Austrians tend to do the reverse of what I’m used to – they eat a big lunch and then only need a small snack in the evening, rather than a full cooked meal. One of the most common evening ‘snacks’ is Jause. I’ve already written a blog about Jause, but I’m going to take it one step further now. Because Jause, although when you order it at a Jause Station or mountain huts, will be served with specific meats or spreads, is really just a general term for ‘putting stuff on bread’. Essentially it’s an open sandwich.
And Austrians will literally put anything on bread. They just whack whatever they have in the fridge on bread and voila. It’s kind of genius when it comes to using up leftovers and ensuring everyone has a decent meal. And it really is one of the simplest things to prepare: just lay out meat, cheese and salads on the table, cut some bread, add butter or maybe a few spreads, and everyone takes what they want in the combination they want – each with their own knife and board.
I love cheese spread with salami and gherkins… and cut up tomato on buttered bread with stacks of onion is also a favourite of mine. Ham with horseradish is a very popular combination, though go easy on the horseradish! Got some leftover pork or beef roast… or even a cold schnitzel… just cut it up and add your favourite accompaniments – done. Recently for lunch I had cold roast deer with redcurrant sauce – delicious!
We don’t have quite an Austrian-enough household to have Jause on hand whenever we want to eat it, but trust me, most people do! So if you’re around at an Austrian’s in the evening, don’t be surprised if the small boards and breads come out. You’ll love it!