito di manzo served with creamy polenta finished with pecorino cheese giving it a creamy bite.

Although many Italians would not serve the two together (Mel’s Italian husband pointed this out to me), they compliment each other very well. Once the wine opened up it complemented the dish, pulling all the flavours together leaving you hoping there were leftovers of everything!

This is when ‘working’ is the best job ever and I am always more than happy to work for wine so if there are any other wine purveyors out there who want recipes to match wines please don’t hesitate to contact me……

Anyway, after all the hard work was finished and bellies were full Melanie whips out a package of pastries to tantalize our taste buds, and if you think they look fresh and yummy you’d be 100% correct. All five boys were memorised

IMG_0670You’ve got to love the look of longing and wondering if you’ve chosen well all the while holding a plate full of delights!

My all time favourite was the one filled with crema and flavoured with orange rind……

IMG_0672After such an indulgent lunch we packed the boys into the car and took them mushroom hunting to walk off some of the delights, however, as I sit here and drool all over again I can no longer wonder why my jeans feel as tight as they do!