Five Things You Never Thought would be Different about Groceries in Austria

Sorry about the really long title.  I hope, at least, you now know exactly what to expect from this post, dear Reader.

Austria and the U.S. are not that different.  I mean, yes, the language is different, the history is different, the size is extremely different…but they are both Western countries with relatively strong economies.  So sometimes I am surprised by what I can and can’t find at the grocery store.  After studying abroad in Germany two years ago I mostly knew what to expect in terms of Austrian groceries, but I thought this would be fun to share with you all.

1. Baking powder comes in little packets with enough baking powder for 500 grams of flour.  I guess paper is recyclable, but these little packets seem like a lot of unnecessary packaging.  Baking soda (Natron) is also a lot harder to find here than it is in the US.


2. Vanilla doesn’t exist.  What exists in its place is Vanillinzucker–vanilla sugar.  Just like baking powder, there are little packets with “enough” vanilla sugar for 500 grams of flour or a half liter of milk.  Um, last I checked, vanilla wasn’t something you used the same amount of every time.  If you want something to taste more like vanilla, you use more of it.

Vanillin Zucker

3. Neither do chocolate chips.  Whenever you want to make something with chocolate chips (like biscotti), you have to buy a chocolate bar and chop it up yourself.  I had to explain what chocolate chips were to my roommate.  Austria, you do some things really well, but you would be better off with chocolate chips.  I promise.


4. And broth!  That’s not a thing here either.  Though there is no lack of soup here, broth itself is hard to find.  I haven’t seen it yet (if you have–where?!).  Bullion cubes and bullion powder take the place of those lovely cartons and cans of broth we have in the U.S.


5. Egg yolks are much more orange.  And eggs are not refrigerated at the store.  From the photo you can’t tell the true orange-y color of these egg yolks, but please trust me.  The color really is different from eggs back home.

egg yolks


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