As much as I love Styria (and I do love it a lot), one thing it is not famous for is Most. One can find really good wines here, and, when the season comes, get pissed on a fantastic Sturm. One can even try to enjoy Schilcher (it’s, well, an acquired taste), but if you visit “the green heart of Austria,” you are not going to see a lot of Most. Unless you go as far as I went and stop for a snack at the Panoramaschenke Tertinek.
It’s nearly Slovenia here. Trying to use Google Maps to plan your way back to Eibiswald is a nightmare, because the app is obviously ignorant of the Schengen agreement and tries to send you on a five-hour long backward journey instead of suggesting a quick intrusion into the Slovenian territory to save some 10 kilometers of walking. Still, the Schenke has a very Austrian family atmosphere. At one point, a car came up, and a small girl, obviously brought back home from school, jumped out and immediately went on scolding her grandparents for letting a goat out of the barn. The moment I sat down, a shabby cat came to sit, purring, behind my back and later helped me a lot with the Brettljause. Life seems to be so simple here, it is fantastic.
The Brettljause was quite fantastic, too, consisting of thickly cut Schweinsbraten (OK, Brustl – we are in Styria!), Geselchtes, cheese and Hauswurst, as well as three spreads: liver sausage, Schmalz and Bratlfett. The latter was especially interesting, as it was the first time that I could trace that light brown, weird and extremely tasty creamy mass to a name. I still have no clue how the Bratlfett spread is produced – and I am not sure I want to know – but the result is really good.
I enjoyed the liver spread, too, strangely enough. Either my taste is changing with age, or the west Styrians have a special way of dealing with pig liver, but I did not find it disgusting at all. It actually had a stronger and not at all more unpleasant taste than the Schmalz.
As for the meats, their authenticity was unquestionable, and I enjoyed every part of them (like the cat did), but I just wish their taste was stronger. I understand that shops often add taste enhancers to make their sausages taste better, while farmers do not, but even simple stuff like salt could have made the “Kraftjause” taste less bland.
Do not think I am complaining, however. Reaching the Panoramaschenke was quite an effort, but it was worth it. You will not find any fancy wines or sophisticated dishes there, but there is a beauty in its simplicity that is impossible to ignore.