Regional products

from Styria

Graz has 300 city farmers, by far the most of any urban area in Austria. Since time immemorial, fruit has been planted and vegetables harvested here, wine pressed, schnapps distilled and pumpkin-seed oil milled. And it’s the same story in the hilly countryside to the west, south and east of Graz. Here in the ‘garden of Austria’ there are countless small farms – large-scale agriculture has never got a foothold here. The farmers of Styria realised long ago how precious their specialities are: the most important thing for them is quality. Their wonderful produce stands up to comparisons with any across the world. And all of these fantastic ingredients from gardens, fields, pastures and vineyards are also supplied to the buschenschanks, pubs and restaurants of Graz - and so to your plate.

Farmers market  in Graz | © Nina Söntgerath - Reisehappen

Regional products from Styria

Styria, as a province of delights, offers so much agricultural diversity in a relatively compact area. From the alpine pasture to the vineyards in the south, west and east of the state and from special crops to refining plants.

Mentioning all of the gastronomic treasures of Styria would be impossible. Instead, here are a few of our best-known favourites:

Styrian pumpkin seeds

The seeds of health: dark green, fully ripened pumpkin seeds. You can eat them just as they are – raw, or lightly roasted, natural or salted, with cinnamon or ginger, caramelised or dipped in chocolate – simply delicious! Pumpkin seeds taste great tossed into a fresh green salad (or a fruit salad), in muesli or vegetable side dishes, and also as a tasty garnish on creamy soups.

Pumpkin seeds not only make a great addition as an ingredient, they are also incredibly healthy: a rich supply of unsaturated fatty acids (over 80%), Vitamin E and beta-carotene, magnesium, iron, zinc and selenium, they are also popular as a great-tasting medical remedy.

Grazer Krauthäuptel

There are not many vegetables that owe their name to a city: the Grazer Krauthäuptel, an aristocrat among lettuces, is one of them. The Grazer Krauthäuptel really does get its name from the area where it’s grown

Fact: You can find the Grazer Krauthäuptel lettuce on the Graz farmers’ markets and in food shops from March through to November.

Styrian pumpkin seed oil | © Steiermark Tourismus

“KERNOEL” PUMPKIN SEED OIL

The "green gold"

Styrian pumpkin seed oil, a.k.a. Styria’s “Green Gold”, has a dark green colour and is untreated. It tastes fresh and nutty and is very healthy. Pumpkin seed oil makes a wonderful salad dressing and is normally used in cold dishes. It is, however, also very good after gentle warming, or drizzled onto bowls of soup. It brings out a special and sophisticated flavour in main courses and desserts. And it doesn’t just taste good – it’s cholesterol-free, rich in essential fatty acids and in vitamin E. Fantastically healthy and delicious!

Styrian horseradish | © GenussRegion Österreich

STYRIAN HORSERADISH

Pretty hot

Horseradish doesn’t just impart an intense flavour to many traditional Styrian cold dishes, it’s also extremely healthy. For many centuries it has been used as a herbal remedy. It contains twice as much vitamin C as citrus fruits and is therefore an excellent remedy for a cold. Its essential oils are released when the horseradish is grated, giving the root the unmistakable ‘biting’ hotness that can bring tears to the eyes of any grown man.

Vulkanland ham | © Graz Tourismus - Harald Eisenberger

STYRIAN VOLCANO-LAND CURED HAM

This outstanding cured ham has a unique flavour that is hard to describe but easy to experience – in Graz restaurants. Vulcano ham is aged for at least six months, marinated in herbs and finished with just a touch of beech wood. And, of course, plenty of patience. The result is a top-quality branded product from a region rich in tradition: produced with loving care, artisan skill and a lot of instinct – a light and delicate pleasure. The Styrian Vulkanland region is a paradise for wine connoisseurs and lovers of regional specialities.

Styrian beans | © Graz Tourismus - icegirl

The "Käferbohne"

It tastes as great as its size

The ‘Käferbohne’ – known in English as the scarlet runner bean – is a littleknown but unmistakably Styrian speciality, grown chiefly in the fields around the towns of Bad Radkersburg, Feldbach, Weiz, Hartberg and Fürstenfeld, where the consistency of the soil and the mild climate provide the ideal conditions. ‘Käferbohnen’ are very carefully stored and can therefore be sold all year round. Apart from their delicious nutty taste, these Styrian beans have much to offer. They’re an excellent source of protein, carbohydrate and fibre, whilst also being extremely low in fat. Dishes containing these beautiful fat purple beans range from soups and main courses through to puddings.

Styrian apples | © GenussRegion Österreich

EASTERN STYRIAN APPLES

Fresh, juicy, Styrian

After all, 80 % of the total Austrian apple harvest comes from Styria. The Styrian apple is a real power pack – not only tasty (but low in calories), but also a real vitamin bomb! The apple, a very versatile product, is eaten raw during the whole year, but also processed in many varieties. Either as juice, nectar, cider, liqueur, jams or distilled spirits. Specialities, all made from apples, from ‘Mostsuppe’ (apple and cider soup) to ‘Mostbraten’ (roast beef and cider), can be found on menus. Apple desserts exist in many varieties, from classic apple ‘Strudel’ to tarts or ice cream.

Styrian wine | © Steiermark Tourismus

WINES WITH CHARACTER

The Styrians have built an international reputation with their light, dry wines. More grape varieties are cultivated in Styria than in any other wine growing area in Europe. Their special character is shaped by their location: the climate, soil and position, left as they occur naturally by the wine producers. Each vintage brings its own range of refinements and emphasises the diversity of aromas within each grape variety. A wide range of landscapes and different soils within a small area are typical in Styria and contribute to the great assortment of grape varieties. Yield is intentionally limited – meaning that quality is better.

Styrian beer | © Graz Tourismus - Werner Krug

Graz beer tradition

Graz is a city with a great tradition of brewing beer. Moreover, Styrian beer is reputed to be the best in Austria. Especially popular are Reininghaus and Puntigamer beers – down not only to great brewing skill but also to excellent ingredients: the very best barley and finest hops from farmers in Leutschach. The water used for brewing too: cool, fresh and crystal clear as it gushes up from the 230-metre-deep Herrgottwiesquelle source, indeed fulfilling all the requirements for healing water.

Styrian bread | © Graz Tourismus - Harald Eisenberger

fresh bread

Here the organic and vegan “GenussHauptstadt-Weckerl” [Capital of Delight roll], manufactured with the region’s best ingredients, heads the almost endless list of top-class bread types in this city with a long bread-making tradition. Equally delicious alternatives are the following yummy bread variations: Grazer Herz Brot, Halbweisses, Waldbauernbrot, Steinofen-Flade, Pur Pur Brot, Kneippbrot, Dinkel-Vollkorn, Gartenweckerl, Steirer-Bua or Bio-Max: doesn’t that make your mouth water already?