French finesse is mixed with a generous dollop of German heartiness in Alsace's kitchen. This is a region that excites even the most ardent French gastronome. Almost every town and village is laden with enticing options, from wine taverns pairing grand cru (the official designation for superior or highest-grade French wines) pinots with home-cooked food, to Michelin-starred restaurants, to patisseries and delis inviting indulgence on almost every corner. Dig in!
Here’s what's probably cooking in the kitchen of that cosy winstub (traditional Alsatian tavern):
- Baeckeoffe Beef, pork, lamb, vegetable and potato stew, marinated in riesling or pinot blanc and slow-cooked in a ceramic dish.
- Choucroute garnie Sauerkraut garnished with salty bacon, ham hock and Alsatian-style sausage. Bring an appetite.
- Fleischnacka Herby minced beef and egg pasta rolls shaped like schnacka (snails).
- Flammekueche (tarte flambée in French) A thin-crust pizza dough topped with crème fraîche, onions and lardons.
- Kougelhopf Brioche-style raisin cake, baked in its namesake mould, with a hole in the middle and a dusting of icing sugar.
- Lewerknepfle Ground liver, shallot and parsley quenelles (dumplings).
- Spätzle Thick egg noodles, usually served with onions and/or cheese.
- Wädele Pork knuckles, often braised in pinot noir or beer and served with lashings of choucroute.