The interesting thing about the village of Trausdorf in Burgenland is that it has a large Croatian population and therefore two official languages, irrespective of the fact that Croatia is really far away. I am not sure if eating Guska in Croatia has the same tradition as eating Gansl in Austria, but Heuriger Oleander definitely knows how to cook a goose well. The absolute highlight of the menu is the Familiengans, a whole roasted goose brought to your table with special scissors for cutting it.
Obviously, prior reservation is necessary – not only because the Heuriger is extremely popular, but also because it prepares the goose punctually for your arrival. Having a freshly cooked goose instead of a re-heated one makes an enormous difference by itself, but the team of Oleander is absolute experts at cooking some of the crispiest, most tender and best-seasoned birds in this country. Cutting the goose revealed apples and oranges that it had been lovingly stuffed with, and the “goose juice” provided in a separate jug was clearly collected during the cooking process, as it matched and improved the taste of the meat perfectly.
The only disappointment I had came from the red cabbage mixed with sweet chestnuts. Not particularly special in its taste, the cabbage was too overcooked for my liking, losing all its crunchiness and gaining a viscous texture. On the other hand, the bread dumplings were a welcome diversion from the more common potato dumplings, as they absorbed the juice quicker and thus tasted better. Finally, the cranberries were great, perfectly complementing the goose and the dumplings.
Most surprisingly, the price of the goose was more than fair. 88 euros for an entire goose means 22 euros for a quarter, which is an extremely good deal at this time of mega-expensive geese. For a goose of Oleander’s quality it is almost a gift. One can reach Trausdorf from Burgenland’s capital Eisenstadt by bus or by foot in just over an hour, and no self-respecting Martinigansl lover should miss this opportunity.