Flavours of Austria – discover specialities of Austrian cuisine
Typical Austrian cuisine is not complicated - it is based on simple ingredients and old, generation-proven recipes. However, you should bear in mind that at one point, the monarchy included such different cities as Vienna, Lviv, Prague and Venice! And all those cities have contributed their traditions to Austria's menus.
How about… eggs for a good start of your day? Imperial eggs to that! The secret of the favourite omelette of Emperor Joseph is that it is cut during the frying process and then the individual pieces are sprinkled with powdered sugar and decorated with a blob of whipped cream, jam or marmalade. Up and down Austria, people eat also sweet pancakes – a solid dose of sweetness for breakfast is what makes one's day!
Wiener schnitzel or cotoletta alla milanese?
Maybe you'd be surprised, but Vienna schintzel, one of Austria's greatest dishes, came in fact from northern Italy! It was from the neighbourhood of Milan that in the mid 19th century the recipe for pounded veal cutlets, which are covered with bread crumbs and fried on very hot fat.
For big and little hunger - traditional Austrian lunch
Austrian classics are full-bodied and calorific. If you eat meat, have tafelspitz, i.e. beef which is cooked for a long time in vegetable stock, and served with potatoes and a spring onion or apple and horseradish sauce. In Styria, you can also have pumpkin purée or cooked cabbage. Other nourishing dishes include all types of goulash, including fiakergulasch, in which meat is accompanied by pieces of sausage. You can also have a goulash soup with a healthy dose of paprika. A big hunger will surely be satiated with a plate of roasted pork accompanied by potatoes or knödel dumplings and sauerkraut, or slow stewed lamb in onions and red wine. In lake regions, they eat a lot of fish. For example, restaurants at the Lake Constance serve grilled or fried pikes. Naturally, fish come in plenty also in the Danube region, where you can have trout or sturgeon.
For those who don't eat meat
Although Austrian cuisine is associated with meat, it offers some tasty and diverse dishes also to vegetarians. In the west of the country, you can have käsespätzle, flour noodles with butter and cheese. Note that traditional "spätzle" are served with ham, so you need to tell the waiter about your preferences beforehand. The dish is simple, but the simplicity is its strength! You can also have knödel dumplings, a typical dish of Upper Austria. Traditionally, they are eaten as an addition to meats, but they are tasty also when accompanied only by raw salads or baked vegetables. Knödels are served also with some meat additions, such as slices of grilled bacon, so again - tell the waiter that you are interested only in the vegetarian version. In Karinthia, you must try kasnudeln, pockets of dough filled with cottage cheese and peppermint leaves, and topped with melted butter or - vegetarians beware! - pork rinds. When in Styria, have a pumpkin soup sprinkled with oil made from seeds of that vegetable – the original flavour of the addition is one of its kind and gives each dish a unique touch. Other Austrian specialities which you should consider include mushroom goulash and stewed cabbage.
And after lunch… it's time for dessert!
Austrian cuisine is more than just main courses. The local desserts are very tempting. You can choose between a chocolate Sachertorte or a traditional apple strudel. Both are remarkably sweet and delicious! Mozartkugeln, chocolate balls with stuffing are a delicacy typical of Salzburg, but you can meet them all across Austria. A sweet dish goes best with Austrian wine or – if it is still early in the day – spritzter, a drink made of wine and carbonated water. In the evening, try some apricot brandy or… Tirol rowanberry vodka. Naturally, you should not deny yourself good Austrian beer, especially that brewed in Salzburg.
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