Posted on 03/23/2020
Food is always an important aspect of any trip, but sometimes what I find to eat and drink takes on even greater importance. That was the case most recently when I sailed along the Danube from Budapest to Linz, Austria on a river cruise with Avalon Waterways. It was an active trip, but it was also about cultural discovery and for me, that usually means food is involved. Today I want to share those special food moments both on and off the ship that helped me not only better enjoy my adventure, but understand the local culture at the same time.
Lángos – One of Hungary’s most popular street food delicacies, I actually enjoyed this for the first time while onboard the Avalon ImpressionSM. That’s one aspect I loved about sailing with Avalon, every day they brought in the local flavors through our meal options, including a robust dinner of these deep fried treats. Like most comfort food, lángos is pretty simple: it’s just deep fried flatbread that puffs when fried.
Austria & All the Schnitzel
Wiener Schnitzel - This is one of the most touristy meals out there, but it’s famous for a reason – it’s delicious. I joined a cooking excursion offered by Avalon Waterways. The class, which lasted an entire afternoon, was taught by one of the most entertaining people I’ve ever met and during our time in his demonstration kitchen we learned the proper way to not only make an authentic Wiener Schnitzel, but an equally authentic (and delicious) apple strudel. While the excursion was an optional one, it was one of the most fun experiences I enjoyed during my week sailing with Avalon.
Cheese and beer – On the last day of the Avalon cruise along the Danube, we stopped at the small town of Engelhartszell to visit a very special place. Engelszell Abbey is a Trappist monastery – the only one in Austria – originally founded in the 13th century. In order to make some extra money, the monks produce any number of items including cheese and an incredibly popular craft beer. The most popular brews are the Gregorius, Benno, and the Nivard, malty beers that reminded me of a great American IPA more than anything else.
No matter your culinary preferences, there’s no doubt that food is an important part of any cruise along the beautiful Danube.