WHY HIKING AND EATING GO SO WELL TOGETHER IN PAZNAUN

Here at Trisanna, we very much enjoy writing about good food. Particularly if it’s served in unusual places. A brief overview of what’s in Trisanna’s pantry before the “Culinary Way of St James”, a food pilgrimage hike, gets underway next weekend.

The mountains are a good place to eat excellent food. The view, and the journey up to the view, whet the appetite. If you’ve ever stopped off at a hut after a long hike, you know what we mean. Sit down on a bench. Order a shandy. Quench your thirst. Find out from the hut manager that there’s delicious, hearty food on offer.

Kaiserschmarren, the classic Austrian pancake dish, for example, or Käsespätzle cheese noodles (here’s a sophisticated version from top chef Martin Sieberer) can give you a real feeling of pleasure, of great happiness even.

The Culinary Way of St James celebrates this feeling of happiness. Under the patronage of chef of the century Eckart Witzigmann, a fine, original culture has developed, which transfers the expertise and ideas of excellent chefs from across Europe to the huts of Paznaun (more on this in our conversation with the legendary chef next Wednesday in Trisanna).

But this isn’t the only reason that Paznaun is an Eldorado for people who enjoy eating unusually well. For one thing, interesting foods such as cheese, sausage, or the original mountain hay jelly are produced in the valley.

For another, fantastic chefs work hard vying for the favour of the public (to have an idea of how hard, read this field report from Benjamin Parth’s gourmet kitchen).

And of course, the secret of enjoyment lies in the balance: the mountain experience leads you to enjoy simple things, and appreciating simple things prepares you to follow the top chefs on their adventure, too.