Back to the Roots

My grandmother, Ingrid Wieland, now in her 70s, runs a small inn in St. Martin. She
lovingly serves her guests quality products, like the salad and vegetables that grow in
her garden. Fresh herbs are harvested in summer and either dried or frozen for the cold
season. Potatoes and onions are stored in the cellar, where you also find home-made
jams, pickled cucumbers, mushrooms and much more. What fascinates me are granny’s
enthusiasm for food and her talent to appreciate it the way it has naturally grown.
Never mind if the carrot is crooked or straight or if the kohlrabi tastes a bit woody at the
end of the season: she always knows how to make the most of it and conjures up
delicious dishes. This attitude has shaped me since childhood.

My Shopping Tipps

  • Before buying, think about what, when and how often you consume
    products at home.
  • Try to avoid fruits and vegetables from the other side of the world as
    much as possible, since we have top quality varieties on our doorstep.
  • For example, use more apples and other storable fruits.
  • Do not consume summer fruit in winter, such as strawberries grown in
    cotton wool and without sunlight. These are neither rich in vitamins nor
    full in taste.
  • If there are too many vegetables or fruit, freeze or cook them, saving you
    money and time for a new meal.
  • Use meat selectively and wisely. Always question its origin and avoid
    goods from fattening and factory farms.
  • Make quality your priority (see pages on the product information). The
    most expensive is not always the best. Invest time to visit the nearest
    butcher, farmer or weekly market, instead of always resorting to the
    convenience of the supermarket.

How I develop my dishes

Most of the time, it all starts at the market. On my days off, I love visiting a farmers
market or a food hall to see which products are in season.

When I got hold of something that I like, it’s important to me to turn this produce into
the star of the dish. Whether it is fish, meat or poultry – as long as the quality is right,
you should always put the main product in the limelight and not drown it out. In order
to choose the right flavour, I not only consider the season and the weather, but also who
my guests are and what their preferences might be.

Products

While farmed mushrooms are sold throughout the year in almost every supermarket, wild mushrooms are seasonal products. They need the best conditions, are very weather-dependent and need good soil to thrive.

Probably one of the healthiest, most nutrient-rich and for me personally most cherished varieties of fruit is the apple. This rosaceous plant is extremely versatile and the list of products made from it is almost endless. From juices to fine spirits and vinegars, there are no limits to our creativity.

Although we rarely see good quality seafood in a landlocked country such as Austria, I do believe they are worth mentioning. One of the finest crustaceans is the ever-popular lobster.

Fresh from the garden or dried off the kitchen shelf – herbs are extremely healthy and bring fragrance, aromas and excitement to the palate. In fact, without realising it, we use about 20 percent less salt in our food when we preparing it with herbs – so they are an important tool to reduce our daily dose of salt, which is often too high anyway. One of the most prominent herbs is basil, originally from Italy. It is extremely sensitive to the cold and thrives best in a pot in a sunny spot.

“Honey is much more than just taste and pleasure. Using the nectar of countless flowers and the honeydew of various leafy and cone trees, the bee produces an irreplaceable food product,” explains a well-known beekeeper from Hüttenberg.

The most expensive cattle is Japanese Wagyu. What makes this breed so special is that there has hardly been any crossed-breeding over the centuries. Until 150 years ago, Wagyus were working animals only and not intended for consumption – unlike today.

Economically, sheep are among the most efficient livestock in the world. They not only supply us with wool, but also with meat and milk.

When it comes to poultry, most of us probably immediately think of chicken, but it is remarkable how many poultry varieties there are. We divide them into domestic poultry and wild fowl.

Granola

250g oatmeal
250g spelt flakes
100g flaked almonds
100g cashews
100g pecans
50g brown sugar
1 pinch salt
1 orange zest
1tbsp ground cinnamon
150g honey
400g butter, melted
500g natural yoghurt
500g berries, mixed

In a large bowl, mix oatmeal, spelt flakes, sugar and nuts with salt, cinnamon and freshly grated orange zest. Add melted butter and honey and mix well. Spread the mixture flat onto a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 160°C for about 20 min. Allow the granola to cool and serve with natural yoghurt and fresh berries. Sweeten the yoghurt with honey or jam to taste.