Bad Hofgastein is full of Austrian restaurants, yet the only Brettljause I found on my first evening was at a restaurant specializing in Istrian cuisine, which probably means it’s Slovenian or Croatian. With the menu promising Istrian Prosciutto and sheep cheese, I was looking forward to something special, and at a first site the Jause indeed looked unusual. To a large extent it was because I could hardly see anything: with a single candle providing all the light, most of the illumination came from a bright green lamp on the wall, giving all the ingredients a creepy green shade. One minute I was wondering what an exotic fruit lay in front of me, the next minute I realized it was a thin slice of tomato painted bright green by the lamp.
Apart from the prosciutto and the cheese (both very good), the dish contained only one other ingredient: a rather unremarkable salami. On the other hand, in the middle of the Brettl stood a small bowl filled with olive oil and pesto, and that part of the Jause was by far the most enjoyable. Dipping the white or the gray bread into the slightly bitter oily pesto is not the experience one would expect when eating a Brettljause, but it is a damn good one.
If Istrian food involves a combination of olive oil, speck-like prosciutto, olives and picked cucumber, I must admit I find it strangely appealing, though calling what I ate a Brettljause requires making a few compromises.