The Alsace region is settled in the East of France, at the heart of the Rhineland Europe. Alsace is a frontier land both open to the world and attached to its traditions. The upheavals of history have made it keep strong regional traditions. It is distinctively different from the rest of France: people have their own language that sounds nothing like French or German. They have their own cuisine, music, traditional dress, architecture, art and way of life.
CUISINE & DRINKS
It is a typical and delicious Alsatian appetizer. This simple thin bread dough topped with onions, cream and bacon is also known as Flammekueche (Alsatian name). The name comes from a time when the pie was baked in a fire oven and was surrounded by flames. The tart can be served either with cocktails or as a first course with a local wine.
The Alsatian dish, usually served in enormous portion. Choucroute is white cabbage that has been shredded, salted and fermented in wooden barrels of large stone pots. Marinated cabbage is cooked slowly with variety of smoked meats – bacon, smoked pork, pig knuckles, with boiled potatoes. It is a hearty dish best consumed in fall and winter. Served with beer or Alsatian Riesling.
It is an integral part of the Alsatian tradition and is popular Christmas treat in Alsace. Gingerbread comes in many different sizes; shapes (heart, star or man) and it can be soft or crispy, with hazelnuts or almonds.
Alsace possesses the world’s richest variety in white wines with 7 different white wines:
- Riesling, triumph of the Alsace vineyars, delicate fruitiness and fine bouquet.
- Gewurztraminer, robust, full-bodied, marvalous flavour and bouquet
- Pinot Gris, opulent and robust, at its best with the finest cuisine.
- Pinot Blanc, well-balanced, supple and racy.
- Sylvaner, light, fresh and fruity.
- Muscat d’Alsace, dry, an inimitable fresh grape taste.
- Edelzwicker, Gentil and Edelzwicker are names for harmonious blends of several white grape varieties. Gentil must contain at least 50% of Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and/or Muscat.
Alsace is as well known for its wine as for its beer. More than half of all beer consumed in France comes from 6 Alsatian breweries:
Adelshoffen; Fischer; Heineken; Karlsbräu; Kronenbourg; Météor for exemple
This quintessentially festive beverage goes just as perfectly with cold meat as with pretzels served before dinner.
Thanks to its bountiful orchards, Alsace has many varieties of schnapps. Mirabelle and quetsche plums are the most common types. These are dry, but generally very fruity spirits. Kirsch (cherry) liqueur can be served alone, but it also goes very well with dessert. Traditionally, Schnapps is offered as a digestif, preferably served in large glasses, to bring out all the subtlety of its flavour.
GOOD TO KNOW
Planning your trip with the Vialsace website. The site will put together an itinerary for you combining all the modes of transport available.
Getting around Alsace by train. Alsace has a very dense rail network linking all the main towns: Strasbourg – Sélestat – Colmar – Mulhouse – Saint-Louis… Perfect also if you desire to go on horseback riding expeditions or trekking.
Christmas market season in Alsace is one of the busiest periods of the year. Full of events and celebrations such as St Nicholas parades, creative workshops, Christmas wine, wine cellars, an unforgettable Christmas guaranteed!
Good to know that if you really can not wait to discover all of Alsace specialities, you can find one‘s café next to you: Café D’Alsace
Clara Bakchine & Julie Kara