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Hallo from Vienna!

June 26, 2018


WANDER

Cocofloss travels to Vienna!

Once stuffy, now hip, Vienna is experiencing a cultural reawakening. Young creatives are breathing new life into a city known for music, art, and architecture. Attend opera and ballet performances at the legendary Vienna State Opera, or plug into the electronic scene at an underground club. Sip coffee at one of the city’s many historic cafes or tip back a more creative concoction in a smoky cocktail bar. View Art Nouveau masterpieces or works sprayed from aerosol cans. In Vienna, you can experience the classic along with the cutting-edge with ease.

Golden Kisses

Countless college students have made-out in dorm rooms beneath posters of Gustav Klimt’s iconic painting, “The Kiss.” Steal a few smooches of your own in front of the 6-foot square gold-flecked original at the Belvedere. Housed in a Baroque palace reminiscent of Versailles, the museum possesses the world’s largest collection of oil paintings by the esteemed local as well as works by Egon Schiele, Koloman Moser, and other influential Austrian artists. 

Did you know? Some art historians suspect that “The Kiss” is an intimate portrait of Klimt and his long-time partner, fashion designer Emilie Flöge.

Outdoor Gallery

To see art so fresh the paint is still wet, head to the Danube Canal. Local and internationally recognized street artists have spray painted the concrete walls that line the riverbank with massive murals and intricate graffiti. Stroll along the adjacent walkway to view these modern masterpieces up close and catch artists at work.

Did you know? With so many historic buildings, Vienna has little space for aerosol art. By way of compromise, the city opened up the walls along the Danube as a legal canvas.

Natural Beauty 

After looking at art on walls, step into a world of flying colors at the Imperial Butterfly Park (Schmetterlinghaus). Built at the turn of the last century as part of the Hofburg Royal Palace, the beautiful Art Nouveau palm house is now home to monarchs of the winged variety. Watch as some 400 vibrantly hued inhabitants — including the massive Atlas moth, which sports a 12-inch wingspan — flutter freely past waterfalls and land on exotic blossoms and trees. 

Did you know? Butterflies are attracted to bright colors, especially pink, purple, red, yellow, and orange. Wear a radiant outfit and one might land on you.

Wavy Walls

Standing in sharp — or rather curvy — contrast to Vienna’s many opulent palaces and royal monuments is the Hundertwasserhaus, Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s most well-known building. Completed in 1986, the apartment complex’s flowing contours, psychedelic paint job, and undulating mosaics of broken glass and crockery reflect the maverick architect’s commitment to organic shapes (he once called straight lines “the tool of the devil”). Residents occupy the 53 apartments, but the kaleidoscopic view from the street will make your head spin.

Did you know? We’ve all heard of living walls and green rooftops, but Hundertwasser took things a bit further. In his “Moldiness Manifesto,” he encourages people to celebrate when a wall starts to grow mold or moss because “life is moving into the house.” 

Drink Wine by the Vine

Heurigen are the wine-loving cousins of biergartens — convivial, cozy, and great places to chow down on regional comfort food. You can find these traditional wine taverns in the vineyards that flourish on the outskirts of the city. Most pour wine made from their own grapes and serve hearty farm-to-table fare, such as liptauer (a paprika-spiked cheese spread), sauer blunzen (vinegar-marinated sausages), schmalzbrot (fresh-baked brown bread spread with pork drippings), and warm apple strudel.

Did you know? Back in the 1700s, in the early days of the heurigen, winemakers would hang an evergreen bough outside their gates as an invitation to neighbors when the wine was ready

PLAY

  1. ______candies were invented in Vienna in 1927. It’s an abbreviation of the German word “pfefferminz” which means peppermint. (Though, these days they are fruit-flavored.
  2. Vienna’s famous 212-foot-tall ______ has appeared in such classic films as The Third Man and Before Sunrise.
  3. Vienna has been called “The City of Dreams” because it was home to ______, the world's first psychoanalyst.
  4. A major European destination, the city attracts around ______ people each year.
  5. Beethoven, Mozart, and Brahms performed and worked in Vienna, earning it its other notable nickname: ______.
  6. Love to dress up and go to a fancy ball? Vienna is known for them and puts on about ______ every year.
  7. Vienna is home to Schönbrunn, the former imperial mansion where _________ grew up.
  8. The Hofburg Palace was expanded by each emperor. It has _________ rooms in which thousands of people still work and live today.
  9. Founded in 1498 by Emperor Maximilian I, the renowned Vienna _________  Choir is still belting out the tunes today.
  10. The Hotel Sacher and the Demel pastry shop fought a lengthy legal battle over which place had the right to claim that it served the original_________. 

