Autumn is a wonderful time of year for relaxing walks and hikes. The leaves assume tones or red and gold and children run around collecting chestnuts, acorns, beechnuts and other treasures. Now and then, it's possible to spot little squirrels as they gather these same treasures for their winter supplies. In South Tyrol, autumn is the time for 'Törggele'.
According to this ancient custom, after the grapes have been harvested and pressed, it is tradition to taste the new wine together with a hearty meal in a seasonal wine tavern known as a 'Buschenschank'. This was originally a reward for the hard labour of grape harvesting, but today it is considered by many a highlight after a long autumn walk or hike.
The beverages served can be "a Siaßer" (slightly fermented grape must) or "a Nuier" (new wine). These are typically served with Gerstensuppe (barley soup), Schlutzkrapfen (a type of ravioli filled with spinach and ricotta), Ripperl (spare ribs), Surfleisch (salted meat), Sauerkraut and Knödel (dumplings), or a hearty cold platter with Speck and Kaminwurzen (smoked sausage). For dessert there are sweet dumplings (Krapfen) and roast chestnuts, known as "Keschtn" in South Tyrol. In many of the Buschenschänken taverns and inns, live music cheers up the mood.
The barley soup is probably the most traditional and the oldest dish served for Törggelen. It is made by sautéing diced Speck and onion in butter, then adding the barley and enough stock to cover. After simmering for about 40 minutes, finely diced root vegetables and potatoes are added and left to cook for a further 30 minutes. When the barley is soft, the soup is refined with a little cream and seasoned to taste.
Only one thing is even better, namely to spoil yourself and let others do the cooking. From 2 to 17 November, we at Hotel Plunhof
will also be celebrating Törggelen with our very own 'Wild autumn indulgement'
evenings, with live music.
We wish you all a lot of fun!