Such as the pride each mountain refuge takes in its Speckteller. This is generally a large plate of tissue-thin Speck with assorted pates and pickles and topped with what to the unsuspecting closely resembles grated hard cheese. But have a care, dear reader, for this is an artful pile of raw, grated horseradish. On first taste the heat and astringency can over-power but it soon becomes apparent that it is the perfect fresh foil for cured meat. Suffice to say: the Campaign for Fresh Horseradish starts here.
[Speck is a distinctively juniper-flavored ham originally from Tyrol, a historical region that since 1918 partially lies in Austria and partially in Italy. Speck's origins at the intersection of two culinary worlds is reflected in its synthesis of salt-curing and smoking. It translates on menus as Bacon - but bears no resemblance to that word's English meaning, being closer to a smokier Pancetta.]
Unrelated to Speck but no less delicious (and because I have a photograph of it) is the best Strudel of the trip, made from Apple and Rhubarb, from the Mermeli Restaurant in Oberlech.
Above is a buzzard carrying what I suppose is nest material in Vorarlberg while flying over a skilift cable. Tragically I managed to delete my images of Specktellers. Some blogger, eh?Time permitting, this brief thought will be followed by a blog-tome on Tafelspitz.