"Kaiserschmarrn", "Speckknödel", "Kiachl" – many of Tirol's well-known dishes are not exactly healthy options. However, if you dig a bit deeper you will soon find plenty of foods rich in vitamins and minerals. Join us on a journey through healthy eating in the heart of the Alps.
Until relatively recently farmers in Tirol had no way of cooling their food during the summer months, which they would spend high in the mountains tending to their cattle. Meat was a treat reserved for special occasions, not least due to the fact that it could only be kept fresh for a few days. Instead, farmers would eat non-perishables such as Sauerkraut and pickled silver beets. What was the result of necessity a few decades ago is right on trend today thanks to the recent boom in "fermented foods" thanks to their high levels of vitamins and lactic acid. Food in Tirol has always been about making the most of what you have and being creative in your cooking. Austrian favourites such as the Viennese Schnitzel shouldn't lead you to believe that all food is rich, heavy and meat-based. If you look a little further you will find plenty of dishes in Tirol which are low in fat, such as the "Graukäse" cheese, and beneficial to your health, such as the inflammation-reducing natural honey. Ancient apple varieties, healthy butter, beef from free-range cows grazing on the high meadows and, of course, countless herbs, nuts and berries growing wild in the forests make Tirol a haven for foodies and foragers. We spoke to a local nutrition expert, Angelika Kirchmaier, about how to make the most of Tirol's natural treasures.