My Pinzga Day on the Schmittenhöhe
Something good on a Sunday in winter
Actually, every day in the Pinzgau is a special day when it comes to culinary delights. Just taking a look at the menus of the local establishments, restaurants or ski huts will whet your appetite. But Sundays in winter are really something special – at least from December until April – because every Sunday is “Pinzga Day” in the Schmittenhöhe ski resort during this period.
Pinzgau delicacies everywhere
Sounds interesting. Or who makes Pinzgau Bladln, Kasnockn’ or Kaiserschmarren at home every weekend? Anyway, the down-to-earth Pinzgau cuisine is just perfect on a long day of skiing on the pistes of the Schmittenhöhe. Skiing makes you hungry and so I am off to discover the best Pinzgau delicacies in the participating huts on the Schmittenhöhe. Time for my personal Pinzga Day. Come and join me!
Perfect snow and pure sunshine
These are two valuable ingredients for a fantastic day of skiing. Snow and sun are the perfect garnish of a cool ski menu on my Pinzga Day. The conditions in the ski resort are sensational and I delay my first stop, taking quite a few piste kilometres, before I indulge in culinary delights. Standard, Trass, Sonnalm, Ketting are the names of the famous pistes I combine in the morning for my wonderful ski brunch menu before my stomach starts getting grumpy.
A few calories don’t do any harm
It is late in the morning when I start feeling hungry and fancy a first impression of real Pinzgau specialities. It is exactly then when I spot the first hut at the horizon. A soup is a great pre-lunch treat to keep you going. But which one to choose: a soup with cheese dumplings, spinach dumplings, bacon dumplings or with a mix of dumplings? The selection is huge, but the culinary day is still long. That’s why I opt for a soup with cheese dumplings - just to get started. It is not busy late in the morning; thus, I am back on the piste in no time.
The next craving attack is not far off
… because I am still adding some kilometres on the piste and enjoy this beautiful day of skiing to the full. After a few sporty carving turns, my hungry eyes spot the next hut where I can sample more Pinzga Day specialities. The choice is not easy when there is venison burger, Kasnocken or schnitzel of venison with butter spaetzle on the menu. Now I am really hungry and just go for the schnitzel of venison. Luckily, I meet a few acquaintances who help me to manage a big pan of Kaiserschmarrn with apple puree which I would not want to miss out on.
Still plenty to discover
And it would have been so lovely in the sun, BUT the Pinzga Day is far from over yet. Several sporty downhill runs on the Trass and the Standard don’t make me hungry anymore, but I am getting thirsty. A cold beer is a must now. After all, it’s afternoon and it is time for a “Cheers“ to this great Pinzga Day. I am heading instinctively towards the next hut with a lovely sun terrace and beautiful views. There are still some free seats, thus it is time for another local speciality – an original Pinzgau Bräu, the craft beer of my native home.
When the hut landlord starts telling stories
Then you learn some interesting details and hear a cool story: It happened allegedly in 1883 when Empress Elisabeth climbed up to the Schmittenhöhe on foot. This was not that easy back then, and many had not thought that Sissi would manage this. But she went on that tour and arrived at the top eventually. There is now an Elisabeth Chapel at the summit of the Schmitten. Sissi stayed overnight at the very hut where I now enjoy a crisp Pinzgau Bräu wheat beer. You can tell that the landlord is still delighted by the connection to Empress Elisabeth.
And there is more: Did you know that the Bernese sausages do not come from Bern and have actually nothing to do with Switzerland? Exactly, they were invented as quick Jause snack for the members of the Zell am See Singing Society by a chef called Erich Berner Senior in the 1950s. The Bernese sausages can now be found on the menus of all ski huts – not only in Zell am See, and surely not just on Pinzga Day.
My Pinzga Day comes slowly to an end. I don’t drink more than one Pinzgau Bräu. After all, I still have the downhill run into the valley ahead of me. As it is tradition, I take the Trass piste for this. A great day with many sporty kilometres of piste and amazing culinary delights comes to an end. I think I know what I am going to do next Sunday!
See you soon for Pinzga Day on the Schmittenhöhe!