Alsatian specialties to taste – My little guide

by | Dec 15, 2022 | Alsatian culture and traditions, Alsatian recipes, Alsatian specialties, Must read | 2 comments

flammkueche-recipe

You come to visit Alsace and want to discover the Alsatian gastronomy? It’s a good idea, especially since there is a lot to do in the area! Here are some ideas for specialities of Alsatian cuisine to taste during your stay in Alsace. The list is not exhaustive (far from it!) but I tried to put you the main specialities (because no, there is not only sauerkraut!) to make your mouth water…

I also gave you my good addresses, as well as recipes from Alsatian food bloggers. I will complete these parts as I discover them… In the same vein, don’t hesitate to have a look at this other article on our good addresses to buy local and gourmet products in Alsace. You’ll see, we love to eat in the region 😉

Salty Alsatian specialties

Flammekueche (flamed pie) – A must

Sometimes called “Alsatian pizza”, but in reality do not confuse it with a pizza! The dough of the tarte flambée is much thinner. In the original recipe, it is filled with a mixture of crème fraîche and fromage blanc, lardons and onions. We also sometimes add munster cheese, grated cheese, mushrooms… Or whatever we want! The real tarte flambée is cooked in a wood-fired oven.

pie-flame-recipe

My favorite place to taste it?

Here is a list of our favorite tarte flambée restaurants.

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe of the flammekueche of Marine

Sauerkraut – Cabbage and cold cuts on the menu

Yes, it’s a cliché, but it would be a shame to leave Alsace without having tasted one! The famous ” choucroute garnie” is made of fermented cabbage accompanied by various pieces of cold cuts. You can find for example lard, smoked collar, palette, Strasbourg sausages (the famous knacks), Montbéliard or Frankfurt sausages. It is served with potatoes and traditionally eaten with horseradish or mustard. There is a variant, the fish sauerkraut, composed of different types of fish and a white butter sauce. The cabbage is really typically Alsatian, you can visit the Maison de la Choucroute during your stay!

sauerkraut

My favorite place to taste it?

The restaurants Le Tire-Bouchon or the Winstub le Pont du Corbeau in Strasbourg (they are both among my favorite restaurants in Strasbourg!).

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe of the sauerkraut garnished by Marine

Baeckeoffe – The richness of Alsatian gastronomy

The baeckeoffe is a dish composed of potatoes, vegetables and 3 different meats (pork, lamb and beef). The whole thing is baked together in a terrine with Alsace white wine and herbs for many hours. When it is well done and the potatoes have soaked up the taste of the meat, wine and herbs, it is a treat!

recipe-baeckeoffe

My favorite place to taste it?

The restaurants Wistub Arnold in Itterswiller or Auberge des Trois Châteaux in Eguisheim.

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s baeckeoffe

The braised/grilled knuckle of ham – A classic of Alsatian cuisine

Another classic of the Alsatian tables, the braised ham (plain, with beer, with munster, with pinot noir or other…). It is usually served with sauerkraut, potatoes or spaetzle. A dish to be enjoyed in the middle of winter, it’s rich! Well, as the whole of the Alsatian kitchen you will say to me… And you won’t be wrong!

jambonneau-braise-vince-stub-strasbourg

My favorite place to taste it?

Restaurant Le Tire-Bouchon in Strasbourg.

Foie gras – also in Alsace!

It is often ignored, but foie gras is not only a specialty of southwestern France. It is also found in Alsace, whether it is goose or duck.

foie-gras-maison-figues-les-ecrins-orbey

My favorite place to buy them?

I don’t eat it personally but the Ferme Schmitt in Bischofsheim is a good address well known by Alsatians.

Le cordon bleu – The great love of Alsatians

Cordon bleu is very often found on the menu of Alsatian restaurants: it’s simple, Alsatians love this dish! If you only have in mind industrial cordon bleu, you should change your mind by tasting a real Alsatian cordon bleu. It is a veal or chicken cutlet filled with ham and cheese and covered with breadcrumbs. Choose one with munster cheese to be really in the local color!

cordon-bleu-strasbourg

My favorite place to taste it?

The Restaurant Aux Trois Châteaux in Ribeauvillé.

Want to make your own?

Here is Sandra’s cordon bleu recipe

Munster – Alsatian cheese par excellence

Alsatian cheese from the Valley of Munster, south of Colmar, Munster is a soft cow’s milk PDO cheese with character. Both the smell and the taste are pronounced: I warned you! 😉 It is eaten cold but also hot in dishes a bit mountainous that are often found in the Vosges, where the munster comes to replace the reblochon (the munstiflette is a classic, for example!).

munster

My favorite place to buy them?

La Ferme du Versant du Soleil in Hohrod, where you can visit the farm and buy Munster cheese directly from the producer.

