Fresh fish from crystal-clear lakes with drinking water quality, hand-scooped chocolate from family-run manufactories, fragrant herbs from lush green meadows …
Between the Dachstein glacier in the north and the wine-growing regions in the charming south and east, there are plenty of culinary delights to be discovered across Styria. With passionate dedication, regional producers manufacture their goods in a sustainable way, many of them having done so for several generations.
With its intense flavour, soothing effect and antibacterial properties, the stone pine is an extremely multifaceted tree. Styrian carpenters carefully turn stone pine wood into precious natural furniture that is said to have beneficial effects on your health and well-being. Stone pine wood is also an important part of the “Grünkraft Steiermark” initiative. For instance, its natural healing powers are used during special body peelings. What’s more, walks through stone pine forests have a particularly invigorating effect.
The fruit of this special tree is also used in manifold ways. For instance, the red cones are traditionally used to make a famous Styrian herb schnapps, the “Zirberl”. The shimmering red spirit is best enjoyed together with a snack platter at a mountain hut.
Stone pine to go: Thanks to the products of Pflanzenhof Frewein, you can enjoy the beneficial effects of the stone pine at home.
Pears, quinces, plums and more: Styria is rich in fruit, making it a perfect location for producing fine spirits and schnapps. They are manufactured with utmost dedication and care:
The result: high-proof distilled spirits that are famous beyond the borders of Styria. Fruit spirits are made from 33 per cent pure fruit, while fine spirits are made from a 100 per cent pure fruit.
By the way: Styrian herbs are also great for making spirits, for instance the herbal liqueur produced in Mariazell.
Puntigamer beer from the provincial capital of Graz, Murauer beer from the Murau region, Gösser beer from the region Erzberg Leoben and Schladmiger beer from the region Schladming-Dachstein: Styria’s best-known beer brands are famous beyond the borders of Styria. The province’s brewing tradition is kept alive by several bigger and smaller local breweries.
If you are interested in finding out how hops and malt are made into beer, many breweries offer exclusive glances behind the scenes. For instance, visitors learn about the ancient tradition of Styrian beer brewing at Gösser brewery museum or at the centuries-old vaulted cellars of Murau brewery. One of the province‘s specialties is the “Mariazell Christmas celebration beer” that has come to be a fixture on the Mariazellerland region’s pre-Christmas menus.
Small and charming: Leutschach in the south of Styria has its own small private brewery. It is located in the province’s only (and Austria’s largest) hop-growing region.
From pleasantly mild to strong and spicy: Styria offers cheese for every taste. The region’s top cheesemakers include Obersteirische Molkerei, Almenland Stollenkäse, Hofkäserei Aichstern, Krennmilch, Milchhof Wurzinger, Bio Hofkäserei Deutschmann and Genussregion Ennstaler Steirerkas.
Where are the cheese specialities kept to mature? For instance, in a special mining tunnel at Almenland Stollenkäse. The cheese has received international awards – try it yourself during a visit!
In addition, Styria boasts many more types of cheese. For instance, you can get to know some of them during a guided tour and tasting at Schau-Bio-Hofkäserei Deutschmann or Fromagerie zur Riegersburg.
Chocolate lovers find their money’s worth in Styria. After all, you can savour mouth-watering chocolate all across the green heart of Austria.
Talking about being green: Zotter chocolate manufactory is one of few chocolate producers that are focused on sustainability from bean to bar. The company is also known for their extravagant chocolate creations such as “Pink coconut and fish marshmallow”.
Another producer of handmade Styrian chocolate is Felber Schokoladenmanufaktur in Birkfeld in East Styria. The manufactory also produces bespoke chocolate bars with a customised packaging for special occasions.
Talking about chocolate and Styria, we should also mention the delicious heart-shaped Steiermark cake. The irresistible treat is available from Bäckerei Sorger and is the perfect way to experience the green heart of Austria with all senses.
If you like fish, you should try two of Styria’s best regional freshwater specialities from the Teichland region: Ausseerland Seesaibling char and carp.
The Arctic char loves the drinking water quality lakes of the Ausseerland region. Lake Altausseer See, Lake Grundlsee, Lake Toplitzsee and Lake Kammersee all boast perfect conditions for the rare delicacy.
Our tip: Styrian char is best enjoyed with a dish of horseradish risotto and fresh vegetables.
The fish experts of the Styrian Teichland region breed fish species such as mirror carp, scale carp, linear carp and leather carp. The fish breeding grounds range from Deutschlandsberg in the west to Hartberg in the east. Did you know that it takes two summers until a carp is fully grown and ready to be processed into a bone-free fillet?
