The Tyrol (Tirol)
Capital City: Innsbruck
Land surface area: 4,897.26 sq mi
Agricultural area: 391,967 hectares
"Schnaps" is the name of different liquors and spirits in Austria. Although there is other kind of Schnaps, probably the most popular ones are made from different kinds of fruit often referred to as "Obstler" (Obst in German means fruit).
Popular Obstlers are:
- Birnenschnaps (pear spirit)
- Marillenschnaps (apricot spirit)
- Zwetschkenschnaps (plum spirit).
Blends, of course, are possible too. Tyrol is especially popular for its “Vogelbeerschnaps” (rowan berry spirit). The Vogelbeere is a red berry that has been cultivated in Austria for over ten centuries and was given that name because of birds baiting with them. In order to produce the Schnaps, the Vogelbeeren are harvested after the first cold. Schnaps is, usually, enjoyed after a rich dinner.
The Tyrol offers a great variety of countless tasty cheeses, manufactured by experts. Tyrolean cheese has a very long tradition. In the old times, Tyroleans made a virtue of necessity, which visitors and locals alike benefit from to this very day. Here, in the wheat-poor region of the Tyrol, cheese has at times even served as a replacement for bread.
The variety of Tyrolean cheeses is virtually endless. They are manufactured with great artistry from the milk of either sheep, goats, or cows. Some of the regions offer exceptional cheese specialities.
- In Kaiserwinkl, you can sample some of the region’s original hay milk cheese.
- In Alpbach Valley, Tyrolean mountain cheese manufacturers base all their production on natural ingredients - additives are not permitted.
- The wonderful Smuggler’s cheese originates in Zillertal Valley.
Tyrol is the origin of one of Austria’s most cherished snack-time (Austrian “Jause”) products – the “Speck” (bacon). Speck is a special ham that is, like the Italian Prosciutto, often made from the hind legs of the pig. The meat is first cured in salt and other herbs such as garlic, bay leaves, juniper berries and nutmeg. During the last stages of the smoking process, the Speack has to rest for a period of several weeks before it can receive its characteristic taste. The tyrolese version is taken from the back and the belly of the pig and is mostly cured in a combination of salt, caraway and white pepper and smoked using sawdust of fire wood. It is usually enjoyed with bread, cheese and wine during snack-time or dinner, but is also an ingredient of a number of typical Austrian dishes.
The Tyrol is characterized by its changeable climate and various soil and weather conditions. This diversity is reflected in the many regional products, delicacies, and dishes. Try some of the popular favorites, like tyrolean dumplings, and mountain cheese, and discover the many peculiarities of Tyrolean cuisine.
A wide variety of specialities are grown and produced all over the region. Apples and plums in the Uplands, ibex from the Rofan mountains, radishes from the fields of Thaur, or hucho from East Tirol waters. There is nothing easier than to embark on a route of culinary exploration across the Tyrol. Tyrolean cuisine is not just characterised by the rich variety of products the regions provide - each of those regions also offers a wealth of local specialities.
The content on this site is a courtesy of the Tirol Promotion:
For sample travel itineraries and travel tips, check out the Tirol/Innsbruck page of Austria.info: