Weird and wonderful food can be found in many holiday destinations, but when you visit CLC World’s Alpine Centre in Austria, you will find a few that really take the biscuit!

Things to do in Austria are plentiful, but one of the favourite pastimes among the locals is eating.

After all, German (the official language of Austria) likes to cram as many syllables as possible into a single word and Kaiserschmarrn is no exception.

Austria may be famous for world-class skiing and stunning mountain scenery, but you may also be pleasantly surprised by some of the country’s delicious gourmet delights.

Introducing the Kaiserchmarrn

In a nutshell, the Kaiserschmarrn is a giant pancake, torn into pieces when cooked – comfort food, Austrian Alps style, made with a simple list of ingredients but oh so tasty – especially when eaten piping hot in the fresh mountain air.

One of the top Austria attractions is its delicious food.

For purists, especially in the Salzburg region of Austria where CLC Alpine Centre is located, a Kaiserschmarrn is considered a classic dessert dish. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be the main course!

Is the Kaiserschmarrn just for dessert?

Like any pancake eaten throughout the world, a Kaiserschmarrn can be eaten with everything, from sweet and gooey ingredients to savoury potato offerings, all mixed together with bits of the pancake.

Popular variations of the dish include fresh fruits such as apples or berries, fruit compote, whipped cream – even raisins soaked in rum for the adults!

For breakfast, brunch, a snack or dessert the Kaiserschmarrn is one of the most delicious dishes you will try in Austria.

What does Kaiserschmarrn mean?

The name can be broken down into two words: ‘Kaiser’ – meaning Emperor, and ‘schmarrn’, a tricky word to translate but close in meaning to mess or nonsense – which explains its other name, the Emperor’s Mess. We have Austrian Emperor (and Hungarian King) Franz Josef I (1830-1916) to thank for this traditional dish, although no-one seems to agree on exactly how or why his pancakes started to be torn up.

As one story goes, the Kaiser used to break his pancake into little pieces to eat it, and his chef found it easier to just prepare it this way, while another tale suggests his wife could never flip a pancake and decided to shred it into little pieces instead.

Whatever the real reason, we agree with the Kaiser: this is a delicious way to eat pancakes!

Where can I try Kaiserschmarrn in Austria?

Our friendly team at CLC Alpine Centre will recommend where to go for the best Kaiserschmarrn close to the resort.

Can I make it at home?

Of course! You can whisk up a Kaiserschmarrn in less than 30 minutes at home – you will need:

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1¼ cup of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Icing sugar to serve

Mix the eggs and milk in one bowl and the flour and sugar in a separate bowl. Combine. Over a medium heat, melt the butter in a frying pan and pour in the batter. Once the bottom has started to brown, use a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the batter. Leave to brown on the bottom again.

Repeat until you have many golden brown, bite sized pieces of pancake. Serve sprinkled with icing sugar or with a topping of your choice!

Other famous Austrian dishes

If you want to sample some more Austrian delights, try the Tyroler Gröstl, a traditional and hearty combination of crispy potatoes and meat topped with a fried egg. Other local specialities include Kasnocken, cheese gnocchi garnished with caramelised onions and chives – perfect after a day on the slopes!