22 December 2020
Post originally written in: Deutsch Information An automatic machine translation. Super fast and almost perfect.

Every year again, the wonderful Christmas season: With every early evening, the old town of Innsbruck shines in sparkling lights and invites you to enjoy the most traditional Christmas market of the city. Everything is different this year: the big fir tree stands all alone and the stalls are also missing. Only from the giant alley smell familiar memories, because the Dengg continues its Kiachl tradition there nevertheless. With an improvised alleyway sale, the delicacy is now available to take away. Chef Helga herself let us take a look behind the scenes of the bakery - and even revealed a few secrets of the perhaps tastiest Kiachl in town.


In the past, there was no Christmas market in Innsbruck, Helga remembers vividly. Back then, kiachl was a popular classic in every Tyrolean kitchen - and by no means only at winter time! As a simple workday meal for the farmers, the deep-fried yeast dough was nutritious, cheap and could quickly fill many. Depending on the region and family tradition, the Kiachl was served with a variety of side dishes. At Grandma Dengg's in Kufstein, for example, it was first served savoury with a hearty soup of fisoles and then as a dessert with apple compote. The fact that Kiachl is best enjoyed with cabbage in the provincial capital is of course due to the cabbage farmers of Innsbruck. Especially during the winter months, the hearty sauerkraut was a popular staple food that could also be stored easily and for a long time. When the city then organised the very first Christmas market in Innsbruck's old town in the mid-70s, the Dengg-Kiachl was also born.


There is a well-kept secret behind all the delicacies. The Dengg family has been running the smart café in Riesengasse for two generations. This year they would even celebrate their 45th anniversary, the boss winks mischievously, if only it wasn't so difficult to celebrate at the moment. When I cautiously inquire about the secret of the Kiachl, Helga laughs loudly and grins: "There is none. The Kiachl have to be fresh, only then do love and passion taste best. So there is a bit of a secret after all? The boss promptly leads me into the improvised bakery of the café and personally introduces her master bakers: Kosa at the dough mountain, Mira at the deep fryer and the friendly Bruno at the serving counter. We're all just temps, laughs kitchen giant Radi, who's been cooking the kraut here for 25 years. The staff is as original as the kiachl itself, already the second secret.


In the past, no one wanted the Kiachl, remembers boss Helga of the beginnings. Back then, people preferred a barbecue plate with their mulled wine, because they had the kiachl at home themselves. Gradually, however, the delicious little doughnut disappeared from households - too elaborate, too smelly, too unhealthy. But the memory remained. And because a little sin at Christmas time makes you blissful, the longest queue every year piles up at the tried and tested Kiachlstand. For the sake of the baby elephant, the queue has now been moved to the Riesengasse and the legendary Kiachl with cabbage (alternatively cranberries/dusted sugar) is served to go. Daily from 11:00 to 18:30 (Christmas until 16:00) and until 05 January 2021 inclusive.

Photos: © Chris Weit

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