Throughout its history, Liechtenstein has maintained its independence and remained neutral during major conflicts, including the Napoleonic Wars and both World Wars.
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Most Popular Liechtenstein Dishes
The cuisine of Liechtenstein is inspired by both Swiss and Austrian culinary traditions. Common ingredients include potatoes, meats, dairy products and apples.
Pork, beef and veal feature prominently, often prepared in hearty stews or as schnitzels. Liechtenstein is also famous for its apple orchards, apples are often used in desserts and compotes.
Meals in Liechtenstein are often hearty and substantial, reflecting its mountainous terrain and the need for sustenance in cold Winter months. Here are the most traditional dishes if Liechtenstein along with recipes to try for yourself.
Käsknöpfle, often referred to as ‘cheese spaetzle’, consists of egg noodles, similar in shape to macaroni, mixed with grated Alpine cheese, such as Emmental or Gruyère. It is a popular dish in Liechtenstein and its neighboring Alpine regions, and is considered to be the country’s national dish.
Käsknöpfle is baked until the cheese melts and forms a golden crust, much like American mac and cheese or Swiss Älplermagronen. Käsknöpfle is often garnished with crispy fried onions and served with applesauce.
It is often served in mountain lodges and traditional Alpine restaurants and is a considered a favorite comfort food in Liechtenstein.
Schnitzel (Pounded Meat)
A schnitzel is a thinly pounded slices of meat, often veal or pork, coated in breadcrumbs and fried until golden and crispy. The result is a tender cut of meat encased in a crunchy crust.
Schnitzel is usually served with a lemon wedge and potato salad or fries. Variations include Jägerschnitzel, which is served with mushroom gravy and Rahmschnitzel which is served with cream sauce.
They come in a multitude of regional variations, from Bratwurst to Weisswurst. Wurst can be grilled, fried, or boiled, and are typically served with mustard, sauerkraut, or potato salad. Wursts are commonly found at outdoor festivals and family gatherings.
Ribel is a traditional Alpine dish made from cornmeal, water, and salt. The mixture is cooked until it thickens, and is then pan-fried or roasted to achieve a crispy, crumbly texture.
Ribel can be sweet or savoury, and is commonly served with applesauce, melted cheese, or butter. This dish is a popular breakfast food during colder months.
Dreikönigskuchen (King Cake)
Dreikönigskuchen, also known as King Cake, is a traditional dessert enjoyed on January 6th – Three Kings’ Day. It is a sweet bread-like pastry, usually flavored with citrus zest and decorated with candied fruits and almonds.
A small figurine or token is hidden within the cake, and the person who finds it is crowned king or queen for the day. The dessert is shared among friends and family. Similar customs exist in other European countries, such as the French Galette des Rois.
Hafalaab is a hearty potato and bacon soup, made with potatoes, bacon, onions, and a flavorful broth. The ingredients are simmered until the potatoes are tender and infused with bacon.
Hafalaab is a comforting food, served on cold Winter days, making it a popular choice in mountain restaurants and chalets.
Originating from Switzerland, Geschnetzelte is made of veal and mushrooms, cooked in a creamy white wine sauce. Geschnetzelte is often served at family meals and for special occasions, it is often served with rosti (fried potatoes) on the side.
The name of this dish translated to ‘sliced’ which describes the thinly sliced veal. Alternatively, pork may also be used to make Geschnetzelte.
Rösti (Fried Potatoes)
Rösti is a Swiss potato dish made from grated potatoes that are pan-fried until crispy and golden brown. The potatoes are seasoned with salt and sometimes topped with ingredients like onions or bacon.
Rösti is often served as a side dish, particularly with breakfast or brunch, paired with smoked salmon, eggs, or sausages. Similar dishes include Germany’s Kartoffelpuffer or hash browns in Great Britain or the United States.
Schlutzkrapfen are pasta pockets reminiscent of ravioli or dumplings, they are typically filled with a mixture of spinach and cheese, often quark or ricotta. They are then boiled until tender and served with melted butter and grated cheese.
Kratzer, sometimes known as kratzete, is a traditional Liechtenstein dessert. It resembles a cross between a pancake and a crepe. The batter is made from a mixture of flour, eggs, and milk, resulting in a thin and slightly crispy texture when cooked.
Kratzer is typically served with a sweet topping, such as applesauce, compote, or powdered sugar. This dish is a versatile option, enjoyed as both a dessert or a light meal.