Feinkost treats in a palatial setting.

Our second favorite state in Austria is Niederösterreich, the state surrounding the city that easily tempts us with castles and palaces to explore; hiking trails high and low; and its Wirthauskultur for lunch.

Annually for the past three or four years, perhaps more, vendors and artisans from Lower Austria bring their bounty to Palais Niederösterreich in Vienna for two days. Not in “need” of anything I dropped in anyway because the interior is so lovely.

Lucky Lebkuchen to help ring in the New Year.

How this woman was not melting in the overheated rooms I do not know.

The burning of incense during Rauhnächte is a tradition to bless the house, and so one must be stylishly prepared.

The Nativity display offered craftwork to admire.

Who knew quail eggs were so versatile?

I have to admit that Saibling is one of the least interesting fish I have eaten on this side of the pond. Perhaps others think so, as well, as no one was queuing to sample the pates.

The Punschwürfel is just what you might think: punch-flavored cake wrapped in a not-found-in-nature pink colored frosting. An acquired taste, one that I have yet to.

The last section of the market is always devoted to regional books. Cookbooks, holiday stories, children’s fairy tales and histories. And now, an American former First Lady’s tale?

That aside, “So Schmeckt Niederösterreich!”