Food and drink fit for a prince
Considering its size, Liechtenstein has a remarkable number of excellent winemakers based in the mild Rhine Valley. A must for serious wine enthusiasts is a trip to the Prince of Liechtenstein Winery, where visitors can taste and purchase wines produced using grapes grown in the private vineyard belonging to the Prince. When it comes to food, Liechtenstein has many fine restaurants decorated with stars and toques, but also traditional guesthouses serving regional specialties. One of the most popular such dishes is Käsknöpfle mit Apfelmus, a hearty pasta-like dish with melted cheese and served with apple sauce, while drinks include whiskey, liqueurs and beer produced in Liechtenstein.
Liechtenstein is an alpine country which is bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and Austria to the east, the cuisine of Liechtenstein therefore has strong connections to the dishes of these two countries, it also takes influence from French cuisine. Much of the terrain is mountainous with many forests, which supply game such as venison and wild boar in the hunting season, also there are freshwater fish from the rivers and there are many cultivated fields and small farms growing fresh vegetables and fruits. Cheese is used in many of the dishes, the best known being Käseknöpfle, tiny dumplings layered with a mixture of cheeses. Pork is the principal meat eaten, and there are many pork products such as smoked bacon and hams, Schnitzels are also popular as are fondues; cheese, meat or vegetable.
Other traditional dishes include Hafalaab, a dish made of wheat flour and corn dumplings served with smoked bacon or ham in a broth. Other traditional dishes include Liechtensteiner Rauchteller (smoked platter), Alper Rosti (there are several variations on this dish one being sliced cooked potatoes with onion fried and topped with a fried egg , or macaroni-style pasta, potato, and smoked sausage-Landjager- all pan fried and topped with an egg), Geschnetzeltes Schweinsleber (finely chopped pig’s liver) served with Rosti. Another very traditional dish, which was originally a poor man’s dish, is Riebel, which is a rough ground maize, boiled left to cool, often overnight, and then fried in butter, broken into small pieces, sprinkled with a little sugar and served with Apfelmus (apple sauce), it is also eaten at breakfast time with milk or even with coffee. Riebel is also a popular dish in neighbouring Vorarlberg, Austria and in St.Gallen in Switzerland. Rheintaler Riebel is a protected designation of origin. There is also a delicious array of pastries and cakes on offer in the bakeries around Liechtenstein, many of which use seasonal fruits grown in the vicinity. Although Liechtenstein is a very small country, it’s cuisine is delicious and the dishes influenced by it’s neighbours now have a’ Liechtensteiner’ slant to them that makes them that bit different and well worth the trip to sample them. Also look out for the red ‘Vaduzer’ wine.
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