Austrian cuisine is unique yet heavily influenced by its neighbouring cultures and those of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, with each having left its mark. Its most famous dishes are rich and satisfying and
up to the task of warming people through the fresh Alpine winters.
Here are five of the best.
Apfelstrudel is one of the most popular and well known of Austrian dishes. It’s delicious because of its layers of sweet, flaky pastry and apple. The main ingredients are flour, oil or butter and apples.
Its origins are multiple as Austrian cuisine takes its influence from many cultures, from the Ottoman Empire to Jewish, Dutch, Italian and German cuisine. Strudels are related to the Ottoman Empire’s baklava, which
came to Austria via Turkey and Hungary.
The oldest strudel recipe recorded is a handwritten one dating from 1696, but the dish was certainly already popular by then.
The oldest-known recipe in the world is for this delicious tart, written over 350 years ago in 1653. There were four different versions of the recipe, too, indicating that it was already a very popular dish. The tart is named after the city of Linz and is often eaten at Christmas.
The crust consists of a lovely crumbly pastry of flour, unsalted butter, egg yolk, lemon zest, cinnamon, hazel nuts or almonds and lemon juice, decorated with nuts such as sliced almonds. The filling is redcurrant jam, or sometimes other jams such as apricot or raspberry.
There are written records of Spptzle all the way back to 1725, though experts have found medieval pictures of what could almost certainly be this type of noodle. Most commonly found in Germany and Austria,
they have been honed to perfection in the Austrian dish, KKsespptzle. Often referred to as the Austrian macaroni cheese, the texture and flavour is actually very different.
The main ingredients are flour, an egg plus an extra yolk, salt, water, butter and cheese. A good Swiss cheese such as Emmenthaler or Gruyere is best. You also need some fried onions for serving on top to
complement the creamy flavour.
Considered to be the national dish of Austria, this delicious beef dish is warming and very satisfying. The word Tafelspitz means ‘tip for the table’, referring to the tip of the meat and it is cut from well-aged bottom sirloin, usually from a young ox. It is then boiled in a root-vegetable broth with spices and traditionally served with sliced roasted potato, horseradish and apple sauce.
There is very little information as to how the dish evolved but it is known that Franz Joseph I, the Emperor of Austria, loved the dish. The 1912 official cookery textbook for domestic science schools says that
it was one of his favourites.
There are several arguments as to how schnizel developed and where it came from. One popular theory is that it was brought into Austria in 1683 by Polish and Russian soldiers during the battle of Vienna. Another
theory dates it as late as 1857, though this seems unlikely as the term wiener schnitzel is recorded in 1845.
Wiener schnitzel is a dish made by flattening veal cutlets, coating them in egg and crumbs and frying them. Traditionally it is served with a slice of lemon and a potato salad or potatoes mixed with parsley
Post by Trina, on behalf of Rangecookers.co.uk
Photo credits: g_mirage2, on Flickr