Arena Redaktion, 16.07.2021

A gem of a farm shop in Ehrwald

Elisabeth and Andreas Kerber run their ‘BieZu’ farm shop and café in Ehrwald on the principle that ‘small is beautiful’ – which is exactly what makes it so special.

The smell of coffee wafts through the air, pastry forks clatter on plates, glasses clink: it’s a convivial atmosphere at ‘BieZu’. That’s what Elisabeth and Andreas Kerber named their farm shop and café when they opened it four years ago in Ehrwald, a short way below the Almbahn cable car lower terminal. So what’s behind the unusual name? Elisabeth Kerber laughs: ‘We simply took our old “house names,” Bieler and Zuntl, and made a new name from their first letters.’ In a happy coincidence, some of their very first guests were French and pointed out a similarity with the word ‘bijoux,’ which means ‘jewel’ or ‘gem’. Elisabeth Kerber loved it: ‘It fits perfectly.’

Meat and sausages from the farm

The story begins at the farm next door. As Andreas Kerber tells us, a decision needed to be taken: ‘Shut it down or enlarge it? We chose to make it bigger.’ And the result? The meat from the cattle and pigs in the shed is now sold in our own farm shop in Ehrwald – freshly packed for customers. Or it’s made into delicious sausages and hams, which you can also take away or enjoy as a snack in the café. ‘Freshly produced right here – that’s what a farm shop worth its salt is all about,’ says Andreas.

Delicious snacks at the farm shop in Ehrwald

That’s why he also offers a wider range of regional food at his shop in Ehrwald. Apart from meats, ‘BieZu’ also sells milk, butter, cheese, and other quality foods from the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena. It was especially people on their way back from an excursion in the mountains that the young shopkeepers had in mind when they set their opening hours from Thursday to Sunday afternoon: ‘If you go for a hike in the morning, you’ll have some snacks with you in your backpack,’ says Elisabeth Kerber. ‘But on your way home in the afternoon, that backpack is now empty – just like your stomach.’ Who then wouldn’t want to stop for a tasty snack, accompanied by hearty farmhouse bread that Elisabeth bakes herself? ‘If you’re after something sweeter, I also serve homemade cakes or a fresh braided yeast bun,’ she adds.

Regional products from the Zugspitz Arena Bayern Tirol

Just like she’d serve guests in her own home. And with a ‘Zugspitz eggnog’ to wash it all down. In addition to the gourmet delicacies, the shelves of the small store also contain a few other handmade specialities. A salt mixed with alpine flowers from the area, for example, or ‘BieZu’s Salatzauber,’ a spice mixture with local herbs. You’ll also find little jars of larch pitch ointment. Obtained from the resin of the alpine conifer, it improves blood circulation, soothes tendon and muscle inflammation, and acts as a blistering ointment for dirty, poorly healing wounds. Like everything else in ‘BieZu,’ it’s made here by hand – and, as Elisabeth Kerber’s recipe shows, is no secret.

Lärchenpechsalbe BieZu Hof & Laden
Larch pitch ointment
Recipe for 100g of balm:
70g sunflower oil
30g larch pitch
10g beeswax
Place the ingredients in a metal bowl and heat up over steam, stirring the mixture often. Once all the ingredients have liquefied, pour the balm into small jars with tight-fitting lids.
If unopened and kept dry and cool, this homemade ointment has a shelf life of up to one year. You can also add essential oils to enhance its effect, but no more than ten drops for every 100g of balm.
Larch pitch ointment is a traditional part of alpine medicine, where it’s mostly used as an anti-inflammatory. As an example, you can apply it to the throat and chest if you have a dry cough, sore throat, or hoarseness. Then place a warm cloth on top to enhance its effect. The ointment is also used for kidney and bladder ailments, where it’s again applied to the affected area and covered with a cloth. For colds in children, larch pitch ointment is used like a chest balm. Unlike some other ointments and balms, larch pitch does not contain any strong-smelling essential oils. You can therefore apply it to your child’s neck without making them feel drowsy or irritating their skin. An important point to remember: treatments with larch pitch require a little more patience than when using conventional medicines, but are considered more gentle and have fewer side effects.

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