As the saying goes, good things come in small packages, and that is definitely the case with Alsace. France’s smallest region produces some of the country’s finest wine and food, and is the focus of this year’s Le French Gourmay festival. Here’s what you need to know about Alsatian cuisine.
With names like kugelhopf, choucroute, baeckeofe, and munster, the traditional dishes of Alsace give a hint to the influence of the tumultuous history of the region. Being positioned on the border of both Germany and Switzerland, Alsace takes its cue from its neighbours and combines the best of German baking with French produce and cheese, with dashes of Swiss and Hebraic resourcefulness thrown in for good measure. With Strasbourg’s position as a European capital these traditional, comfort foods sit alongside world-class fine dining, and this tiny region is home to 28 Michelin-starred restaurants!
These Alsatian favourites may be hard to pronounce but eating them is easy!
Tarte à l’oignon – onion tart
Baeckeofe – a meat and veg casserole similar to Lancashire hotpot
Tarte flambée or flammekueche – bread dough baked with onions, bacon and cheese Choucroute – a type of sauerkraut
Kugelhopf – a bundt cake
Bretzel – an Alsace pretzel
Bibelakaes – boiled potatoes with cream, cheese and herbs on the side
Fleischnacka – egg pasta “rolls” with meat stuffing
Spätzle – soft egg noodles
Munster cheese – a strong tasting soft cheese, traditionally made in the monasteries and abbeys in the Vosges mountains
A number of our favourite French restaurants have created special menus this month, inspired by Alsatian cuisine. From the full gastronomic experience at Amber, Spoon by Alain Ducasse, Epure and more, to more casual dining at Classified, Le Bistro Winebeast and Metropolitain, there are over 100 partner restaurants, including some Asian favourites, who are showcasing the best food and wine from Alsace in their own ways. For a full list of participating venues click here.