One of the great things about living in a rural town with healthy fields abounding, is the home-grown produce you can buy. Not only does it mean that everything is fresh, it also means you’re supporting the local economy and reducing unnecessary shipping of goods around the world. So here are ten of my favourite locally produced things from my area:
You literally can’t walk up the road from my house without hearing a hen clucking, so it’s no surprise we can get fresh eggs. I usually buy mine from a nearby free-range farm, and on sunny days it almost seems like you can see chickens for days! Small, cute white-winged dudes just clucking and running around like happy dick heads. Most of the time when I go to pick up my eggs I don’t even have to interact with anyone – I just select my eggs, drop my money into the tray and be on my way. It’s so easy, and they are so fresh, that it’s a no-brainer even if I could find cheaper eggs in the supermarket.
During Spargel-zeit – which is ‘asparagus time’, almost every restaurant boasts a separate menu of asparagus specialties. Try them cordon bleu, batteredwith cheese and ham, or hollandaise topped with hollandaise sauce. I never even knew that white asparagus existed before, and though green is still my favourite, it’s always good to try new things.
I’ve had my fair share of bee stings in the past and for that I’m sorry to the bees! Around here I’m very careful because the little guys fly about everywhere and going on a walk in the summer takes you past numerous beehives. One of my friends keeps bees, so I usually buy honey from her, but even if you don’t have a friend who’s a beekeeper, it’s super easy to find local honey.
Would you like a side of beef? A loin of lamb? Or a cutlet of pork? Now, I understand that there are plenty of people out there that think meat eating is a bad idea, but knowing where it comes from makes it a little more palatable. And while we do still buy some meat from the supermarket, we also have various sources to call upon for whatever we’re looking for. Except kangaroo… there’s no local kangaroo here 😉
With summer comes flower time. And I have to admit I’ve always been a bit against them. In the garden they are amazing – why pick them and put them inside? But here there are fields grown especially to pick – and even though tulips are my favourite – gladiolas are coming a very close second. I pick the ones I want and pay by putting money in an honesty box. And I always choose the ones that are barely sprouting, so I get over a week of amazing blooms.
We’ve talked about wine before. For example, we’ve talked about our wine weekend in Podersdorf. And though it may not technically be local, from here, an hour in the car and you can jump the border to Italy if that’s more to your liking. But Austrian wine is very good, reasonably priced, and if that’s not your thing you can also go for…
7. Most (cider)
Cider in Austria is not like Australia cider. There’s no sweetness here, but team it with Jause and there’s nothing better. Many people drink it gespritzt which is diluted with mineral water, or as a dreiemischung which is equal thirds cider, sparkling water and apple juice. Delicious. Take a Mostwanderweg next time you’re in the valley in May… once Covid is over!
If you’ve never heard of it, check out my previous blog here. Pumpkin seed oil is the best, and it traditionally comes from the state next to where I live (20 mins drive). I do love a good olive oil, but Kürbiskernöl is the bomb!
A short drive from where I live is a farm complete with an orchard of fruit trees. The season starts with cherries and apricots, moves onto smaller red and black currents, before moving into blueberries and other types of berries. When the fruit is ripe in the mornings you can head down with a container or bucket, pick as much as you like and then pay for it on the way out. And the cost is far cheaper than any special offer in the supermarket. And it’s fresh and tasty.
If you like a good mushroom, a quick drive up the mountain in the summer and you’ll find yourself in mushroom heaven – especially the renowned Eierschwarmel, which I already talked about previously. Of course, be careful… there are many poisonous mushrooms in the woods, so I only trust those from people who know what they are doing. But my mother in law’s Eiershwarmel goulash… to die for!
Do you live somewhere you get really awesome local stuff? I’d love to hear about it.