An occasional series discussing the big questions of skiing – questions with only yes or no answers. Today: is it still ok to eat yeast dumplings?

Pro: and how!

You can, of course, dispute whether a yeast dumpling is really food or actually a toy. The form, which still gives rise to certain associations after 40 years. The consistency, which is often not really different to that of a Playmobil figure. And then the moment when you try to stick your fork into the dumpling – when in at least half of all cases, the dumpling slips away on its buttery base just like a jumping frog in the children’s game of the same name.

This is true, we have to agree.

But the dumpling belongs to the scene, all the same. You eat yeast dumplings in ski huts, and with the same unquestioning sense of rightness as putting cream on hot chocolate and then going to the toilet once more before jumping back onto the slopes again.

That’s how it was when grandpa was still going skiing. And not everything was bad in grandpa’s time.

And let’s have a look at the alternatives. Pizza? Burger? Perhaps even a mixture of both? Of course, you can also get them in the ski huts as of late. But if we’re eating pizza and burgers in the huts now as well as on the beach and in the town, then by implication the reverse is also true, and we should be ordering yeast dumplings at home or in the village pub, too, and eating them all year long.

And no one really wants that – it would be just too disgusting.


Contra: definitely not!

First off, a fundamental question: can a dessert even count as a proper main course anyway? A main course essentially consists of one or two sides and a main ingredient – in Austria, traditionally fish or, much more likely, a piece of meat. In the case of yeast dumplings, what would the side dish be? The melted butter or the lukewarm, lumpy vanilla sauce in which the dumpling’s often drowned?

Not really. Both serve the main purpose of covering up what you notice anyway, at the latest when you bite into the dumpling: in very many instances, its best days are already behind it. Consider also the arguments in favour (!) of the yeast dumpling as a ski hut food.

But despite everything, the yeast dumpling sees itself as a main course and is, absurdly, accepted as such. Very few people, after all, eat them as befits a sweet dish – as dessert or with coffee in the afternoon.

This doesn’t mean, however, that the new additions to the self-service menus in ski huts are always better than the traditional offerings. There are of course ski hut classics which always have been good, and always will be. A simple portion of chips with ketchup and mayonnaise, for example, is always fine. And ordering pizza or burgers in a ski hut when there’s Berner sausage on the menu is really – yuck.

We should, incidentally, ask ourselves another fundamental question here: how is it that when we’re skiing (a thoroughly athletic activity), we pretty much always eat things in the breaks which aren’t exactly super foods?