Bündnerfleisch: savoured paper-thinThe most celebrated product from Graubünden is of course Bündnerfleisch, the delicious air-dried beef famous throughout the world. For centuries, farmers, hunters and cheese makers in the high valleys of the region have been drying meat in this way. Of course, some things have changed. Bündnerfleisch may still make a popular snack for mountain farmers, but it is above all as one of the most prized delicacies in the local gastronomy that it has acquired almost legendary status. What, exactly, is the secret of Bündnerfleisch? What gives it its unmistakable flavour? The answer, quite simply, is air: the pure and fresh mountain air of Graubünden – and of course the associated temperature variations, the alpine breezes, and the scent from the pine forests. Attempts have been made to recreate these climatic conditions in a laboratory, but the results have been less than successful. If you would like to witness the process yourself, nowhere is better than the Brügger family business in Parpan – one of the few purely air-drying ventures of its kind in the world. Or for something a little more exclusive, head to Hatecke, the luxury butcher in Scuol, for an individual tasting.
Wild about gameIn Graubünden, game has always been a passion – whether during the hunt on the mountain, the chase relived over a drink, or enjoyed in an expertly prepared traditional dish. For more than 5,000 hunters in the region, the beginning of the hunting season in September is the sweetest time of year. Autumn is also harvest time in the Bündner Herrschaft. Although the vineyards of this winegrowing region in northern Graubünden extend for only around 400 hectares, no less than 42 different grape varieties are cultivated here. Thanks to the warm Föhn winds and the passion of the winegrowers, these wines are among the finest produced in Switzerland. At the autumn festival in the Bündner Herrschaft, the local growers open their doors and present their finest wines – it’s the best opportunity to get to know this small but superb region.