Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
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Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
Alsatian Food you Need to Try
Alsace, France, is well known for its delicious foods, some of which are specific to the region. Since the region is right by Germany (and was part of Germany in the past), you may notice that some of the food in Alsace also have similarities to the food in Southern Germany.
A food tour or enjoying a delicious meal in a traditional wistub is one of the best things to do in Alsace. There are some Alsace foods that you will find at restaurants in the region, and you may not know what they are or if you would even like to eat them.
So what to eat in Alsace? What food is Alsace known for? Keep reading to learn about the traditional Alsace food that you need to try when visiting Strasbourg, Colmar, or the Alsace villages, and what flavors you will enjoy there.
Traditional Alsace Food (Main Dishes and Snacks)
Here are the foods you will find in Alsace (Alsace dishes and desserts), and these descriptions will help you decide if you want to try them or not. You can find all this Alsace food in winstubs (also called wistubs) which are the local restaurants serving the traditional food of Alsace.
1. FlammeKueche (Tarte Flambée)
FlammeKueche, also called Tarte Flambée, means “flame cake” in French, but what you might be picturing as a flame cake is not actually what this dish looks like. A FlammeKueche is more like an Alsatian pizza with a savory flavor.
The dough at the base of the dish is similar to pizza dough, but it is a thin layer of dough. Then, on top of the dough is a layer of creme fraiche which is similar to sour cream but is not actually sour cream. Finally, the top is sprinkled with onion and bacon. It is a simple dish, but you’re sure to love its savory flavors.
2. Choucroute Garnie
Choucroute Garnie is a popular hot Alsace food in the wintertime. The entire dish can be a meal, and there is no need for sides since it is such a full serving of food with many ingredients.
One of the most popular dishes in Alsatian cuisine, choucroute garnie is mainly made up of meats like Alsatian sausage, Polish sausage, ham, and any other meats the chef wants to use. Then, surrounding the meat is sauerkraut (sour cabbage) and boiled potatoes, all on the same plate. Thanks to all the meats and potatoes, it is a filling, hearty dish that will certainly keep you full and warm.
A bretzel (known as pretzel in English) is a typical snack in Alsace. The standard bretzels are served with a layer of butter on them and have salt. The outside layer is thick and covers the dense inside that is soft.
There’s another version with cheese inside, which is best eaten warm. You will find bretzels all over Alsace, and they are well worth a try!
Baeckeoffe is a hot casserole dish that sometimes translates to “baker’s oven.” Some of the common ingredients you will find in this Alsace dish include potatoes, onions, and a variety of meats, like beef and pork. All the ingredients marinate overnight and are slowly cooked, giving them a strong flavor.
Baeckeoffe is served hot, and you will commonly find this filling dish served in the winter, specifically around Christmas in Alsace. Since there is no set recipe, you will find many variations of the dish throughout Alsace.
5. Jambonneau Braisé /Grillé
Le jambonneau braisé or grillé, AKA braised or grilled ham, is another food in Alsace served hot. Alsace is well known for having a lot of good meat, which is included in many of the dishes on this list. The jambonneau braisé /grillé keeps it simple with just ham that is either grilled or braised and a delicious Madeira sauce. On some menus, this Alsatian dish is also found under the name jarret de porc. It is usually served with mashed potatoes and is simple but delicious.
6. Cordon Bleu
Cordon Bleu is one of the imported Alsatian dishes. Cordon bleu is a dish that was originally made in Switzerland but is very popular in Alsace, which is why it also has a French name. Cordon bleu is sometimes served with chicken but can also be served without it.
The two main ingredients are ham and cheese, which are layered together and then deep-fried in breadcrumbs. It is served hot, and it is an easy dish to eat since everything is wrapped up in breadcrumbs. Sometimes it is served with a sauce on top.
Another popular food in Alsace is spaetzle, which is a warm pasta dish, although sometimes it is more like a dumpling. It is a simple dish, as it is usually made with just eggs, salt, and flour.
Since this Alsatian pasta would be boring alone, it is commonly served with meat and a sauce or gravy on top. You may also find the spaetzle is topped with other foods to give it more flavor, like fried onions. Spaetzle is different from standard pasta because it is not as dense and is typically softer.
Finally, it’s time for dessert! These are some of the most popular Alsatian desserts.
1. Tarte à la Rhubarbe (Rhubarb Meringue Pie)
The North, Alsace, and Lorraine remain the main production regions of rhubarb; that’s why it is so easy to find rhubarb-based products like the tarte à la rhubarbe (rhubarb meringue pie).
The most prominent ingredients in the tarte à la rhubarbe are rhubarb which brings in the tart flavor, and meringue, which brings in a sweeter taste.
When you first see the pie, you will see the creamy meringue on the top. Then, when you slice into the pie, you will see the rhubarb, which is thicker than other types of pies. When you take a bite with both the top and the inside, you will get the perfect balance of sweet and tangy.
Another dessert you will find throughout Alsace is Kougelhopf which is a traditional dessert.
It is especially popular in the Christmas markets in Alsace and is often paired with regional wines. The cake is not just served during dessert; you can also find it at breakfast and casual afternoon meals.
The outside of the Kougelhopf looks like a typical round cake and has a sweet flavor. Then, when you cut or bite into it, you will be pleasantly surprised to find a light pudding-like texture that pairs with the sweet outside. Sometimes the cake is also stuffed with other foods like dried fruits and bacon.