A Duchy Treat
Surrounded by much bigger, more famous countries: Germany, Belgium, France and The Netherlands, Luxembourg is mostly overlooked by travelers who think it’s a place filled with rich folks and banks. And yes, this is very much true, but it’s also home to more Michelin-starred restaurants per capita than…anywhere. Let’s dig in.
Many dishes take their cues from the region, which is evident in the selection of sausage recipes clearly borrowed from Germany. Thueringer, small sausages sold by street vendors, are prepared on the spot and are famous for being cheap (a plus in Luxembourg) and tasty. The Gromperkiche is a potato pancake, delicately spiced, prepared with chopped parsley and onions and deep-fried. Goes great with encased meat!
There’s been an influx of immigrants from Italy, which explains the revved-up number of restaurants featuring this cuisine. The two-Michelin starred Mosconi has noted, homemade ravioli and local fish prepared Italian style. In warmer weather, eat on the terrace facing the Old Town’s cliff-face. You’ll swear it’s the north’s version of the Amalfi Coast.
You can thank the French for the wide array of cheese choices, as well as penchant for fine wines. Pack a picnic with a wheel of brie and bottle of Moselle white, including baguette and local pâté, and head to Beaufort Castle, 30 minutes away from the Old Town. Dating to around 1150, the palace has everything you want in a castle, including a torture chamber and what’s left of a moat. Cop a squat and look out at the spire-and turret-topped countryside.
Head back for a dinner of fresh river fish – one of the true, Luxembourgan original dishes. Brown trout, pike and crayfish, grilled or fried, goes down smooth with a handcrafted local beer – try the Bettin or Diekrich. These people really love their libation. Back in 1993, Luxembourg was named the world’s “top consumers of alcohol.” (Who’s measuring these things?) Some even make their own, called eau-de-vie. There’s nothing watered down here – it’s strong.
The national pride here is just as strong. Most know Luxembourg as part of the Benelux – a trading union with The Netherlands and Belgium. Don’t pass up seeing – and eating – the “Lux.” It’s a Duchy treat, too.