Viennese love to eat and few places exemplify this more than the Naschmarkt (roughly, “Nibble Market”). Several blocks longs, two parallel lanes comprise the Naschmarkt. Trendy eateries mostly populate on side with produce stands and grab-and-go’s on the other. While December still finds more fresh fruits and vegetables than one might expect in this cold climate, most are now of the dried or jellied variety.
What can’t be dried or jellied can certainly be pickled. Here, Leo the Pickle Man offers sauerkraut and pickled tomatoes in addition to, of course, pickles.
If pork sausage isn’t enough, you can have the whole hog, so to speak, here.
Vinegars all sorts, here the fruit variety, are available for the sampling.
Mohnzelten are plentiful. The original features a filling of poppy seeds, which are grown in Austria. These local pastries come with other fillings as well.
A stroll through the nearby Kunsthistorisches Museum shows that Vienna’s love of food isn’t a recent phenomenon. Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s famous The Peasant Wedding from the 1500’s is much more about food than the wedding. In fact, the bride (in the blue-green dress) is all but ignored as she watches the scene around her: bowls of pudding being carried through dominate the scene, more food gets passed down the table, the bagpiper stops playing in favor of catching a glimpse of the food, and a little boy licks his bowl clean.
In another gallery, Arcimboldo, the Hapsburg court painter, makes food human in his Summer. There’s a pickle nose, cornhusk ears, and a pear chin. Talk about you are what you eat!