Have you ever heard about a bread spread cum dip called Liptauer? It might be unknown to the world but in middle and east Europe it is a common delicacy. This particular spicy spread is traditionally made with sheep’s milk cheese also known as bryndza. It originated in the region of Liptov in Slovakia which used to be part of the Austrian Hungarian empire before the fall in 1918. The Liptauer was popular at that time amongst the royal circle and was served with a Caviar topping at court and in noble restaurants in Vienna. Nowadays it is served as snack in every household in middle and eastern Europe.
As child in kindergarten I used to watch my fellow colleagues unwrap a slice of black bread with some Liptauer at the side. I remember too taking a bite from a friends bread and shaking my head. It wasn’t my kind of slice at the time, black bread was never my forte and I had an unusual habit of keeping away from milk products. My mum wasn’t used to prepare Austrian dishes for us. My school snack was mostly some croissant or pain au chocolat, simply the french side of live.
But I remember when I fell in love with this spread! My family and I had taken a short vacation to east Austria with an aim of discovering and learning more from our culture. East Austria is known for its White Wine and Viticultural areas in the whole world. Life over there was a contrast to ours, the landscape itself was of a different kind. We soon discovered that the local inns were run by so called Weinhauer, known in English as winegrower. Our first day we were looking to have lunch and roamed the whole area up and down when we realised that the Inns were only opening after 4 pm in the afternoon. Seriously, we didn’t understand why but we had no choice and had to adapt!
Finally one of those Buschenschank Inns (also called Heuriger) opened their doors and we made ourselves comfortable in their open garden sitting arrangement. We kids ordered some fresh Grape juice and my parents started to test the wines. To the wine fitting we were served local brown bread with different types of cold meat cuts, lards, cheese and a spread, the Liptauer. When I am in holiday I roam about the plains with an open mind to try out things, that was the case that day. I was very pleased with the taste of the Liptauer all together with the bread and the grape juice, everything together, the whole experience took me on a journey and I all of a sudden understood the use of the Liptauer spread, its purpose in this world!
In case you are not convinced of this magnificent spread, then i suggest you get east/middle Europe into your house with grape juice/White wine, brown bread, cold meat cuts, lard, cheese and some home made Liptauer. You wont be disappointed!
Note that a Liptauer is usually red by adding paprika red. I couldn’t get this ingredient and so had to leave it out. I added the Paprika red to the ingredients list underneath, so yours will be more red if you use the coloring agent. =)