South Tyrolean specialities
The cuisine of South Tyrol combines several cultures and traditions. It not only draws on Alpine specialities but also incorporates Viennese and Italian cuisine. The well-known South Tyrolean wines, such as the "Kalterer See", round off the culinary delights.
The most popular dishes from South Tyrolean cuisine
The cuisine in the northern Italian region is by no means easy. For a long time, the countryside was all about satisfying hunger with its own products and as little effort as possible. Thick soups, dumplings, noodles, Schmarrn, bacon and lard pastries are still served today. With less fat and usually only one course, the traditional specialities are usually served in a slimmed-down form in restaurants and pubs.
The popular South Tyrolean bacon can be found throughout the region. It has always been a staple of the peasant diet, although it is understood differently in South Tyrol than in most other areas of the German-speaking world.
It is not the fatty pancetta from the pork belly that is used, as is the case here, but the rump ham from the best part of the pig, from which the fat has been removed. It is pickled in salt with herbs, smoked over juniper wood and aged for a long time. In Tyrolean style, it is cut into thick slices and eaten “auf’m Brettl” with bread and red wine.
Today, “Speck aus Südtirol” is a protected designation of origin and is produced according to strict quality rules and under state control. The protection concerns the processing, the duration and type of curing, smoking and maturing, but not the origin of the meat.
Wines from South Tyrol
South Tyrol’s wines are very well known. The red wine Kalterer See and the white wines Terlaner and Traminer are extremely popular in the German-speaking world. From the lowest point of South Tyrol in the Adige plain near Kurtinig and Salurn, vineyards extend in all directions to heights of 600 m and more. The highest vineyard is the Weingart cultivation area at an altitude of 1,340m near the Marienberg monastery in Vinschgau.
The local wines are the Vernatsch, which makes up the Kalterer See and St. Magdalener, and the Lagrein, which is grown between Bolzano and Auer. It is also a red and is somewhat stronger, darker and more expressive than the Vernatsch. The Kretzer is one of the rare rosé wines of the region and is pressed from a red grape as a white wine.
The popular Gewürztraminer from the beautiful wine village of Tramin in the Unterland is a wine of strong colour with a pronounced sweetness and has won many international prizes and awards. Overall, top-class wines of high quality are produced in most of South Tyrol and exported.