A holiday region where you can relax and unwind. In the Bavarian Forest National Park the forest is left to its own devices. And the first Bavarian capital was located in the east of the state! Plus everything else that is exciting, fascinating and spectacular. Text: Markus Stein
Thirst-quenching: Zoigl, Weiße and Dampfbier
Brewing beer in Eastern Bavaria looks back on a long and proud history - not least because it is here in the Hallertau, quasi on the doorstep, that the hops are grown. Today, 160 breweries produce a wide range of different beers. A one-off creation, the Zoigl is a bottom-fermented beer which is brewed and hopped in the so-called communal brewery in the Oberpfälzer Wald.
At the Danube Gorge near Kelheim, Weltenburg Abbey runs the world’s oldest monastic brewery, with beer having been brewed in this Benedictine Abbey since the year 1050. In Kelheim itself, the Brauerei Schneider is the oldest wheat beer brewery and in Herrngiersdorf the Pausinger family create their own speciality beers in the oldest private brewery - dating back to 1131. Finally, Zwiesel produces the Volldampf, a top-fermented beer variety in which the bubbles soon burst during the fermentation process. This is known as “steam beer”.
Carp, trout, pike
Visitors keen to eat good fish will be richly rewarded in the Oberpfälzer Wald. More than 1000 years ago, monks of the Cistercian Abbey at Waldsassen created 4000 fish ponds and began breeding fish.
Around one quarter of the ponds are still farmed today. Trout and pike thrive in the fishponds around Tirschenreuth, in the Rußweihergebiet near Eschenbach and between Schwarzenfeld and Schwandorf.
One of the specialities of the Danube is the catfish, usually cooked in a root vegetable stock. The sandy soil and mild climate in the Naabtal valley near Schwandorf offer great conditions for growing asparagus, but it also thrives around Abensberg, while the Hollertau is known for an unusual vegetable: the hop asparagus, also known as hop sprouts.
Juradistl lamb and herb liqueur
The lambs bred in the Bavarian Jura end up in delicious meat dishes. “Juradistl” lambs, which are slaughtered before six months of age, grow up on traditional sheep farms and graze on herb-rich grasslands and juniper heath.
These habitats need the shepherds and their flocks, as without the grazing they would soon be overgrown. Prepared according to tried and tested recipes as well as in new creations, lamb is served in selected inns and restaurants. Maybe followed by a Lower Bavarian dessert? Alt-Passauer “Golden Bonnet” pralines take the form of a tradition head covering. And as a digestif from the Bavarian Forests, there is Blutwurz or Bärwurz, herb liqueurs or cordials. Cheers!
More about Eastern Bavaria: ostbayern-tourismus.de (only in German)
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