Gauder Fest · Zell am Ziller
2 May – 5 May 2013
Time for Lederhosen and Dirndls! Every year, on the first weekend of May, a special event takes place in the heart of the Zillertal Valley – the traditional Gauder Fest in Zell am Ziller. For four eventful and lively days, local Tyroleans and foreign visitors alike come to this one-of-a-kind extravaganza to revel in the fun. The highlight of Austria’s largest spring festival is the parade showcasing colorful customary costumes, band music played by local groups, and historical horse-drawn carriages. This Trachtenumzug parade, which caps the event on Sunday, also happens to be the largest of its kind in Austria. The younger generation, though, might consider the festival beer, Gauder Bock, to be the highlight.
The specially brewed Gauder beer, at 7.8 % alcohol by volume, is deceptively strong. Of course, a strong brew demands some strong food to counteract its toxic effects. This need is met with the festival’s other specialty – Gauderwurst sausage.
The roughly foot long grilled sausage of pork and beef has a fine taste to it. Spices and seasonings give the Gauderwurst a uniquely bold, meaty and robust flavor. Each bite is juicy and succulent and simply full of flavor. The thin casing has that satisfying snap. The grilling process gives the sausage a nice smoky aroma that permeates the meat delicacy. It also provides some excellent charring on the surface.
Food stands set up all around the fest grounds serve up this traditional sausage. The Gauderwurst comes with either a piece of bread, French fries or even potato salad. The bread roll is ideal since its light flavor offsets the salty nature of the sausages.
Though visitors at this annual festival have other food options, including Schnitzel burgers, grilled chicken, steak sandwiches or the ever popular Zillertaler Krapfen, the Gauderwurst is certainly a special piece of meat that deserves some particular attention. Naturally, the two specialties of the Gauder Fest – Gauder Bier and Gauderwurst – pair perfectly well together.