Last Word | Jause

Noun. A snack, or a (usually cold) meal served in between the standard breakfast, lunch and dinner, although coffee and cake also qualifies. Orig. from the Slovenian júžina (lunch, midday meal). The term “snack” can be some-what misleading, however, as the English word implies a small treat.

A Jause is something else entirely, as anyone who ever ordered a Brettljause can attest: This “board Jause” is a rustic treat, like a Plowman’s Lunch only more so, consisting of various cold cuts, cheese, savory spreads and pickled vegetables stacked high on a wooden slab.

So the Austrian definition of a “small meal between meals” can be rather flexible. Derivatives include the Jausenstation, a small Gasthaus (tavern) on hiking routes specializing in such capacious nibbles. Then there’s the Jausengegner, a laughable opponent one could “eat for lunch,” i.e. that is not to be taken seriously.

Like a Jause, they are not quite a full meal and clearly, short work can be made of them. Example: The Austrian national football team are Jausengegner for anyone lucky enough to face them – as are almost all Austrian athletes that don’t have skis strapped to their feet.

Binu Starnegg
Manila born, Brooklyn bred and a longtime resident of Vienna, Binu Starnegg is currently managing editor for Metropole, where he completes myriad tasks with style and aplomb. Photo: Visual Hub

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