We were sadly nearing the end of our stay in Austria and it hit us today when we realsed that about this time tomorrow, we' d be lining up for our Emirates flight back to Dubai. We were tired but happy souls enchanted by the land and we just wanted to make it last a bit longer. So whilst I was tired I knew that today was a relatively easy one.
Walking through Vienna we walk past the Muesum of Fine Arts where every Thursday night people can book a table and have dinner under the glass dome. I've noticed Austrians like to combine food and other interests which suits me just fine.
_Chanterelle mushrooms _
Sweet peppers and other marinated vegetables
We then head over to Naschmarkt where Nasch or Naschen means "to taste". Since the 16th century, the Narschmarkt was originally where milk bottles were sold and from 1793 all fruit and vegetables were sold here but today it sells an array of items. It's open every fay from 8am-6pm but some of the restaurants and cafes are open past midnight. I make the mistake of buying some delicious looking things by the weight by some fast talking stall owners and E26.50 later I'm handed a container of marinated vegetables. I can think of other things I'd rather spend E26.50 on so I warn anyone that is considering buying these (and yes they must have seen me coming as I love those sweet stuffed peppers!).
A huge variety of juices
Cheeses, nuts and sweets
We pass by stands selling fresh fruit, spices, meat and fish and it's quite similar to what we have back home, certianly like the Victoria Markets in Melbourne. Alexa our guide points out a famous Sauerkraut stand which is said to be the best place to buy sauerkraut (there's no name, apparently locals just know it as the sauerkraut place) and it comes in large barrels.
There's a famous vinegar store "Weiner Essig Brauerei Gegenbauer" which sells an amazing number of vinegars. on the right are apple vinegars and in the centre there's a cherry vinegar which is mainly used as a digestive. You can sample these vinegars by taking a dropper bottle and then placing a drop of it on your hand and licking it. Apparently 13 kilos of fresh raspberries from the Viennese forest are used to produce 1 litre of raspberry vinegar. The key is the staying power of the vinegar on the palate. If it disappears, then this is an indication of flavouring agents rather than the actual fruit that is used.
Cherry vinegar-used as a digestive
We then make our way to restaurant Palmery where we are having what they call a light lounge lunch. Now we're suspicious and we know there's no such thing as a light lunch in Vienna and we're right to be. There are 3 courses and they're all goodies.
Beetroot, smoked halibut & salmon, trout with foam of apple horseradish
Pink roast breast of Duck with Poppy seed pancake, red cabbage, cassis and kumquats
I adored the perfectly cooked and tender duck with the cream cheese and poppyseed filled pancake which is as thin as a crepe. The red cabbage here is lip smackingly good and I try to find space to finish this with the duck and pancake. Again I find the tart kumquats rather incongruous but from recalling our trip to Finland, in Europe they seem to like pairing fruit with meat.
Grilled Pike Perch with salt potatoes, spinach and lemon butter crumble
Vacherin Mont D'or with truffled honey, nuts and grapes
I wish I had room for this dessert which is a cheese lovers plate. The vacherin Mont D'or cheese is a seasonal cheese in France and Switzerland which is only available from September to March and is made from the winter milk of cows who have been brought down from their pastures for the season. It is similar to Emmentaler and Gruyere, but treated differently, so that the cheese is almost liquid when fully ripe as witnessed by the display on the plate. It is rather brie like in flavour and it is paired with truffled honey, physalis and grapes and is deliciously rich. I find that with the added richness of the truffled honey that I try my best but can barely make a dent into it - I blame the delicious duck.
Iced cranberry tartlette
Alas, we have just one last day to go on our Austria trip!
So tell me Dear Reader, how long does it take you to get over the post holiday blues?
Between Karlsplatz and Kettenbruckengasse
Burggarten 1010 Wien