This is my first day in the Lungau area of Salzburgerland, and I obviously don’t know much about it. If I knew – or at least had done some basic research – I would not have stayed in the place I did (more on that in my next review). All I was quite certain of was that the mountains of Lungau were not as high as in the other parts of Salzburg.
At least that is true, to some extent. That does not mean that the mountains are quick and easy to conquer. Today I took a hiking bus up to the very end of Weisspriachtal (which took a while) and then walked for nearly two hours uphill until I reached the destination of my trip: the picturesque Wirpitsch lake and the nearby Tonimörtlhütte.
By the time I reached them, the weather had turned for the worse, and at one point I hesitated whether to stay and eat or walk back hoping that rain does not start. At the end I chose to stay for the Brettljause, and although sitting outside was a bit chilly, the enjoyment from the Brettljause overweighed all the inconveniences. It was the real stuff, prepared with love by the people who would not mind eating their creation themselves. I loved the homemade butter straight away; it looks like the “butter culture” of the western areas of Salzburgerland applies to Lungau as well. On the other hand, while the western parts are strong on cheese, Lungau appears to be stronger on meats, particularly Speck. Both types were very good, though I preferred the thickly cut Bauchspeck – chewing it slowly and carefully as to not destroy my recent tooth fillings.
Instead of the customary mustard, Tonimörtlhütte served a small bowl of extremely good chutney, clearly also homemade. It was so good that it was kind of wasted on the meats. It would have gone much better with thick slices of some strong cheese, which were sadly not present. The few thin cheese slices, although having a bit of taste, were too scarce and weak. The other unpleasant finding on one of the sausages was an inedible skin with some words printed on it. To give Tonimörtlhütte credit, I think the sausage was nevertheless a local produce, and the skin was there simply because that’s how they sell the sausage to shops and customers. Still, there was no reason not to remove it in the kitchen instead of making me do it.
Otherwise, my first encounter with a Brettljause from Lungau was a completely pleasant one. I found it an effective combination of authentic but “heavy” Brettljausen of high Alps with the variety and creativity of Styria. Maybe the reason is because Styria was not that far away. I would have needed only three or four hours by foot to reach the Giglach lakes and the Urspringalm, which I visited several times when holidaying in Styrian Ramsau. Austria is a small country, really, though thanks to the mountains it looks bigger than it really is.