Authentic Alpine Recipes: The Best Cookbook For Mountain Lovers


Kate + Vin

Best Alpine Recipes
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If you are craving Alpine cuisine that embodies the hearty goodness of the Alps, we may have found your perfect cookbook.

Every travel-loving soul needs a go-to cookbook. Not for the times when out discovering the world, but for when life calls one home.

Cracking open a cookbook filled with culinary treasures from lands explored is a satisfying remedy for restless adventurers bound to their own kitchen. Nothing enlivens cherished memories quite like cooking up delicious dishes from travels abroad.

For us, the cookbook we cannot live without is Alpine Flavours: Authentic Recipes from the Dolomites, the heart of the Alps. When pining for the immensity of mountains and wild-hearted treks, we pull out this cultural gem of traditional Alpine recipes and bring mountain-born traditions to life in our home.

Centuries of Culinary Experience at Your Fingertips

At first glance, Alpine cuisine may seem simple, but unlocking the secrets to its rich flavors requires astutely following recipes that have stood the test of time. This becomes immediately apparent if you have ever tried to create a popular dish from the Alps, such as Schlutzkrapfen, without expert direction.

Alpine Cookbook
Crafting Alpine food dishes is made even more enjoyable when the cookbook transports you to the Alps through vivid imagery.

No matter what you make off the cuff, it will come out either bland, too salty or just plain bad. At least that has been our experience.

That’s why we were so thankful to stumble upon the Alpine Flavours Cookbook. It took us by the hand leading us on a culinary journey that never disappoints.

From mountain favorites such as Speckknödel (bacon dumplings) to Schweinshaxe (pork shank) to Hirschgulasch (venison goulash), as well as an assortment of pastries and apple-centered dishes, the cookbook shows step-by-step how to recreate the authentic flavors and down-home spirit honed over centuries deep within the Italian Dolomites.

Based on our time cooking with this book as a companion, we think it’s one every mountain lover should own. The Alps of South Tyrol are after all the world’s most tantalizing mountains; it’s no surprise its hearty cuisine offers equal enchantment.

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Savoring the Mountains

Alpine dessert
The Alpine dessert, Kaiserschmarrn, is a traditional pastry as sweetly delicious as a mountain view.

Alpine Flavours not only helps you relish Alpine cuisine but also whisks you away on a cultural odyssey. The cookbook is filled with captivating images of mountain food and life. From front to back, it is crafted like a perfectly plated dish. Alpine Flavours could just as easily adorn your coffee table as your countertop.

Each delicious dish is paired with an exquisite South Tyrolean wine such as the rich reds of Schiava and Lagrein to the complex whites of Gewürztraminer and beyond. South Tyrol is Italy’s smallest wine-producing area, yet it still surprises with the indisputable quality of its wines, which rank among the most awarded at the national level. Every 12th award-winning Italian wine comes from South Tyrol — an impressive feat for a region that represents just 0.7% of national production.

Alpine Food
“Knödel” is a classic Alpine food dish of South Tyrol. This dumpling dish has medieval roots — coming in a variety of types, including spinach, porcini, cheese, speck and much more.

While you can certainly browse directly to whatever dish tempts you at the moment, the book is best devoured one page at a time. If food provides a window into a region’s history, values and soul, Alpine Flavours gives you a sweeping view of the Italian Alps.

You’ll come away with a historical foundation of South Tyrol’s cuisine. Not to mention a deep appreciation for how its rural heartiness has evolved into mountain recipes now revered.

Irresistible Alpine Recipes from the Alps

Pork Shank Recipe
Rural heartiness at its best. South Tyrolean Schweinshaxe (Pork Shank)

Even if your talents are less than average in the kitchen, you will have no problem finding dishes to easily tackle. The book designates recipes by their level of difficulty — easy, medium and high. And at nearly 300 pages, you will not run out of Alpine recipes to attempt.

Meals in South Tyrol are broken into courses and by and large, the book follows suit. It is organized into the following sections:

  • Specialties & Typical Products – An in-depth introduction to the dairy products, meats, fish, fruit and vegetables comprising South Tyrol’s Alpine cuisine
  • Rye Bread – Provides instructions on the various ways to prepare this much-loved bread
  • First Courses – Includes 23 recipes covering everything from pasta to spaetzle to soup
  • Gnocchi & Canederli (Knödel) – Offers six different dumpling recipes from cheese to spinach and more
  • Speck – An introduction to this widely-celebrated aged meat that makes an excellent appetizer, snack or ingredient for main dishes
  • Second Courses – Includes 19 savory meat and roast recipes spanning beef, pork, lamb and venison
  • Side Dishes – Presents eight traditional side recipes including regional favorites such as polenta and potato dishes
  • Tyrolean Desserts – Offers 22 tempting Alpine dessert recipes from buchteln to krapfen to strudel and more
  • Grappas, Juices & Jams – Teaches how to make mountain gems such as elderflower syrup, pine schnapps and jams

Beyond the recipes, Alpine Flavours features ample information on the different South Tyrolean wines recommended, as well as an overview of Törggelen, a beloved autumn tradition that is South Tyrol’s largest annual culinary event.

