Ok, let me admit. When summer is approaching and my husband and I decide in going back to South Tyrol, I start daydreaming about having goulash. I feel like I am not keeping up well with the role of Mom because shouldn't I be thinking of how the kids would love hiking, going on picnics, getting wet in the streams, gathering wild berries or just going squirrel watching? I do think about those but my future goulash meals keep on sneaking in between my thoughts. Sigh. Let it be. I only get to have the real deal delicious goulash dishes once a year when my family and I start our ascent to the northernmost part of Italy.
South Tyrol is a highly mountainous region at the end of Italy and shares the border with Austria. If I say that the famous Dolomite mountains are in this region, maybe you might know the area. It is one of the autonomous regions in Italy and also one of the richest in the country. Because of its Astro-Bavarian heritage, goulash is one of the traditional dishes in the area. Apart from this, German is spoken by the majority, followed by Italian and lastly, Ladin, a language spoken by the minority. In this region, you will see all the names in both German and Italian and in some towns, a third language which is Ladin.
But tiptoeing back to an important part of their heritage, the South Tyrolean kitchen is very much meat-oriented and not as diverse as the typical Italian cuisine. Being a cold region, the food is on the heavy side. On a personal note, it is one of my favorite regional cuisines because they have straightforward dishes using simple ingredients with tasty and delicious results. Roasted pork and veal shanks, sausages, sauerkraut, apple strudel, sacher torte, vanilla gelato with berries, knodel (bread dumplings), incredible array of cheese, hams, beer, and wine and lastly, goulash. There are a whole lot more to what I wrote but for now these are the ones that I can remember and to be honest the maximum I can handle before I start seriously getting hungry. From my annual summer trips there for the past 15 years, I have somehow learned to put together a pretty decent and almost-there version that I cook at home in winter when the need to have a good plate of goulash with polenta hounds me.
If you want to try your hand in making your own South Tyrolean Beef Goulash, get the recipe at She Knows where I frequently create recipes. Check out my other recipes at my Profile Page.