Carinthian Alpe-Adria cuisine

Time for an Epicurean Trip through the South

There is one thing above all that you need for a culinary discovery trip through Carinthia: time. The first Slow Food travel destination in the world is waiting in the Gailtal and Lesachtal Valleys; the south attracts visitors with fruity wines, alpine chalets pamper them with fresh, hearty products, the picturesque lake terraces offer tasty fish dishes and you can find the ‘taste of childhood’ here in every stove-top, oven and traditional recipe wherever you end up finding a table.

Kräuterdorf Irschen

What is the secret to distinctive Carinthian Alpe-Adria cuisine?

You take fresh, seasonal products from the region, season them with a hearty portion of joie de vivre, garnish with a light Mediterranean breeze and you have a combination of the basic ingredients. This unique southern cuisine that is rich in culinary idiosyncrasies developed due to the unique geographic location at the intersection of the three cultures of Austria, Italy and Slovenia. 

Fresh, seasonal products from the region

Old culinary traditions blend with creative new ideas into a delicious whole that you can savour throughout the year from the convivial hosts and at the numerous seasonal festivals. It is faithful to the motto: ‘live with vigour, enjoy with ease’.

Regionality and solidarity

The fertile earth on the sunny southern side of the Alps has always been particularly productive, but it is in part the mild climate that makes it possible to begin with the sowing and field work in Carinthia a few weeks earlier than normal.

Naturgut Lassen

Baking bread in Lesachtal

Vitamin-packed asparagus in the spring, delicate berries in the summer, ripe fruit trees, splendid grapevines and golden wheat and grain fields in the autumn - culinary treasures that are tended and looked after with care by local farmers and food producers ripen and flourish until harvest time here.

The creative Carinthian cooks also know to treasure this effort and transform the fresh, healthy products into real delicacies. Cooperation works in the south; people are proud of honest craftsmanship and keep old traditions from being forgotten. The business relationships are based on decades of friendship, mutual appreciation and trust.

The taste of childhood

Anyone who had the chance to experience happy holidays in Carinthia as a child will certainly remember the unmistakeable aroma that fills the air when freshly baked bread is pulled from the oven. A golden brown crust, a unique flavour - those were enjoyable moments that you’re happy to look back on. Bring along the tranquillity of today and Carinthia will help you bring these childhood memories to life again. Whether you are baking bread, collecting herbs, catching fish or cheerfully roaming through the henhouse years later on a holiday on the farm, the taste of childhood is everywhere here. 

The first ever Slow Food travel destination

The world’s first Slow Food travel destination is in the Gailtal and Lesachtal Valleys. Whoever treads the path into this world of indulgence will be rewarded with a return to the essential. You can find culinary specialities in every corner of the Lesachtal and Gailtal Valleys with the 19 Slow Food travel experiences. Through them, you can become acquainted with the southern state and its hosts and have a look over their shoulders as they work or even pitch in yourself. You can learn how it feels to brush your hand over the golden stalks in the grain fields from which Lesachtaler bread is made. You can will see how organic pasture milk turns into luscious cheese.

You can follow the aroma that escapes the smokehouses where Gailtaler Speck matures. Slow Food travel programmes and workshops are meant to help guests rediscover the origin of precious foodstuffs. The Slow Food trips this year are also unique. Shift to a lower gear, confidently shut out everyday stress and take a journey to find the origins of good taste, Slow Food in Carinthia means consciously experiencing the enjoyment of your food in restaurants and inns, experiencing cosiness in hotels and on rustic farms with a delicious Slow Food breakfast, and actively rediscovering leisure when hiking and cycling. It means simply letting the moment be.
Find all additional info at www.slowfood.travel .

Easy enjoyment on scenic lake terraces

Watch how the lake water sends shimmering waves to the shore over a glass of fruity Carinthian wine on balmy summer evenings. Enjoy the fresh and creative dishes of Carinthian cuisine as warm southern breezes caress your face. You can confidently leave your cares behind and indulge yourself on the lake terraces of Carinthia. It is the inextricable link between regionality and an unadulterated natural landscape that comes alive throughout the year. Enjoy yourself with ease along the glittering water, at rustic alpine chalets or amidst a sociable round at a seasonal festival. You can get better acquainted with the hosts here and catch their joie de vivre.

If you go back into the valley from the mountains, there are warm, bright blue bathing lakes, rivers and bodies of water that boast a particular diversity of fish species because of their pure drinking water quality. Carinthia has the highest local production of freshwater fish in Austria thanks to its dedicated breeders. A particular speciality, Carinthian Laxn, a kind of trout, was local here as early as the 14th century and has been bred successfully again for some years. The fish is both tasty and extremely healthy because Carinthian freshwater fish contain the same quantity of valuable omega 3 and 6 fatty acids as their close relatives in the Mediterranean.