Spaetzle – The cousins of pasta

Spaetzle are a kind of Alsatian pasta (made of flour, eggs, salt and water). They are thicker than traditional pasta. Spaetzle can be served as a main course (with cheese, bacon or other ingredients), but are more often served as a side dish.

recipe-spaetzle-home

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s spaetzle

The pretzel – A traditional specialty

A symbol of Alsace, the pretzel is a kind of brioche poached in baking soda and sprinkled with large grains of salt. It is impossible to come to Alsace without tasting a pretzel! But then, a pretzel? We say a pretzel as my friend Julien, who speaks the Alsatian language, explained to me, because the word is feminine in Alsatian!

recipe-alsace-bretzel

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s pretzels

The bibeleskäse – Simple but good!

This simple dish is made of a mixture of cream and fromage blanc served with garlic, shallots and chives. These are set aside so that everyone can season the bibeleskaese as they wish. It is served with potatoes (in their robes or sautéed), but also sometimes with a piece of Munster cheese or a slice of ham.

bibalaskas-wistub-brenner-colmar

My favorite place to taste it?

The Wistub Brenner in Colmar.

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Adeline’s bibeleskäse

Les bouchées à la Reine – A culinary classic

We taste the ” bouchées à la reine ” elsewhere in France, but it remains a classic of the Alsatian tables. They consist of a vol-au-vent (puff pastry) filled with sweetbreads (or another piece of veal, or chicken), béchamel sauce and mushrooms, all accompanied by noodles or spaetzle.

recipe-alsace-bouchee-reine

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s Queen’s Bites

Fleischkiechle – Alsatian meatballs

Less known than other Alsatian specialties, they are nevertheless often found on the menu of traditional winstubs. Fleischkiechle are meat patties made from pork and beef and fried in a pan.

Fleischkiechle-meat-cake-591x443

My favorite place to taste it?

The restaurant L’Homme Sauvage in Strasbourg.

Want to make your own?

Here is Adeline’s fleischkiechle recipe

Fleischnaka – A lesser known culinary specialty

Cousins of the fleichkiechle, fleischnacka are “meat snails”. You don’t necessarily find them very often on the menu of restaurants, but it remains a very Alsatian speciality that you can taste during a stay in Alsace. The meat filling is rolled in a noodle dough and cooked in a broth.

jadis-gourmande-restaurant-colmar

My favorite place to taste it?

The restaurant Jadis et Gourmande in Colmar, one of my favorite restaurants.

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s fleischnaka

The knepfle – Alsatian ravioli

Similar to spaetzle, knepfle are larger and therefore more like ravioli. It is more rare to find them on the menu of restaurants, but it happens!

knepfle-alsace

My favorite place to taste it?

Le Salon de Thé Grand Rue in Strasbourg.

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Céline’s knepfle

Fried carp – Typical of the Sundgau

Speciality of the Sundgau (south of Alsace), the fried carps are carp steaks covered with semolina, fried and are served…with French fries!

My favorite place to taste it?

For those of you who like fried carp , there is a Carp Frying Route which lists restaurants where you can taste real fried carp!

Pike-perch fillet on a bed of sauerkraut – Fish speciality

The pikeperch is a freshwater fish that can be found in Alsace. It is traditionally served on a bed of sauerkraut, sometimes with a Riesling sauce for example.

La Matelote du Ried – The fish dish of the Ried

Much less known because it has become rare, the matelote is nevertheless an ancient Alsatian dish typical of the Ried region (Alsace plain). It consists of several freshwater fish (pike perch, pike, eel, tench, perch, trout …) cooked with a sauce of white wine from Alsace and accompanied by noodles.

matelote-ried-restaurant-two-keys-ebersmunster

My favorite place to taste it?

Few places still serve it, so let’s meet at the restaurant Aux Deux Clefs in Ebersmunster.

The marcaire meal – On the menu of the Fermes-Auberges

The marcaire meal is a speciality that can be found in the farm inns of the Vosges. Be careful, it’s all about the body! It is composed of a pie of the valley as an appetizer (pork pie), followed by roïgabrageldi (sliced potatoes, onions and butter, all cooked slowly in a cast iron pot) served with smoked pork (collar or chuck for example) and finally a dessert, traditionally Siesskass (fresh cheese of the day with sugar and kirsch) or a home-made pie. If you don’t want to try the whole meal, you will regularly find pies served as an appetizer in Alsatian restaurants.

tourte-vigneronne

My favorite place to taste it?

The Freundtsein Farmhouse is a good address.

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s winegrower’s pie

Alsatian sweet specialties

Kougelhopf – The famous Alsatian brioche

I can already see the fans jumping up and down, the kougelhopf can also be salted. It’s true, and it’s actually very good as an aperitif! In this case it is garnished with bacon and nuts. That being said, sweet kugelhopf, which are topped with raisins, are more readily available.

It is a kind of brioche which can be eaten plain or with jam, for breakfast or as a snack. Be careful, if it is too dry, it is not a good kougelhopf! I tested dozens of them to reach the conclusion that unfortunately you can find more bad ones than good ones: so you have to know the right addresses! 😉

recipe-kougelhopf-alsace

My favorite place to taste it?

Here is a list of the best kougelhopf in Colmar and the best kouglofs in Strasbourg.

