Austria is well known for many different types of food – some you will definitely have heard of: strudel, schnitzel, goulash etc. Each region also has specialities they call their own. Though consider that Austria has nine states in a total of 84,000km² (compare that to Australia’s 8 in 7.7million km²) – this means that a dish ‘local’ to one area is very often found in other places too.
I live in the state of Carinthia (Kärnten) and I work in the state of Steiermark (Styria), so I’m familiar with quite a few.
We’ve already talked about Kärntner Nudeln, Glundner Käse and Jause, and this week I’m focusing on Kärntner Reindling.
Carinthians love Kärntner Reindling, and I’m definitely on board. While it’s traditionally served at Easter, it’s available year-round in stores and bakeries. Reindling is a sweet, soft bread, baked in a specially-shaped dish and packed with sultanas and cinnamon.
But while I just referred to it as ‘bread’, I’m actually a bit torn as to whether it better fits into the ‘cake’ category. Because while it’s fat and soft, like bread; melted butter and sugar on the top gives it a sweet, sticky, caramelising glaze… something that’s more typical of a cake.
The thing I liken it most to from home is raisin toast, which is one of my all-time favourites. I’ve been known to toast up a slice of Reindling and coat it with butter, just as I would raisin toast. Naturally this raises many Austrian eyebrows, who prefer to eat it plain as a snack, or with ham at Easter.
I’m not a huge fan of teaming it with ham, but that’s their business. I prefer to enjoy a slice with a cup of tea in the morning, or to eat it as an after-dinner treat. Like many cakes and breads, it’s best fresh out the oven (my mother-in-law’s oven, of course – I’m not up to Austrian baking yet).
Mmm… I’m feeling hungry… maybe I’ll go seek out a piece now!
2nd: I think it would fall into the “bun” category.
Oh wow – I never thought about a bun… but you’re absolutely right – thanks!
We got a reindling as a gift. Is it supposed to taste very dry? The one we got has thin layers of dry bread with raisins in between.
Reindling freshly cooked can be a little fluffy, but usually it has a bit of a ‘bready’ feel so yes I’ve also thought sometimes that it’s a bit dry – I think that’s why I like to warm it up and put butter on it – ice cream works too! 🙂 Eating it on the day it’s made is always best!