Taking inspiration from the Germanic heritage of the region, Alsatian cuisine is defined by its rich use of pork meats, with generous portions and meals packed with flavour. In addition, with Alsace having a long history for the production of fine wines – dating back to the Roman occupation – there are plenty of quality refreshments to complement the various dining opportunities.
With the French reputation for distinctive culinary flair, being able to savour cuisine inspired by outside influences is somewhat rare in the country. In Alsace, however, experiencing the Germanic flavours and dishes of the area is all but inevitable, with rich, hearty meals packed with flavour certain to offer an enjoyable culinary experience.
Pork dishes are among the most wholesome in Alsace, with traditional meals such as baeckeoffe (pork, mutton, beef, onions, and potatoes) and choucroute (sauerkraut with sausage) having been served locally for centuries. Flammekueche, meanwhile, is a notable favourite for locals and travellers alike. Composed of bread dough, onions, lardons, and crème fraîche, it is a famed speciality throughout Alsace.
For a light snack or an evening treat, the cuisine of Alsace offers something to whet the appetite. Bredele is a traditionally baked cake/biscuit often reserved for the festive period, which can be prepared with a number of flavours, with orange and cinnamon, aniseed, and honey among the favourites. Also popular throughout the area is the pain d’epices, or gingerbread. For a true sense of Alsace flavouring, the gingerbread of the region is given a touch of cinnamon and, when served with honey, is a delicious treat.
Beer and wine
Wine production in Alsace traces its routes to the Roman conquest of the first century BC. Since this time, the production process has been refined to give white wines such as the dry Rieslings their characteristic elegance and minerality.
The German influence is also abundant in the drinks of the region, with beer brewed throughout the Alsace achieving international acclaim. Such renowned brands as Kronenbourg and Heineken originate from the area, earning it the status of France’s premier beer-producing region.
Hearty cuisine and strong flavours are staples of Alsatian gastronomy. Whether it’s in the filling main courses or the refreshments that accompany them, a meal here never fails to be a delightfully sensory experience.