Sturmzeit!

I’ve previously written about wine production in Vienna (view that post here) and mentioned Sturm, a partially fermented wine that is available late summer/early fall. The Gelbmanns Gaststube at the Rathaus film fest was selling Sturm last week, and a stand at the Neustifter Kirtag was also selling Sturm. I guess this means it’s almost Sturmzeit for the city, which means Sturm in every café and Sturm stands downtown.

White and red sturm for sale

White and red sturm for sale

You can see in the picture that the bottles are topped with foil rather than capped or stopped. What you can’t see is that the liquid in the bottle is bubbling like crazy because it’s still actively fermenting. We bought a bottle of the white Sturm (it’s also available in red), and it tasted better than I remember it tasting. We also discovered that Sturm comes in non-grape varieties:

Bottles of raspberry and apricot sturm

Bottles of raspberry and apricot sturm

We did not try the non-grape ones because we were running out of arms to carry things, but if we come across these varieties again we might try them. I’ve never seen this in the States before and so I don’t know whether we’ll still be able to enjoy these once we’re home. This an argument for drinking as much of it as we can, while we can.

Advertisements

Neustifter Kirtag

Earlier in the spring I wrote about wine cultivation in Vienna and mentioned the Neustifter Kirtag. (The link to that post is here.) It’s now late August, and the Neustifter Kirtag is happening this weekend. My children’s kindergarten is on the street where the festival is held, and when I went to pick them up yesterday I had to dodge and weave my way through crowds of dirndl- and lederhosen-clad locals. I walked my kids through the festival yesterday and look forward to returning today to eat… well, everything in sight really. How can you blame me when this is some of what is on offer:

A whole cart dedicated to langos -- god bless whomever thought of this.

A whole cart dedicated to langos — god bless whomever thought of this.

They look so sweet until you read what they say. My favorite is "shit pants."

They look so sweet until you read what they say. My favorite is “shit pants.”

Yes

Yes

And hells yes. The Austrians know how to do it.

And hells yes. The Austrians know how to do it.

 

 

 

Rathaus Film Festival

One of the highlights of our past two summers in Vienna has been the music film festival. A large screen is placed in front of the Rathaus, and hundreds of chairs and bleachers are put out so people can enjoy the music films. The music films range from classical to jazz, and there are some ballet performances and modern rock and roll thrown in for good measure.

Film festival on Rathausplatz

Film festival on Rathausplatz

Of course, this is not what interests me. About 20 food stands are set up along the path leading from the ring road to the front of the Rathaus, representing culinary delights from both Austria and as far afield as Australia. Each booth has, in addition to its ethnic food, a couple signature cocktails on offer. There are also a couple ice cream stands and coffee stands interspersed with the food stands.

The first time we visited the food… er, film festival this year, we went to the Australia booth.

The closest we'll ever get to Australia

The closest we’ll ever get to Australia

I had the grilled tuna and my new favorite drink, Mango Dream (mango juice and champagne). My husband got the *sniff, sniff* kangaroo steaks, which came with perfectly roasted fries and dipping sauces. I’m not going to lie — the kangaroo was pretty tasty and I enjoyed it more than my fish.

This afternoon we visited the stand operated by Gelbmanns Gaststube.

Tafelspitz Gröstl mit krautsalat

Tafelspitz Gröstl mit krautsalat

I had the above-pictured meal, along with an erdbeere bowle (strawberry punch). Gröstl is roasted potatoes, onions, tri-color peppers, and cubes of bacon seasoned with caraway seeds, with slices of tafelspitz (boiled beef) mixed it. It was served with a generous portion of krautsalat and a sour cream sauce, and garnished with kren. My husband and I both enjoyed this dish and I plan to find a recipe to recreate it.

Sadly the film festival ends 1 September, but I have the consolation that it’ll be back next summer.

 

Poppyseed Cake

My dog and I met a friend at a café for second breakfast today (how very Viennese/Hobbit-like of us!), and I swore to myself that I would eat well. A roll with jam, perhaps a boiled egg — healthy(ish) and not too heavy. But then the waiter mentioned they had chocolate poppyseed cake and… well…

Schokolade-mohn kuche

Schokolade-mohn kuche

The cake was in layers, and in between each layer was a thin spread of apricot jam. The cake was covered with a rich chocolate ganache and decorated with sugared violets and whole coffee beans. I love poppyseed everything and would like to re-create this cake at home but, alas, my husband is not a fan of either poppyseed or Austrian cakes. I will have to settle for looking at this photograph and drooling.

Carpathian Cake

During our aforementioned grocery run to Slovakia (see the entry about that here), we purchased this:

Carpathian Cake, also called Karpatka Kuchen (Polish name) and Karpatenkuchen (German name)

Carpathian Cake, also called Karpatka Kuchen and Karpatenkuchen

I normally don’t use box mixes for cakes, but I’d never heard of this type of cake before and the name “Carpathian” sounded dark and mysterious. Plus, the added ingredients were butter, eggs, milk, and more butter — can’t go wrong there.

I don't know if the name of the cake is derived from its region of origin, or the fact that it looks like a snowy mountain range. Maybe both?

A snowy mountain range on my tabletop

I don’t know whether the name of the cake is derived from its region of origin, or the fact that it looks like a snowy mountain range. Perhaps both?

Crème-filled deliciousness

Crème-filled deliciousness

Regardless, this cake was delicious! It tasted vaguely reminiscent of a Boston crème pie less the chocolate, or perhaps a plain/fruit-less Napoleon. I loved this cake and so did my husband. My daughter was convinced this was her birthday cake (it wasn’t), so she sang “Happy Birthday” to herself over and over as she inhaled her slice. Needless to say, this cake was a winner and I will research a recipe so that I can make it again.