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9 Traditional Christmas Foods in Austria You Should Try

roamingnomadic.com. 9 Traditional Christmas Foods in Austria You Should Try – Discover the delightful world of Austrian Christmas cuisine with these 9 traditional Christmas foods in Austria you should try. From delectable pastries to hearty dishes, experience the magic of Austrian holiday flavors.

Christmas in Austria is a time of enchantment, with snow-covered landscapes and charming markets adorned with twinkling lights. But what truly makes the holiday season magical in Austria is its rich culinary tradition.

Austrian Christmas foods are a testament to the country’s love for hearty, comforting, and delicious dishes. In this article, we will explore 9 traditional Christmas foods in Austria that you absolutely must try to fully immerse yourself in the festive spirit.

9 Traditional Christmas Foods in Austria

1. Wiener Schnitzel

Wiener Schnitzel, a beloved Austrian classic, is a must-try during the Christmas season. This crispy, breaded and fried veal or pork cutlet is usually served with a slice of lemon. Its golden, crunchy exterior gives way to tender meat, making it a delightful treat.

2. Kartoffelsalat (Potato Salad)

Austria’s version of potato salad is a staple on Austrian Christmas tables. Made with potatoes, onions, vinegar, and a flavorful broth, it’s a tangy and refreshing side dish that perfectly complements the heartier mains.

3. Lebkuchen (Gingerbread)

Lebkuchen are festive gingerbread cookies shaped into various forms, including hearts and stars. These sweet treats are spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, and often adorned with icing or chocolate. They make for charming edible decorations and delightful snacks.

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4. Stollen

Stollen is a sweet and dense fruitcake filled with candied fruit, nuts, and marzipan. It’s a beloved dessert during the holiday season and is often enjoyed with a warm cup of mulled wine.

5. Maroni (Roasted Chestnuts)

Street vendors across Austria roast chestnuts during the Christmas season. The aroma of these warm, earthy treats fills the air, creating an irresistible temptation for passersby. Roasted chestnuts are the perfect snack to enjoy while strolling through Christmas markets.

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Christmas Foods in Austria

6. Germknödel

Germknödel is a fluffy dumpling filled with spiced plum jam and served with a generous dollop of vanilla sauce. This warm and sweet delight is a favorite winter dessert.

7. Christstollen

Similar to the traditional stollen, Christstollen is a special Christmas version filled with symbolic ingredients like dried fruits and marzipan. It’s a symbol of Christ and is often enjoyed on Christmas morning.

8. Glühwein (Mulled Wine)

No Austrian Christmas market experience is complete without a cup of glühwein. This warm, spiced red wine is the perfect beverage to keep you warm as you explore the festive stalls.

9. Bratwurst with Sauerkraut

While bratwurst is not exclusive to Austria, it’s a popular street food during the Christmas season. These juicy sausages, often served with sauerkraut and mustard, are a savory delight.

What do they eat in Austria for Christmas Eve?

In Austria, Christmas Eve (Heiliger Abend) is a special time for family gatherings and festive meals. The specific dishes served on Christmas Eve can vary depending on regional traditions and family preferences, but here are some common Austrian foods that are enjoyed on this occasion:

1. Carp: Carp is a traditional and popular dish for Christmas Eve in Austria. Many families buy live carp a few days before Christmas and keep them in the bathtub until they are ready to be prepared. Carp is typically fried or baked and served with a variety of sauces or accompaniments.

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2. Potato Salad (Kartoffelsalat): Potato salad is a classic side dish often served alongside the Christmas Eve meal in Austria. It is made with boiled potatoes, onions, and a tangy dressing, which can include ingredients like vinegar, mustard, and broth. Some variations also include pickles or bacon.

3. Sauerkraut (Sauerkraut): Sauerkraut, fermented cabbage, is another common accompaniment to the Christmas Eve meal in Austria. It adds a tangy and slightly sour flavor to the dishes and pairs well with roasted or fried meats.

4. Fried Fish: Besides carp, other fish dishes like trout or pike are also popular choices for Christmas Eve in Austria. These fish are often prepared simply, with herbs and butter, and served with lemon wedges.

5. Roast Goose or Duck: While less common than carp and fish, some Austrian families opt for roast goose or duck as the centerpiece of their Christmas Eve dinner. These meats are seasoned with herbs and spices and roasted to perfection.

6. Christmas Pastries and Sweets: Christmas Eve in Austria is incomplete without a selection of festive pastries and sweets. These can include cookies like Vanillekipferl (vanilla crescent cookies) and Lebkuchen (gingerbread), as well as fruitcakes and Stollen.

7. Glühwein and Punsch: Warm, spiced beverages like Glühwein (mulled wine) and Punsch are enjoyed throughout the holiday season in Austria, including Christmas Eve. They provide a comforting and festive drink option.

8. Advent Wreath Pastries: Advent wreath-shaped pastries filled with various fillings like apricot jam, poppy seeds, or nuts are a sweet treat that marks the passing of Advent Sundays leading up to Christmas Eve.

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It’s important to note that Christmas Eve food in Austria is a time for family gatherings and traditions, so the specific dishes can vary widely from one household to another. The important thing is to enjoy a festive and meaningful meal together with loved ones as part of the Christmas celebrations.

FAQs

What is the significance of Lebkuchen during Austrian Christmas?
Lebkuchen cookies are not only delicious but also have a long history in Austrian Christmas traditions. They are often used as decorations on Christmas trees and as festive gifts among friends and family.

Is Wiener Schnitzel a Christmas-specific dish?
Wiener Schnitzel is not exclusive to Christmas, but it is a popular choice during the holiday season. Its crispy, golden perfection makes it a favorite for festive gatherings.

How do Austrians typically enjoy Glühwein?
Austrians love to sip on Glühwein while exploring Christmas markets. It keeps them warm and adds to the festive atmosphere.

Why is Christstollen significant in Austrian Christmas?
Christstollen is laden with symbolism, making it a special treat during the holiday season. Its shape is said to resemble the swaddled baby Jesus, and the ingredients within symbolize various aspects of the Christian faith.

Are there any vegetarian options among Austrian Christmas foods?
Yes, many Austrian Christmas dishes, such as Kartoffelsalat and Germknödel, are vegetarian-friendly. Austria’s diverse culinary traditions cater to various dietary preferences.

What is the best way to enjoy Maroni?
Maroni are best enjoyed hot off the roasting pan. Their earthy, nutty flavor is a perfect match for the chilly winter weather.

Conclusion

Austrian Christmas foods are a feast for the senses, offering a delightful blend of flavors, textures, and traditions. Whether you’re strolling through the enchanting Christmas markets or sharing a meal with loved ones, these 9 traditional Christmas foods in Austria will undoubtedly enhance your festive experience. Embrace the magic of the season through the joy of Austrian cuisine.

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