Gloriously blue - there is more than gentian blooming in the Kitzbüheler Alpen
The secret of blueberries
No matter how blueberries (Vaccinium myrtillus) are called where you come from – here in the Kitzbüheler Alpen we call them Moosbeeren – these delicious tiny blue berries carry lots of different names. In summer, from July to September, this very healthy berry fruit grows on green low-level bushes, sometimes even right next to hiking paths in forests or alpine pastures. In fall, the bush changes its colour and turns red.
My advice: keep your eyes open on your next hiking tour in the Kitzbüheler Alpen – you come across this Tyrolean power food almost everywhere.
The red-coloured blueberry bushes in autumn - in the back the mountains of the Kitzbüheler Alpen
Is there anything better than a dish made from ingredients picked by yourself?!
For today, my mum and I have planned a tour to Lodron mountain in Kelchsau, a tributary valley of Hopfgarten im Brixental. By the way – this tour is also the second stage of KAT Walk Alpin, the long-distance hiking trail across the Kitzbühler Alpen.
Apart from a snack and the necessary hiking equipment, we also pack small buckets with lids into our backpacks and my mum even takes a “Riffler” (berry comb) with her. Yes, today is not only about a hiking tour and amazing views or the conquering of the summit of Lodron. Today is all about picking blueberries. In the area from the upper Lodronalm until Lodron summit, the tiny blue delicacies grow like crazy. On our way up we can’t help but nibbling some of them. Of course we are going to pick them on our way back – then the buckets will get filled to the brim. Or would you like to carry more weight up the mountain than necessary? Right, I thought so.
Yummy, yummy, so much power food by the wayside – simply great! 😋
At the summit of Lodron we take a breather, eat our snack and take in the fantastic mountain panorama. The Hohe Salve, the Wilder Kaiser mountain range, the Kitzbüheler Horn, the majestic Rettenstein, the Hohe Tauern, Tristkopf, the Inn mountains,….. oh, I totally live in the most beautiful spot in the world!!!
The good, or rather blue ones go into the pot…
“Come on Carmen, we really have to go now. I’ve invited your brothers over for “Moosbeernocken” (blueberry pancakes) this evening”, my mum says. Ok, ok – enough with enjoying the view. A short entry into the summit register and a summit selfie (unfortunately I cannot show you the picture or my mum will cut me out of her will ) and then we start picking blueberries until our fingers are sore or – more precisely - blue. In contrast to my mum, I pick each berry by hand before putting it in the bucket. My mum, however, uses her berry comb. With her own technique she manages to collect lots of berries at once. Afterwards she has to sort out the small green leaves of the bush, whereas I only have the really “good or rather blue ones in my pot” – just like Cinderella.
We meet many hikers this day, even KAT-walkers, and some of them want to know what we are collecting. One of them even invited himself over for dinner to my place 😋
After one hour, my 1.5 litre bucket is full. I have to admit, though, that again and again I couldn’t hold myself back and nibbled some berries during collecting. Of course this also can’t be hidden since my tongue and lips now are dark blue. Never mind … it was delicious!
The skin and pulp of blueberries are dark blue and colour your tongue, lips and hands. Here is my trick for clean hands in a minute- mix the juice of half a lemon with one tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of olive oil. This peeling will clean your hands in no time at all. 😊 It really works!
My favourite dish
My favourite blueberry dish is “Moosbeernocken”, small blueberry pancakes, but also for breakfast with plain yoghurt – yummy! My boyfriend loves them with sugar and a glass of milk. Once the berries have been picked you should process them quickly or eat them because they go off quickly. My tip: for longer preservation you can put them in the fridge. Blueberries are perfectly suited for being frozen or getting processed into jam or compote which we call Moosbeermandl here in Tyrol.
My favourite recipe for "Moosbeernocken"
On the internet you find hundreds of blueberry recipes. The best dishes, however, are still those made from berries you picked yourself 😊. In order that you can enjoy your blueberry harvest to the full I am now going to reveal my favourite recipe: Moosbeernocken.
Ingredients for four persons
- 250 g flour
- 2 eggs from happy chicken
- 0,25 l milk
- 0,5 kg blueberries
- 1 pinch of salt
- butter for frying
Once you have all the ingredients you can start with the cooking which is really simple. But see for yourself:
- Wash the blueberries and drain them well.. Should there still be leaves among them, remove them.
- Prepare a dough from the flour, eggs, salt and milk and fold the blueberries in gently
- Heat some butter in a frying pan and put a tablespoon of dough into the pan
- Fry the small pancakes gently from both sides
- Sugar the pancakes and serve them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
Bon appétit, have fun on your blueberry hunt and good luck with cooking!