“My grandma lived in the eastern part of Tirol, the Unterland. I would visit her every Friday and she would always cook Kiachl with runner beans followed by fruit compote. In Innsbruck you usually eat Kiachl with sauerkraut. The first Christmas marked was held in Innsbruck 45 years ago. At that time not many people visited the market and it was easy to get a stand. We sold Kiachl – albeit not very many. At that time it was a dish which lots of people still made at home, so it wasn’t all that special.
As the years went by more and more people came to our stand. Eating habits have changed, and today for many people eating a Kiachl invokes memories of childhood. Our recipe is, of course, top secret. But I can let you in on one thing: don’t spend too much time messing around with the dough – the more you handle it, the worst it becomes. After 45 years in the business it is now second nature. We still make the dough and the sauerkraut ourselves. The only different is that the machines we use have got bigger.
Of course we are proud of the reputation we have for our Kiachl. Sometimes I hear people saying: ‘It’s time someone else had a go.’ In fact lots of other people have tried it – there certainly isn’t a monopoly on Kiachl in Innsbruck. But the fact is that I was out there all those years ago at the Christmas market when people laughed at us for selling Kiachl. Now the business is doing well everyone wants a bit of it. I think it’s fair enough to say that we sowed the seeds back then and now we are reaping the rewards.”
Helga Dengg, Restaurateur from Innsbruck
Kiachl are made from yeast dough and used to be a staple food in Tirol. Helga Dengg‘s family were the first to sell them at the Christmas market in Innsbruck. Today they are hugely popular. Together with her partner Reinhold Brunhumer she owns and runs the Restaurant Dengg Pause in the oldtown area of the city.