Last time I mentioned that it was probably time that I covered one of the big food nations, well today is not that time. A friend of mine was sending me random WhatsApp messages containing facts about Liechtenstein, so I have to say that I felt a bit inspired. Also I enjoy a few random facts, for example, Liechtenstein is one of two double-landlocked countries – which means it is a country that has no coast and is only bordered by countries that have no coasts. Another random fact – Liechtenstein is one of a few countries named after the current ruling royal house.
So what about the food? Well, seeing how it is sandwiched between Austria and Switzerland – the food sits very much between these two nations. This is why I decided to do Liechtenstein now, just in case I cooked something for the bordering countries that would severely limit my options for this micro-nation. I’ll probably end up doing the same for other micro-nations at some point.
Luckily, however, the Liechtenstein tourist board lists two dishes that they would describe as distinctly Liechtensteiner… so this is what I made today.
For the main we have something rather lovely looking called Käseknöpfle. To make this I moreorless followed the recipe from the tourist website, but with one key difference: I already had pre-made spaetzle back from when the local Lidl was having an alpine week. I’ve been waiting for a reason to cook these up, and what better reason than to smother it in Gruyere cheese and caramelized onions.
Think of this dish as being little fat egg noodles that have been covered in melted cheese and onions… done? Right, so you can see how Liechtenstein jumped up a few places on the list. For me, I think I would like to have mixed in a carrier cream cheese to help spread the flavour around (or I could have used some pasta water), but apart from that – this is something I’ll definitely be ordering should I ever find myself in Vaduz.
This is a bit of a strange looking dessert, but with the right accompaniment ribel was quite enjoyable. I’m not entirely sure where this Scribd recipe came from, but it worked out in the end, despite taking 3-4 hours to make.
The ribel itself is made from fine cornmeal that has been soaked in water and milk for a few hours and is then fried in butter for 20 minutes until it develops a crumbly texture. It ends up being like being a halfway house between cakey and the topping of an apple crumble. When you top this, as you are meant to, with some compote (I used a bramble jam) it almost tastes like a deconstructed jam roly-poly pudding, which I was not unhappy about.
Right, so it’s high time for me to make something from Asia next time around. I want to stick with the small nation theme for now, so I’m thinking something in the world of Singapore, Brunei, Qatar or Timor-Leste. What I do will just depend on strikes my fancy. I know which one I’m looking forward to researching.