Alsatian cuisine benefits from both the French and German traditions, a combination that has led some to describe Alsace as the “most mouth-watering region in Europe.” Good food can be found everywhere: from the simplest roadside winstub to the the many Michelin-starred restaurants. (Alsace typically ranks as France’s most-starred region.)
A Few Staples of Alsatian Cuisine
Fish is a surprisingly popular ingredient in Alsatian dishes. Sandre, a pike-perch found in local rivers, is commonly used. Carp and pike also find their way on menus. Truite à la meunière is trout seasoned and rolled in flour then fried in butter and served with lemon and parsley. Truite bleue is fresh trout boiled in vinegar and vegetable stock and served with a light reduction sauce. Matelote is a stew of freshwater fish and eel.
Literally, “baker’s oven,” baeckeoffe refers to rich stew of wine, beef, lamb, pork, potatoes, carrots and onions cooked in a crock, like choucroute. It was so named because in olden days housewives would cook the stew in their cooling bread ovens after they’d baked bread.
Taste for Yourself
On our Alsace & Champagne Biking trip we’ve paired the two famous regions, allowing you to experience not only two traditions—and arguably, two visions—of France, but also two tastes. (Spoiler alert: they’re both incredible.)
Tarte Flambée is baked on a wafer-thin crust of dough in wood-fired oven, much like pizza. Rather than tomato sauce and cheese, it is topped with shreds of bacon, chopped onion and sour cream. Also known as flammekueche, this tarte is generally served in the evenings.
The most famous of Alsatian cheeses. Munster is a moist, golden cow’s cheese and is made in the mountains. It can be eaten with cumin, and is good with a glass of Gewürztraminer.
Pictured above, this large, light cake made with raisins and almonds, baked in a mould, is particularly tasty at breakfast with a large café au lait.
Pretzels that go perfectly with beer, another Alsatian staple. Examples of good beers brewed in the region: Kronenbourg, Mutzig, Pelforth and Fischer.
Nouilles Fraiches and Spatzles
The Alsatians have a surprising fondness for noodles, which come under a variety of names depending on their shape and thickness, much like Italian pasta. They are served with any number of sauces.
About the Author
Having lived in Paris and Provence, Private Trip Designer Anne Zakula has been told by native French speakers that she speaks better French than they do. Fortunately for B&R, she also distills her passion for all things French into exceptional itineraries (to say nothing of her blog posts).