For those who spend their autumn holidays in South Tyrol, Törggelen is a must. The popular custom is as South Tyrolean as chives in the bacon dumplings. From the beginning of October to mid-November, traditional South Tyrolean dishes are served at the farmhouse inns and rustic pubs. Examples include barley soup, Schlutzkrapfen (a filled pasta dish), smoked ham, Kaminwurzen cold-smoked sausages, cheese and farmer's bread or a meat platter and home made sausages, ribs, cured meat, smoked meat and sauerkraut. All dishes are homemade, of course. For dessert, there are sweet Krapfen pastries and roasted chestnuts. The guests drink sweet, not yet fermented grape juice (“Susser") and later new wine ("Nuier").
Törggelen has a long tradition: farmers and wine merchants met in autumn after wine pressing to taste the new wine and the fermented Susser grape juice. The term "Törggelen" does not derive from "stagger after too much wine," as some might assume, but instead from the Latin word "torquere," which means "to press wine."
Nowadays, this old custom has become an integral part of South Tyrolean culture, and the good food and drink are no longer the only factors that make the evenings so popular. It’s equally about sitting comfortably together with friends, laughing, celebrating, making music and enjoying together.