As a Health Coach, many clients, friends and family members want to know . . . what EXACTLY do I EAT?! So on this 'on-going' blog post series. I intend to highlight some of my go to meals as I adapt through the various circumstances of living a life continuously on the road. In a nut-shell I am a foodie at heart and always on the hunt for Organic (Bio), Seasonal and the best Quality ingredients I can find! Sometimes I get REALLY lucky and strike gold finding artisanal products made with all of the above characteristics plus my favourite criteria of all, made with lots of LOVE!!!
We spent a total of 5 weeks in Klagenfurt, Austria after my life partner BASIRAIR was helicoptered to the Trauma Accident Hospital in Klagenfurt from a severe paragliding accident. While the first two weeks, I stayed in an Airbnb which I shared with his family, the rest of the time I stayed in a hotel. This is how I survived without a kitchen!
I had most meals with Basir in the hospital. I just cherished the time together and loved to surprise him with all the wonderful treasures I had gathered while exploring the city. His hospital room provided some logistics ease like the use of a refrigerator, cutlery and unlimited access to an abundant selection of Austria's Sonnentor biological teas. By the way the centre of Klagenfurt, Austria has a flagship Sonnentor shop where they carry the complete line of biological products including their biological spices. A definite foodie stop not to be missed.
Here are some of the highlights of surviving in Klagenfurt, Austria without a kitchen. At the top of the list, is this biological, pasture-raised roasted pig from a bioladen in Benediktiner Markt (Benedictine Market), which was literally just outside the doorstep of my hotel, Lemon7. The Benediktiner Markt has fixed stalls with vendors Monday - Saturday but from Thursday onwards its packed with additional vendors visiting from as far away as Slovenia, Italy and Greece. The fixed 'bioladen' Bio-Shop has a pasture-raised pork rack cooked to perfection fresh out of the oven every morning and once I discovered this, it became a morning breakfast ritual. Top of the morning Quality Fats, Protein and Collagen (I eat the tiny bones too)! Sometimes eating my share before arriving in the hospitall!!
The bulk of my meals consisted of Sockeye Wild Salmon (Easily stored in Basir's hospital refrigerator), sardines, olives, nuts, avocados and any organic vegetable I could get my hands on. In Austria this was mostly micro greens, peppers and cucumbers. Sometimes I scored organic tomatoes, lettuce and herbs such as parsley and cilantro.
An unexpected and unusual discovery was this pretty little herb I found in an herb stall during the weekend market, which I had never seen before and unfortunately due to the language barrier I really don't know what it was. Perhaps you recognise it from the picture, if so please comment below. I definitely want to know! I fell in love with it at first sight and just knew instinctively I
wanted to eat it. When I actually tasted the herb, it was like having a mouth full of a delicately fresh and balanced flavour. In general, a rule of thumb for me is, if its green and edible then I'm game! Luckily the risk paid out as it became one of my favourite finds coming back for more again and again.
The next gems I stumbled across in the Benediktiner Markt (Benedictine Market) were WILD strawberries. When I first saw them I was excited with curiosity. "What are those?!" I blurted to the attendant but a lady standing next to me blurted back "The BEST there is, you can only get them a few days out of the year and they come straight from the Austrian Forrest. You must get them, believe me, you won't regret it" Ummmm, YES PLEASE! I'll take a tray to go! Once at the hospital with Basir we popped these miniature strawberries into our mouths. OMG!!! Amazing!!! I instantly regressed to when I was a little girl and I had a Strawberry Shortcake doll, which when squeezed let out the stereotypical smell of Strawberries.
It was an aha moment "oh this is what strawberries are suppose to taste like, a creamy vanilla strawberry taste so strong and concentrated you almost have to double check it's not coming from a super imposed artificial flavour, which is what you usually get from packaged goods and rarely if ever taste in a REAL strawberry these days!!!
Another gem at the Benediktiner Markt (Benedictine Market) was the Mallhof Bio Farm Truck, their MALLHOF BIO BUTTER is DELICIOUS and don't be put off by the
price, its totally worth every penny. They truly pride themselves in that special ingredient "Mit Liebe Gemacht" "Made with LOVE" and you can definitely taste it.
While I prefer to make my own meals, I did venture out to try one of the various restaurant stalls at the Benediktiner Markt (Benedictine Market). I watched everyday as the crowds piled in and kept an eye out for the dishes being served. In the end, I choose
to go with the simplest no frills food stall but which clearly had the largest following and the freshest dishes. I opted for a vegetable soup at the bargain price of 3.50 Euros and lunched among the locals. It was an experience that had to be had at least once if you are in Klagenfurt, Austria and I must say it was "Home Cooking Style" tasty specially after weeks of mostly raw salads.
Last, I was on the hunt for quality chocolate since our AMMA Organic Chocolate bars had run out (Emergency situations require extra chocolate). I made my way to Dominikus Zehrer, which has the largest selection of chocolates in Klagenfurt, Austria. While I was there, I discovered Graigher Chocolat. It is a locally made chocolate from neighbouring village of Friesach in "Carinthia" as this area of Austria is called. It is a family run chocolate
factory which pumps out the best Dark Chocolate (80%) combinations I have ever tasted. My favourite was their Lemon - Mandarine followed by their Ginger but their Pumpkin Apricot was pretty decadently divine too. The bars are pricey but totally worth the splurge. Trust me on this one, they are REALLY GOOD!!! They also make for great "Carinthia" souvenirs to give family and friends when you get back home as the packaging and presentation are at par with the quality of the product. If AMMA Organic Chocolate is my go to 'Brazil' souvenir for family and friends, Graigher Chocolat is the Austria version.
Oh I almost forgot and very important!!! if you want a decent cup of coffee, you will need to drive 25 minutes to neighbouring village of Villach to La Mattina Kaffeerösterei. Yes, its worth the trip! They roast the coffee themselves to perfection and have a hand picked selection of coffee beans from quality estates from around the world. I fell in love with their Guatemala Coban and stocked up on coffee while I was there. The owner, Razvan is extremely friendly and you will most certainly find him in the shop. He is passionate about coffee and connecting with coffee lovers.
Top 5 Foodie Klagenfurt , Austria recommendations which meet MSPETIT Health Coach Standards:
- Sonnentor biological teas
- Benediktiner Markt (Benedictine Market)
- Graigher Chocolat
- Mallhof Biobauern
- La Mattina Kaffeerösterei
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