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Venison goulash recipe
Several of the book’s Alpine recipes and dishes such as Hirschgulasch (Venison Goulash) exude flavors born from ancient traditions

In South Tyrol, like much of Europe, mealtime is both an experience and an art form to appreciate and savor. If you long to harken back to a simpler time, Alpine Flavours can be your guide.

After creating a few of the dishes from the cookbook, we think it will become quite clear why South Tyrol is the culinary star of Italy — boasting more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other region of the country.

The rural roots of South Tyroleans make them exceptionally masterful at harnessing the flavors of the land from pasture to forest. Despite a population of a mere 500,000, South Tyrol is revered worldwide for the quality of the region’s ingredients as well as for their heartfelt preparation.

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Enjoying Alpine Food in Your Home

Alpine Recipes
Beyond hearty Alpine dishes, you’ll also learn how to make lighter traditional fare such as Mezzelune pasta.

Not every ingredient mentioned in the book may be readily available unless you’re near the Alps or wish to have the regional specialties shipped to your home. Do not let that be a deterrent to enjoying any of the Alpine dishes within. By being a bit resourceful and a little creative you can find worthy ingredient substitutes as needed.

Depending on how much you like to cook, Alpine Flavours is a cookbook you can turn to every day. Many dishes do not require overly lengthy preparation time. But those who embrace slow travel and slow food will find it the most rewarding.

Bauerngröstel is a delicious beef and potato Alpine dish we fry up again and again. During weekend brunches, we add a fried egg on top.

For us, we simply pick one recipe per week to make. Still, even with this frequency, we have found so many favorites calling us back we’re still working our way through the book over a year later. Don’t be surprised if the same happens to you. Like mountain scenery, Alpine food tends to capture your heart and not let go.

As raving fans of South Tyrol, we cannot recommend enough embarking on an adventure in this mountainous jewel crowning northern Italy. Nothing will match the experience of savoring a mountain-to-table meal like sitting on the mountain where it was born.

Yet for those that cannot make a trip to South Tyrol, the cookbook makes the act of preparing a meal a joyful adventure all on its own. Every nature lover and foodie will find mountain recipes to delight in again and again. It’s an ideal gift for those drawn to rich, rugged heartiness.

South Tyrolean Apple Strudel
South Tyrol is the heart of the apple in Europe. Apple Strudel makes for a mouth-watering dessert after a meal or a grueling trek

The meat dishes we created from the book’s recipes have been just as savory as the main courses we’ve enjoyed at restaurants throughout South Tyrol. We were even able to replicate a knödel entree that was nearly as delicious as the treasure we devoured at one of Italy’s top mountain resorts.

Transforming your kitchen into a rifugio (mountain hut) on a whim has never been easier.  Alpine Flavours takes you on a journey to new culinary heights all without setting foot on a mountain. Make no mistake though. If the mountain calls, go. Not even your appetite should get in the way of a breathtaking hike.

26 thoughts on “Authentic Alpine Recipes: The Best Cookbook For Mountain Lovers”

  1. To bring back recipes home seems like a cool idea. You actually bring the place home. I too cherish some flavors and now I am inspired to bring them home. Loved this mountain flavors recipe book. Hope to visit South Tyrol some day and check these dishes out.

  2. Absolutely love Italy even though I’ve never been. These recipes look and sound amazing. I will definitely have to try some traditional dishes when I finally visit!

  3. This cookbook and its recipes seem very interesting! I don’t think I’ve actually tried any of these foods that this cookbook mentions. I would like to someday though!

  4. Oh my the Goulash and the Stroesel are looking so so tasty! Living in France I know one side of the Alps but thanks to your blog I would definitely go to South Tyrol or at least get that book! Great post really!

  5. Looking at these foods just brought up so many memories of traveling the area. This cookbook sounds like it would be a great addition to my kitchen.

  6. I love s goodbye cookbook because I enjoying cooking new dishes. Some of these look like they can be great recipes for the holidays. Thanks for sharing

  7. Wow, looks so yummy!! I can’t say I’m a good cook but I would love to learn. Definitely need to get my hands on a cook book!

  8. Yum! Your descriptions and images make me hungry! I will have to look into this cookbook for those cool Autumn nights that are right around the corner.

  9. Reading your mouth watering review filled with lavish praises for the cookbook makes me want to run out and buy a copy. I’m a big dessert person so I will be checking out those in the cookbook.

  10. This cookbook looks amazing! As a European I strongly recommend trying out knodel, goulash, and of course, the apple strudel. Yummy!

  11. Oh what great timing! My husband and I just planned a trip in November to stay in a cabin in Colorado!!! I definitely want to check out some of these cookbooks

  12. Kate & Vin,

    You have made this book sound amazing. It’s great to hear that there are recipes for someone that doesn’t know their way around a kitchen very well. That’s me! Thanks for sharing this cookbook.

  13. OMG the recipes from that book look amazing! I will have to look into and maybe get the recipe book for my mom, I know she would love it….and I would love eating all the food.

  14. Oh wow. This takes me back to my time in Italy, where I consumed copious amounts of amazing food like this!

  15. Oh man! I wish I could say that I cook…lol…but I think that maybe I should invest in a cookbook to try some really neat recipes like these to get me motivated. These look delicious!

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