Back Issue | Gourmet Cooking Tour in South Tyrol
We gobble up the best trails and the finest cuisine at the foot of the Rosengarten massif.
Enjoying something…who doesn’t want that? Whether it is culinary highlights, a good wine, or as most bikers want, a flowing trail. A real ‘local destination’ for many German, Austrian, and Swiss gourmets is the South Tyrol region in Italy.
Just cross the Fern or Brenner pass to reach the promised land where the locals are justifiably proud of their exceptional food, countless trails, and breathtaking vistas. And best of all, thanks to mild temperatures and solarium-esque sunshine levels, the area also offers the best wines and year-round dry trails.
The advantageous climate was already well known to past royal visitors and Empress Elisabeth of Austria, better known as Sissi, resided in the Grand Hotel Carezza at the foot of the Rosengarten massif during 1897. Following historical examples we set off from Garmisch-Partenkirchen heading south and reach Welschnofen after a 2.5 hr, 190km drive.
We are met by Gerhard “Krauti“ Krautwurst and Ghost Team rider Johannes Fischbach, but unfortunately our arrival isn’t like the costume drama films: the usual blue skies were dark, cloudy, and forbidding. The normally majestic Rosengarten peaks are not looking very regal at all. Luckily we’re not made of sugar. Krauti promises us compensation for the mud and promises a special surprise. We set off immediately.
In the centre of Welschnofen, we climb aboard the brand-new cable car which whisks us up 600 metres along its 3.6km length. Krauti tells us the new lift isn’t just a boon for winter sport, as the summer visitors also use it as a perfect tour assist to get out of the Eggen valley. At the top we have a relaxed but damp pedal to the trailhead. Johannes is in non-race mode and only riding at “half-throttle,” but still uses every natural trail opportunity to practise an array of playful tricks.
In this way we were still able to keep up with the World Cup DH pro rider and were always kept entertained. The trail snakes along and is relatively flat, but uses the altitude perfectly. At the end we are wet and muddy but have big grins all round.
We make a detour to the Grand Hotel Carazza, which from the outside still has the charms of a long-forgotten era. Embedded in fabulous natural surroundings, the Carazza hosted numerous dignitaries such as Winston Churchill, and famous authors such as Agatha Christie were also guests. Within the entrance hall, however, a rapid sobering-up occurs: after numerous renovations and because of less-rosy financial times, the interior has more of a 70’s flair.
We quickly decide to continue our ride and soon reach the legendary Karer lake. Finally the weather gods appear to be more on our side, as the clouds open up and the rugged cliffs of the Latemar massif are suddenly revealed in all their wonder. But the crystal clear lake, lush forests, and lofty peaks couldn’t hold us back — we were famished and wanted to ride again. Best of all, Krauti had a plan!
He purposely leads us to the Ladritscher Hof, where something special has been arranged for us…finally the big surprise will be revealed: “cooking and biking” is the name of the game.
Sometimes you just have to enjoy things, let the freshly prepared food melt in your mouth, absorb the spectacular landscape, and revel in muddy trails. The South Tyrol proved once again that it really is a destination for gourmets — regardless of the weather.
Even when food at home never tastes quite the same as on holiday, we want to give you the opportunity to make Krauti’s tasty Apfelschmarrn at home. So here’s the recipe:
• 150 g flour
• 100 ml milk
• 6 egg yolks
• 6 egg whites
• ½ pack vanilla sugar
• 40 g granulated sugar
• 200 g apples cut into thin slices
• oil to fry
• icing sugar
Mix the flour, milk, vanilla sugar. and egg yolks into a smooth batter. Beat the egg whites until they foam, then add sugar slowly until soft peaks form, and gently fold into the batter.
Heat the butter and oil in a large pan, pour in the batter mix, and sprinkle in the apple slices.
Fry until the underside is golden brown, then turn to do the other side. Then put the pan in a pre-heated oven and bake the mix for 4-5 minutes at 200 degrees (if you don’t have an oven you could use the lid of a big saucepan). Afterwards tear the Schmarren into pieces.
Add some butter and sugar and return the pan to the heat so that the sugar caramelises.
Serve on hot plates, dust with icing sugar, and enjoy!
Travel: by car you can reach the South Tyrol in approx. 3 hours’ drive from Munich. This will take you over the Brenner pass and on the Italian motorways where tolls are due.
Accommodation: you can find the perfect hotel for your needs on the website www.bikehotel.it They list over 35 hotels and rental apartments which tick all of a biker’s boxes.
Cooking and Biking: anyone who fancies a culinary bike holiday can find out more at: