© Steiermark Tourismus | Harry Schiffer © Steiermark Tourismus | Harry Schiffer
An apple a day keeps the doctor away

Styria and apples

If you have ever tasted an apple from Styria, you know that they are firm and gloriously juicy. The paradisical fruit can also be intense, spicy, tangy or sweet – a truly varied fruit! However, one thing always remains the same: the fact that apples contain a multitude of vitamins.

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” – but there are many more reasons why Styrians love their apples. And once you have tasted one of the delicious fruits yourself, you will understand why. Styria boasts Austria’s largest apple-growing region with a total area of 5,200 hectares. Every year, Styrian orchards produce about 180,000 tons of apples, with varieties ranging from tangy to sweet and fruity.

Plenty of sunshine in the summer and considerable day/night temperature differences during autumn: The climate of East Styria is particularly beneficial to apples. It gives them their distinctive taste, their intense colour and an even sugar-acid balance.

Visit the apple-growing region

Gala, Fuji or Kronprinz Rudolf – ten different types of apples are grown in Styria. Their taste is as varied as the surrounding nature of the green heart of Austria, offering something for everyone. Many say that apples taste best when eaten fresh off the tree. However, many of them are carefully harvested to be made into Styrian delicacies such as apple vinegar, apple horseradish or apple strudel. Styrian apples are not just used for cooking or baking though – they are also great for making must, cider or fruit juices.

In the apple-growing region of Styria, you will find plenty of opportunities to sample this local delicacy. For instance, learn more about the tasty fruit at Haus des Apfels. Alternatively, there are numerous apple-themed events such as the Apple Blossom Festival or the Apple Street Festival in the apple capital of Puch bei Weiz. They are perfect places to taste apple-based delicacies and enjoy traditional folk music and dances.

Styrian apple varieties

Apples are the favourite fruit of Austrians – and its main supplier is the Styrian Apple Road. If you would line up the apples harvested in the apple-growing region of East Styria, it would cover the distance from Puch bei Weiz to Beijing.

The best thing about apples is that you can always discover a new side to them. For instance, Styrian apples can be used for various purposes:

  • Arlet: for compote, jellies, desserts or as a side to full-flavoured cheeses
  • Braeburn: for savoury snack platters or fruit salads
  • Elstar: for apple horseradish or fruit salads or as a side to creamy soft cheese
  • Fuji: for roasting and braising, or for compote and jellies
  • Gala: for glazed apples and for baking, or for roast apples
  • Golden Delicious: for baking and desserts, makes a perfect combination with blue cheese
  • Idared: for apple sauce and compote
  • Jonagold: for baking, fruit salads, chutneys and fresh juices
  • Kronprinz Rudolf: the classic, ideal for making apple strudel
  • Topaz: a fairly young and firm-fleshed variety, just take a bite!
Apple still life at the styrian apple route | © Steiermark Tourismus | Tom Lamm
Apollonia Kelz and her Apfelstrudel: a poem. House of the apple in Puch bei Weiz | © Steiermark Tourismus | Tom Lamm
More than 100 kinds of fruit at the Bioobsthof Schloffer (biological farm) in Anger, Eastern Styria | © Steiermark Tourismus | Johannes Geyer

Enjoy! Styrian delicacies made from apples

There are many ways to enjoy Styrian apples, whether you consume them on site or take them home as apple-based products.

Cider and must

A savoury snack platter with crusty bread, savoury cheese, homemade spreads and a glass of cider or must – and your day’s perfect! Must is a traditional delicacy produced in the green heart of Austria. The name “must” comes from Latin and means “young wine”. It is served in Styrian restaurants and wine taverns as a traditional refreshment. In addition to the common variety, there are also new, regional apple wine creations that are best enjoyed fresh and cold.

You can enjoy cider and must at most Styrian wine taverns and at select restaurants and bars. They are also often available from farmers’ markets and farm shops.

Fruity specialities served at “apple restaurants”

If you like apples, you will love the Styrian “Apfelwirte” restaurants. Along the 25-kilometer-long Apple Road leading from St. Ruprecht an der Raab to Puch bei Weiz and Anger you can find numerous “apple restaurants” serving delicious apple-based treats.

In addition, the Mürztal mixed fruit region is a great place to enjoy apples. Local restaurants use ancient and wild fruit varieties to create mouth-watering traditional and modern dishes.

Culinary treasures from Styria