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Viking River Cruise culinary tours: the flavors of Vienna

Hofburg, the Imperial Palace, Vienna
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Hofburg, the Imperial Palace, Vienna

Our Viking River Cruise took us to Vienna, the Imperial City, a magnificent city with imperial palaces and treasures of the Habsburg dynasty.

Belvedere, Vienna
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Belvedere, Vienna

Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
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Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

gardens, fountain, and gloriette at Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna
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gardens, fountain, and gloriette, Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna

Swiss Gate, Hofburg Palace, Vienna
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Swiss Gate, built in 1552, Hofburg Palace, Vienna. This wing houses the Imperial Treasury

This time we opted for the “Best of Culinary Austria” excursion, tasting and learning to prepare regional specialties. As is typical in Vienna, this event was also in a grand building, the Palais Ferstel.

The palace was once a Viennese social center with salon areas, a ballroom, and the renowned Café Central, the popular meeting spot for artists, writers, politicians, and scientists, people like like Hitler, Stalin, Sigmund Freud, and Leo Trotsky.

Café Central, Vienna
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Café Central, Vienna

We sampled wine and a Brettljause platter of fine air dried ham, prosciutto and cheeses from the Styrian region of Austria in a deli and wine bar called Vulcanothek.

Vulcanothek, Vienna
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Vulcanothek, Vienna

This is the only place that serves these foods outside of Styria, “The Austrian Tuscany”, a lush  volcanic area by the Slovenian border.

meat and cheese platter, Vienna
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platter of fine meats, Vienna

We continued through the arcade courtyard for a demonstration by Chef Roland Huber on how to prepare one of Emperor Franz Josef’s favorite dishes.

It was named by the Imperial Palace baker. The slender Empress Elisabeth, known as Sisi, who ate very little, refused it. The Emperor said “Give me that nonsense.”, hence the name. Kaiserschmarrn, or “Emperor’s trifle”. Here is a recipe link.

cooking demonstration, Vienna
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cooking demonstration by Chef Roland Huber, Vienna

That evening we shared in the gemütlichkeit,  or cheerful coziness, on another optional tour. We enjoyed traditional food with the latest vintage at a Viennese vineyard and tavern.

Vienna is the only capital city with significant wine production within its city limits. Our excursion took us through fashionable Viennese neighborhoods for dinner, music, and the latest vintage of Grüner Veltliner in a charming heuriger, or vineyard tavern, in Neustift am Walde.

heuriger, Vienna, Austria
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heuriger, Vienna, Austria

traditional Austrian food at the heuriger
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traditional Austrian food at the heuriger

violinist, heuriger, Vienna, Austria
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violinist, heuriger, Vienna, Austria

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