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Servus Austria

Welcome to the Austrian Embassy!

Food Explorers spent a relaxing evening with Jasmine Letschnig, the owner of “Genuss x Zeit – Die österreichische Botschaft” in Schwetzingen, enjoying a delicious meal of Austrian “Brettljause“.

Welcome to the Austrian Embassy
Welcome to the Austrian Embassy!

Specialties from Austria’s “GenussRegionen”

Austrian “Brettljause” is a meal consisting cold cuts of smoked and dried meats, sausages, cheeses, home-made spreads, and very important – something pickled.  All these delicious things are traditionally served on wooden boards (“Brettl”), hence the word.

Before getting started with the evening’s menu, Jasmine presented us with some chestnut soup paired with long-fermented sourdough bread with caraway, fennel and coriander seeds.  These exotic flavors also pair beautifully with Jasmine’s savory meats and cheeses.

A warming dose of chestnut soup paired with sourdough bread
A warming dose of chestnut soup paired with sourdough bread

On this evening, we got to sample the entire range of specialty meats and cheeses in the store.  There were ham, Speck, bacon and Schmalz from the Mangaliza and Turopolje pigs – two old breeds with marbled, very aromatic meat, which nearly melts in your mouth.  The Mangaliza is a Hungarian breed of domestic pig which grows a woolly coat similar to that of a sheep.  It is special thanks to its large amounts of marbled fat, which melts in the mouth and is full of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Also on the menu were numerous smoked and dried sausages from different parts of Austria, for example Jauntaler Salami and Zillertaler Speck.

Most of the aromatic cheeses on the cheese board were organic and made from raw milk.  One particularly impressive specimen was the Bio-Steirerschimmel from Hofkäserei Deutschmann – a combination of a blue mold in the cheese and a natural rind from red smear.

Cold cuts of smoked and dried meats, sausages, cheeses and home-made spreads
Cold cuts of smoked and dried meats, sausages, cheeses and home-made spreads
A variety of tantalizing pickles and a salad of Styrian scarlet runner beans
A variety of tantalizing pickles and a salad of Styrian scarlet runner beans
“Hirschschinken” with cranberry-mustard sauce

Austria has been producing wine for centuries with first findings of wine dating back to the Celts and Romans (700 BC).  In addition to the sparkling Sämling Frizzante, we got to choose from the following three wines to accompany our “Brettljause”:  a Sauvignon Blanc, the distinctive Schilcher rosé and a Blauer Zweigelt.

A selection of Austrian wines
A selection of Austrian wines

We ended our evening on a sweet note with two desserts – the first was Austria’s infamous “Sacher Torte“.  The second one had a more personal touch – “Kärntner Reindling” – a yeast-dough pastry filled with sugar, cinnamon and raisins from Jasmine’s hometown.

Sacher Torte
A slice of chocolate heaven
Kärntner Reindling
Kärntner Reindling from Jasmine’s hometown

Thank you Jasmine, for being such a lovely host!  We have thoroughly enjoyed our first encounter with “Brettljause” and we look forward to visiting you again to sample more specialties from Austria!

Food Explorers and Jasmine Letschnig

 

Genuss x Zeit / Die österreichische Botschaft, Carl-Theodor Straße 29, 68723 Schwetzingen / Opening hours:  Tuesday to Friday 09:30-18:30, Saturday 09:30-14:00

 

Looking for more ideas on where to dine in the Rhein-Neckar region?

Check out other reviews of places where Food Explorers have eaten.

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