This type of fillet is ideally served with a fine wine sauce or savoury root-vegetable stock.
Scarlet runner beans flourish in the Mediterranean, Illyrian climate of southern and eastern Styria. In the East Styrian town of St. Ruprecht an der Raab, everything revolves around the scarlet runner bean, from tasty products to varied offers. For instance, you can join a culinary tour of the town or enjoy the famous local runner bean ice cream. With the Steirerkraft company and its Kernothek, Austria’s biggest scarlet runner bean manufacturer is also located there.
The Styrian runner bean is harvested in autumn. The hand-picked beans are dried and handled with great care. Before being processed, they are soaked in water for 12 to 14 hours. The scarlet runner bean is a vital ingredient of typically Styrian salads, soups and main courses served at the province’s wine taverns.
A match made in gourmet heaven: Just like cheese and wine are a perfect combination, so are scarlet runner beans and pumpkin seed oil.
Top-class vinegar is made from fresh, ripe and juicy fruit. Styria has the necessary fruit as well as the experienced professionals to be known as a top-class producer of vinegar. Plenty of finesse, serenity and passion goes into the making of the exquisite delicacies.
For instance, apples, regional pears, cherries, plums and quinces are processed into fine vinegars at Gölles Manufaktur.
Essigmanufaktur Fischerauer has successfully been producing 40 types of vinegar made from apples, blackberries and tomatoes for more than 15 years.
With their sophisticated, vegan vinegar specialities, Essigmanufaktur Oswald/Schaffer, a partner business of Kulinarium Steiermark, is living proof of Styria’s pioneering spirit.
The vinegar producers are happy to welcome you at their manufactory, sharing their knowledge and delicious products with you.
Styria is not just famous for its apples, but also for the Pöllauer Hirschbirne pear, the Upper Styrian mixed orchards, the Hitzendorfer cherries, the Styrian vineyard peaches and fruity berries. All of them flourish in Styria’s favourable climate.
The Hirschbirne pear has traditionally been used to make cider, fine spirits and vinegar. Dried pears (“Kletzen”) are also used to make the famous, fluffy Joglland Gugelhupf.
In Upper Styria’s Mürztal mixed fruit region, mixed fruit and wild berries are harvested in colourful autumn and processed into regional delicacies.
The year’s first summer sunrays make the Hitzendorf cherries glisten in shades of ruby and reddish black. They are used to make liqueurs, jams and strudel.
The hilly wine-growing regions of southern and western Styria are home to the juicy Styrian vineyard peaches.
What would a Styrian snack platter be without some horseradish? Fortunately, that’s a purely rhetorical question, as the clay soils of south-eastern Styria offer perfect conditions for growing horseradish.
Horseradish not only goes well with Styrian snacks, it’s also a tasty side to prime boiled beef when mixed with apples into apple horseradish. What’s more, it’s also a popular ingredient for spreads and salads.
However, keep in mind that horseradish is best used sparingly, as too much of the good stuff quickly brings tears to your eyes. And did you know that horseradish has twice as much vitamin C as lemons and is therefore known as a “natural antibiotic”?
Good to know: SteirerKren horseradish is a true Styrian original. The Feldbach-based company was founded in 1976. It sells the well-known pure version of spicy horseradish as well as a slightly sweeter version with apple pieces.
Well over 3,000 beekeepers in Styria have taken on the task of looking after our busy bees. Therefore, it's no surprise that there are many, many different types of honey for you to try. From blossom honey to forest and chestnut honey to cream honey, there is something for every sweet taste.
If you want to know more, you can take a guided tour of Claudia Schellnegger's apiary in Passail, for example, and learn all about the world of our little helpers. Countless charming farm-gate shops throughout Styria also sell their honey products directly on site. This way, you can rest assured that you are getting only the best local honey.
But the liquid gold is not only a culinary all-rounder: honeycomb products such as propolis, royal jelly or beeswax are also very trendy and delight us with their wonderful scent. They are also an environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative to many cosmetic products.
Tipp: honey as it`s best as a gingerbread in the erLEBZELTEREI Pirker in Mariazell.
On the Alpine pastures and mainly organically fertilised meadows of Styria, you can find true miracles of nature: herbs. Thanks to natural ingredients such as essential oils, bitters and tannins, they are a treat for your body and soul.
It goes almost without saying that herbs are also a vital part of Styrian cuisine – such as wild garlic in spring or stinging nettle in summer.
Herbs are also used to make cosmetics, medical products and oils. As almost every herb has beneficial effects on the human body, they are also used for wellness and revitalisation purposes.
„Eating is a need, enjoying is an art.“
The list of local culinary delights is long and varied – and all of them are best enjoyed on site in Styria!