When we think of Alsatian cuisine, we no doubt think of sauerkraut and white wine, but the cabbage region has many other culinary specialities to boast about!
Typical Alsatian dishes
This dish is made from cabbage, meat, Montbéliard sausage, and potatoes, cooked together in good white wine from Alsace. It takes its name from the German word meaning “Sour Cabbage”. The secret of this Alsatian stew is in the preparation (made with pure pork fat) and in the cooking time. In fact, to get the texture so tender, you have to cook the mixture on a low temperature for 1.5 to 2 hours.
Enjoy this flavoursome dish with a dry white wine, ideally Alsace Riesling.
Baeckeoffe or Baeckeoffa means the “baker’s oven”. In Alsace tradition, the women would take this dish, prepared with marinated meat (beef, lamb, and pork) and vegetables, to the baker, who had already finished baking the bread. The dish would then be cooked in the residual heat of the baker’s oven, which would have been the only oven in the village at that time. The secret is the same as for sauerkraut, it must be cooked slowly!
Taste this dish with an Alsace Riesling.
Coq au Riesling
This Alsace version of Coq au Vin is made from poultry fried in oil and shallots, and then everything flambéed in Cognac. Thyme is then added and, just as with any good tender Alsace dish, it is left to stew... with Riesling. Accompanied by cream and mushrooms, it goes perfectly with an Alsace Riesling. Together, the taste of the cooked wine and the fresh wine create the perfect wine/dish combination!
The history of the tarte flambée, or Flammekueche, dates back to the time when bread was baked every fifteen days. The surplus bread dough was flattened, covered in curdled milk, onions and lardons, and then baked in the baker’s wood-fire oven. Today the recipe has changed a little, but still remains in pure Alsace tradition.
It is ideally eaten with an Alsace Sylvaner, a fresh and light wine.
A typically Alsatian meal cannot end without a traditional dessert from the region. You have the choice between the famous Gugelhupf (Alsace brioche), the small biscuits called Maennele (ideal with coffee), or the Bredele (petit fours mainly served during the end of year celebrations).
Alsace, land of the Grand Crus
But Alsace cuisine also no doubt brings to mind the Grand Crus of Alsace. The concept of the Grands Crus appeared in Alsace during the 9th century. A land of contrasts, Alsace benefits from a great diversity of areas and landscapes. Its climate is dry and sunny, the soil on the often considerable slopes is ideal for cultivation, and the exposure is ideal for the wine-growing region.
The different areas are divided up according to strict geological and climatic criteria. From 1975 to 2007, 51 such places were gradually defined, the surface area of these plots of land varying between 3 and 80 hectares. There are now 51 Alsace Wine Grand Crus: 51 Alsace Grands Crus AOC. Their uniqueness lies in the variety of flavours and the individuality of each Grand Cru. The wines that come from this region make up 4% of worldwide production.
To discover the Grand Crus, explore the 170-kilometre Grand Crus wine route. Along the route you can taste Froehn, Mandelberg, Sonnenglanz, and Rosacker, but also the more famous wines such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer.