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A 'wild' time

… will be had by all today.

Christian Margesin, 17.05.2015

… will be had by all today at a party on St. Hippolyt's Hill, the so-called royal box of Meraner Land, which is the perfect spot for celebrating the grand finale of Lana and the surrounding area's Wild Herb Weeks. Not just because the place has a touch of the magical about it (with its breathtaking views across Meran and Bozen and across towards the Dolomites), but also because there are wild herbs and vegetables to bewitch us (from a culinary perspective) growing nearby.

Anni Pircher from Gasthof Kirchsteiger is an amateur expert in herbs and, at the last ALPIANA press trip at the end of April, she could not contain her excitement: “Look, look! How lovely, so many of them...“ . To be honest, I was not able to remember all the things we gathered that afternoon on our walk from the hotel to St. Hippolyt. I can only remember the wild asparagus. How could I forget that? Mainly because it was the reason why I nearly called out a search party to look for a section of the group that had gone missing. But it was okay ... Anni had just discovered a spot with lots of wild asparagus growing there and 'appointed' our journalists as gatherers of the stuff. Arnold Nussbaumer, our head cook from NUTRIS, was only too happy to receive the whole basketful that I brought back. The perfect ingredient for his vegetarian-vegan dishes...

Our 'wild' and, moreover, educational efforts were rewarded that evening. We (me as the first in our family) were given exclusive permission to test our NUTRIS Gourmet Restaurant before the official opening on 8th May. Gertraud Gerst from Seitenblick Magazin and the group of German and Austrian journalists grilled our head cook Arnold (vegetarian, of course).“Our inexpert opinion: This veggie cooking rocks!“

I would say that it passed the test! I, for one,  couldn't contain my astonishment or enthusiasm. Flavours that I'd never tasted before. The ingredients … basically nothing radical: rarities from South Tyrol, old and new types of regional vegetables from the farm, wild herbs and wild vegetables from local herb farmers or gathered from the local area around the hotel.

This is what our herb instructors Jutta Tappeiner Ebner and Renate De Mario Gamper did at the Wild Herb Workshop in ALPIANA RESORT garden too. Herbs used in recipes from the old days and mixed in the right doses, and voilà … besides balms and tinctures there was also a 'love potion', which too can be tasted today at the Wild Herb Festival on St. Hippolyt's Hill.

See you next year, dear Wild Herb Days. For another 'wild' time. ;)
27th April - 15th May 2016


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