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Delights from Liechtenstein

Situated between Austria and Switzerland, Liechtenstein’s cuisine is influenced by these two countries the most. If one adds the drinks, it appears that also Italy, France and Scotland have an impact on the Principality of Liechtenstein.

Liechtenstein has a very diverse culinary spectrum. On an area of only 160 square kilometres with 37,000 inhabitants, four gourmet restaurants with Gault Millau points can be found. But also simple, traditional places or international restaurants are available. But which food is typical for Liechtenstein?

Simple and hearty
The traditional cuisine of Liechtenstein is simple and nutritious as the rural past of the country has influenced the food culture. Liechtenstein's national dish is "Käsknöpfle". A simple dough made of flour, eggs, water, salt and pepper is the basis for this culinary delight. The finished Knöpfle are served with local cheese, fried onions and apple puree aside. Corn was a valued source of energy in the Rhine Valley for a long time. "Ribel" is the name of a dish, which is made out of corn and wheat. Both ingredients are cooked in milk and water to a kind of porridge. After that, the porridge has to be roasted long and slowly in a frying pan. It should always be stirred in order to receive tiny pieces in a golden colour. Traditionally, “Ribel” is eaten with apple puree or is simply dipped in coffee or milk. Both dishes are also cooked often in Switzerland or Austria, close to the border with Liechtenstein.

Grape, hops, barley
When it comes to drinks, the Principality of Liechtenstein has much to offer. On about 26 hectares best wines are made. 99 wineries and the Prince of Liechtenstein Winery maintain over twenty different vine varieties. Thus, the wines become individual and fruity with a unique character - almost like in Italy or France. For people preferring malt and hops, Liechtenstein’s two breweries offer local beers. Whether pale, dark, wheat or another beer speciality, breweries in Liechtenstein prove that small countries can brew excellent beers, too. Also the Scots have a look at Liechtenstein now and then. This is due to the distillery Telser in Triesen. The family business was founded 130 years ago and distils among other things, the award-winning Telsington whiskey. Traditional Liechtenstein fruit liqueurs made of plums, cherries, apples or pears are also produced by Telser.

Tradition meets modernity
Today, people in Liechtenstein love to eat international cuisine, but traditional food and drinks may not be missing on the menus of restaurants in the principality. Therefore, "Käsknöpfle" or local beer is integral part of many menu cards in the country.