Answers: 1. Pez   2. Ferris wheel   3. Sigmund Freud   4. seven million   5. The City of Music   6.  200  7. Marie Antoinette  8. 2,600  9. Boys’  10. Sachertorte

EAT

Our favorite foods to pair with Cocofloss

A Slice of Decadence 

In a city known for its conspicuous sweet tooth, the Sachertorte, a dense chocolate cake with layers of apricot jam, reigns supreme. Franz Sacher, a 16-year-old pastry apprentice, invented the rich dessert one evening in 1832 when his employer Prince Metternich had a craving for something sweet. Today, indulging in Austria’s “king of cakes” is a slow ritual meant to be enjoyed with coffee and conversation.

The Cake

  • 7 egg yolks
  • 5.3 oz softened butter
  • 4.5 oz confectioners sugar
  • 7 oz dark chocolate
  • 1 packet (8g) vanilla sugar
  • 7 egg whites
  • 4.5 oz crystal sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Butter and flour for the mold
  • 5 - 7 oz apricot jam
  • Rum, if desired
  • Whipped cream to garnish

The Glaze

  • 7 oz dark chocolate coating 
  • 5.8 oz sugar
  • About 10 tbsp water

      Recipe courtesy of Austria.info

Instructions

  1. Melt the chocolate slowly. Meanwhile, mix the butter with the confectioners sugar and vanilla sugar until creamed. Gradually stir in the egg yolks. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Grease a cake pan with butter and sprinkle with flour. Whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt, add the crystal sugar, and beat to a stiff peak. Stir the melted chocolate into the paste with the egg yolks and fold in the whipped egg whites alternately with the flour. Fill the dough into the tin and bake for around 1 hour.
  2. Remove the cake and immediately turn it out onto a work surface to let it cool and turn it again after 25 minutes.
  3. Flavor the apricot jam with a shot of rum. Cut the cake in half crosswise. Cover the base with jam, set the other half on top, and coat the upper surface and around the edges.
  4. For the glaze, heat up the water with the sugar for a few minutes. Pour into a bowl and let it cool until just warm to the taste. Break the chocolate into small pieces and dissolve it in the sugar solution.
  5. In a single action, pour the glaze quickly over the cake and immediately smooth it over the surface, using a palette knife or other broad-bladed knife.
  6. Leave the cake to dry at room temperature. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

TRAIN

Head for the Hills

Follow the Austrians’ lead and take a hike. Volksmarching, non-competitive fitness walking, is a tradition in the country. There is no race to win, but participants enjoy recording their distances and are often rewarded with commemorative pins. Nearly 300 hiking trails wind through the bucolic hills surrounding the Austrian capital. Quite a few end at vineyards or wineries, where you can reward yourself with a pin and a pinot. Ready to lace up your hiking boots? Here are a few great reasons you should.

Balance it out

Navigating naturally uneven ground engages your core and helps improve your balance.

Get neglected muscles into the game

Hiking on uneven ground also activates muscles in your hips, knees, and ankles that often go unused. Putting those muscles to work may reduce your risk of incurring a repetitive stress injury when you go back to running or walking on asphalt.

Feel the best kind of heartburn 

Walking on irregular paths speeds up your heart and metabolic rates, causing you to burn more calories than strolling on level ground. In fact, researchers found that shifts in slopes boost the amount of energy your body uses by 28%.

Up the ante

For even greater benefit, tackle an incline. Even a slight gain in elevation of 5% to 10% will up your calorie burn by 30% to 40%.

Boost your mood—and your creativity

Tramping through the trees—or even an urban park—reduces stress levels, anxiety, and your mind’s tendency to replay negative thoughts. Studies have also found that getting out in nature increases attention spans and creative problem-solving skills by up to 50%.

Drink up to strengthen up

Don’t forget to bring water. It’s important for hydration and the extra weight in your daypack will strengthen your lower back muscles.

Easy does it

Trekking on trails is gentler on your joints than pounding the pavement. 

FLOSSY FACTS

Fresh Start for the New Year

A new year, a new you, and a new chance for your breath to make a great first impression. Want to incorporate some natural breath fresheners to your daily routine? It’s as easy as adding a few ingredients into the mix.

Spinach

Pair garlicky dishes with these dark leafy greens. They contain polyphenols that break down garlic’s smelly sulfur compounds.

Green Tea and Mint

Mint matcha, anyone? Green tea contains those sulfur-busting polyphenols, too. And mint is nature’s breath enhancer thanks to its chlorophyll content, which helps fight off bad bacteria. Mix them together for a power combo. 

Cinnamon

Try some cinnamon tea as an herbal digestif. In a recent study, cinnamon eliminated half of all oral bacteria and 40% of the types linked to bad breath. Add an extra cinnamon stick or two to up the potency and visual appeal.  

Carrots or Apples

Food stuck between your chompers causes bacteria to build up and leads to bad breath. Help scrub away any pesky lingering bits by munching on crunchy fruits and veggies like these. 

Water

The life-sustaining liquid is also a great defense and offense against bad breath. Odor-causing bacteria love a dry mouth, and food stuck between your sparkly whites begins to ferment faster than you might think. Water impedes bacteria production and helps flush out those lunch leftovers. As Katy Perry once sang, “Swish, swish.”