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What’s Eaten Where: Luxembourg: home to the highest minimum wage in Europe

whats eaten1

Cyprus has a minimum wage of €960 per month. Luxembourg, on the other hand, offers its lowest paid residents nearly €3,000 – the highest in Europe.

It’s not even as if cost of living is that much higher than in Cyprus. In the capital, Luxembourg city, a one-bed apartment will set you back roughly €1,600 per month – easily comparable with rising Limassol rents. Milk is just over €1 per litre. And basic utilities average €200 per month. Even eating out (a luxury for anyone in Cyprus on minimum wage) would be doable in this country: a three-course meal for two at a good restaurant clocks in at under €75.

Okay, Luxembourg may not be a top culinary draw – the main industries include finance, information technology and logistics. But the cuisine is nevertheless well worth a try.

whats eaten2Potatoes, meat and bread are the staple foods here, and the country produces enough wheat, cheese, fruit and wine to more than easily feed its 650,000 residents. Meat consumption is particularly high, with popular dishes including Judd Mat Gaardebounen (smoked pork neck and vegetables simmered in spices, doused in cream, and served with blanched beans and potatoes), Jambon d’Ardenne (salted ham cured in a mix of thyme, laurel, juniper berries and cloves), and Éisleker Ham (the hind legs of a pig, brined and salted and served thinly sliced along with salad and potatoes).

Also on the meaty menu is Träipen, a black pudding sausage made by the inclusion of green cabbage and caraway. You’ll also find Feierstengszalot, a cold beef salad that includes boiled eggs, chopped onions, capers and gherkins.

Of course, there are less hearty offerings around. Stäerzelen consists of buckwheat dumplings served in warm milk and topped with bacon. Kuddlefleck is fried, crumbed tripe. Gromperekichelcher is the local potato pancake (usually seasoned with parsley, onions and garlic and enjoyed with apple sauce). Gromperenzopp (a popular evening meal) is a soup made from potatoes, leeks, cream and egg yolks all seasoned with salt and black pepper. And Bouneschlupp, another soupy concoction thickened with cream, consists of green beans, potatoes, onions, bacon or sausages.

End with a Verwurelter (sugar-dusted donuts in the shape of a knot) or a slice of Quetschentaart (made with fresh local plums), and you’ve got yourself a meal as rich as the country itself! According to IMF estimates, Luxembourg not only has Europe’s highest minimum wage, it also boasts the world’s highest GDP per capita.

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