Word of the Week: Jause [‘jaʊ̯zə]

Noun. A snack, or a (usually cold) meal served in between the standard breakfast, lunch and dinner, although coffee and cake also qualifies. Origin is from the Slovenianjúžina (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 Brettl jause can attest: This “boardJause” 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 is a Jausengegner for anyone lucky enough to face them – as are almost all Austrian athletes who don’t have ski strapped to their feet.

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