Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Taste of Travel: Apple Strudel

I wasn’t very excited to take a tour to the places featured in The Sound of Music, but it turned out to be a very nice visit to the Lake District around Salzburg, Austria.

As charming as Salzburg is, the beauty of the surrounding area beckons for a side trip. The tour I was on, aside from three Texan ladies who couldn’t stop repeating the same questions time and again, was enjoyable, with our guide offering information not only about the movie, but the history of the countryside in general.

One of the tour’s highlights, for me, was when we stopped in Mondsee. The stop was intended for visiting a church in which the wedding scene takes place, but thanks to my guidebook, I knew what the real draw was.

Diagonally across the street from the church were a trio of restaurants. A local answered a few of my questions to make sure I got the right place, and I sat down at an outdoor table with my family.

We ordered four Cokes, which were brought in glass bottles, and then we gave our server our order. “Feer apfelstrudel, bitte.” He smiled knowingly and returned several minutes later with our apple strudel.

The pastries sat in the center of the plates, steaming hot and dusted with powdered sugar. Garnishing the strudel were two petite scoops of smooth vanilla ice cream on one side, and a rich vanilla sauce on the other.

Our server took our picture, and as he framed it, the sweet scent of the sauce combining with the smell of warm apples was driving me crazy. When the shutter finally clicked, I snatched up my fork and dug in, mixing the strudel, ice cream and sauce together in every bite.

The taste alone would have made the food unforgettable, but the fact that we were in such fantastic surroundings, with the Austrian Alps towering in the distance and being reflected in the lake in front of us made it something special.

As we paid our bill, our tour guide trudged up to the van from the church, the three Texans chattering behind him. I’d been in probably 12 churches so far on this trip, and I realized I hadn’t eaten nearly enough apfelstrudel.


Natasha said...

mmm that sounds amazing! i want to go to Austria!

JanC said...

Nice! I'm going to Austria next week, so will have to add the word "apfelstrudel" to my extremely limited German vocabulary.