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s kougelhopf

The cottage cheese tart – A traditional dessert

A great classic of Alsatian desserts: you can’t leave Alsace without having tasted a cottage cheese pie. It is very different from the American cheesecake: lighter and more airy, even if it is not really light in terms of calories!

pie-cheese-white-cheese-recipe

My favorite place to taste it?

The Grand Rue Tearoom in Strasbourg, where you will find many different kinds of cottage cheese pies, served very generously!

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for the Fromage Blanc pie from Marine

The chestnut torch – A popular Alsatian pastry

Also called Mont-blanc or vermicelli in other regions, the chestnut torch is made of chestnut cream, whipped cream and meringue. A great classic of Alsatian gastronomy that can be found on the menu in autumn and winter!

torch-brown-alsace

My favorite place to taste it?

Wistub Brenner in Colmar, Winstub du Chambard in Kaysersberg, Pâtisserie Gilg in Colmar, Ribeauvillé and Munster

Frozen Meringue – Still on the Menu

It is a meringue served with scoops of ice cream (of varying flavors) and whipped cream. Sometimes there are also some fruits. A great classic typically Alsatian!

meringue-ice-vince-stub-strasbourg

My favorite place to taste it?

Le Tire-Bouchon in Strasbourg

Rhubarb Meringue Pie – The must-have cake of spring

During the rhubarb season, Alsatian tables see the flowering of rhubarb meringue pies. The sweetness of the meringue and the tangy taste of the rhubarb go very well together!

tart-rubarb-meringue-alsace

My favorite place to taste it?

Le Salon de thé Grand Rue in Strasbourg and Jadis et Gourmande in Colmar.

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s rhubarb meringue pie.

Gingerbread – To taste or to offer

Gingerbread is a great Alsatian tradition. They come in all shapes and sizes, from crunchy to soft. It is not uncommon to give them as gifts because they are so pretty and good!

bread-spice-decoration

My favorite place to buy them?

Mireille Oster in Strasbourg or Lips gingerbread in Gertwiller (which you can find all over Alsace).

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s decorated gingerbread rolls

Le Streusel – Brioche and crumble

The streusel, also called streusel brioche, is an Alsatian brioche covered with a layer of cinnamon flavored crumble. Yum, it’s a delight to eat for breakfast or a snack!

recipe-streusel-alsatian

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s streusel

The Mannele – For Saint Nicholas’ Day

The mannele (or mannala) is a brioche in the shape of a little man, made in Alsace on the occasion of Saint-Nicolas (December 6). They are the kings of the month of December in Alsace, everyone eats them a lot (too much?).

recipe-mannele

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s mannele

Christmas Bredele – An Advent Tradition

Bredele (or bredala) are small cookies baked during the Advent season. It’s hard to say what they are so different, but they are the kings of the end of year celebrations in Alsace, you will find them everywhere!

bredele-alsace

My favorite place to buy them?

The Alsatian House of Biscuits (there are some everywhere in Alsace).

Want to make your own?

Here are some recipes for Christmas bredele.

If you would like more recipes, don’t hesitate to buy our bredele recipe book.

The Easter Lammele – An Alsatian tradition

The lammele (or lamala) is a kind of sponge cake made in Alsace at Easter time, in a lamb-shaped mold.

recipe-lamala-alsace

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for the Easter lammele.

Alsatian drinks

Wines of Alsace

Obviously, it is difficult to talk about Alsatian specialties without mentioning Alsatian wines! Alsace wines are made from seven different grape varieties: Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir. this last one is the only red wine, all the others being white. I invite you to consult this page of the Alsace Wine Route website for more details on each of these wines. We will not forget the Crémant d’Alsace, a sparkling wine that replaces champagne in many occasions!

wine-schoenheitz-alsace

My favorite place to buy them?

Here is the list of my favorite Alsatian winemakers.

Want to visit and taste?

For a visit and a tasting, you can globally go through the website Rue des Vignerons which has an excellent selection of wineries and allows you to book directly online!

Alsatian beers

Alsace has about 40 breweries and micro-breweries. It would be a pity to forget the beer in the Alsatian specialities!

tasting-brewery-bisaigue

Laurène

Laurène

Laurène est la créatrice du blog Mon week-end en Alsace. Bretonne installée en Alsace depuis 2014, elle est tombée amoureuse de sa région d'adoption au point de lui dédier un blog et d'acheter avec son mari une maison alsacienne dans un village du Kochersberg, près de Strasbourg. A pied, à vélo, sur ses chevaux ou au volant de sa voiture, elle aime partir explorer les moindres recoins de l'Alsace pour dénicher de bonnes adresses à partager sur le blog.

2 Comments

  1. Sarah

    Merci bien for an amazing site and such discerning advice! Rather than having to search across many many sites to truly figure out where to go, what to do, and what to eat — especially with your advice on where to have which dish, I can’t tell you how much easier it is to plan the trip we’re on at the moment. A thousand times, Merci!

    Reply
    • Laurène

      Thank you so much for your nice comment, it’s really encouraging to see my blog is helpful! 🙂 Enjoy your trip to Alsace!

      Reply

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