The Pricey Hardcore

Address:Katzensteinstrasse 41, 39012 Meran, Italy
Status:Open (last checked on 25 October 2014)
Eaten:Brettljause, ½ l red wine, ½ l Traubenmost

Rauthof does not have a menu. If you want some food, you have to ask what is available. If you want a Brettljause, you have to ask for it and leave it to the three-generations-working-together team to build it for you. It is an all-female team, by the way; the only man I saw around was an old guy trying to fry chestnuts outside the hut using an old rusty barrel and a huge pan. We are in the super-quaint territory here, you see.

What you get for a Brettljause costs whooping 15 Euro and is hardcore to the extreme. It is almost like “seen-o-television” authentic, except that the show participants probably chew a small piece and then fly home, while I took the effort of finishing the whole thing. Quite an effort it was, too.

What they bring you on the Brettl is a huge thick piece of Speck – skin and everything, – half of a Kaminwurzen sausage with an extremely piggy taste, a few slices of salami – still with the white skin and actually pretty good – and two enormous slices of cheese, which may be of one sort or two – it does not matter, because the taste is the same. But the taste exists, and it strongly reminds one of a cow. Good thing? Probably.

The Speck is the main part, of course, and with the skin removed, it is good stuff, but the need to constantly cut off thin slices does get annoying. This also never makes the Speck as good as it would have been had it been cut by a machine; make sure you ask for thinkly cut Speck when you order it – it is possible (I have seen it on a table nearby).

The Brettl comes with the standard Marende’s three bread types (I start to acquire taste for Schüttelbrot, by the way; it is a nice way to accompany wine without eating too much) and only three other “extras”: pickled cucumber, rosemary and oregano (most likely). The latter two are especially welcome, because they turn something extremely porky into something Italian.

I hesitate whether to recommend Rauthof’s Brettljause. The only reason I ended up there was because the place scored very highly in TripAdvisor, and I still do not understand why. What we have here is a genuine family business, cooking food the way they know, and there may be things there (soups or desserts, for instance) with very special “home” taste. Their Brettljause, on the other hand, was constructed in half a minute out of ready-available (though good, if not homemade) indredients, and it was a challenge to finish. If you go there in a group of at least three, try it (but ask for thinly cut Speck). Otherwise, you and your stomach are at your own risk.




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