Austrian Cooking
by Bernhard Baumgartner
by Bernhard Baumgartner
What is Austrian Cuisine

Why Austrians eat Knoedel so often

A Wiener Schnitzel is a Wiener Schnitzel

Schnitzel Varieties in Austrian Cooking

Potatoes - Austria's most consumed vegetable

Wiener Schnitzel

Veal Cutlet Breaded and Fried

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Well, perhaps some do; but you will find dishes like Glazed cubes of Atlantic salmon on mint-flavored orange essence accompanied by wild flowers and placed in a nest of homemade pasta in Austrian restaurants.

Home-cooks also do their best to stay up-to-date in cooking. That fancy dish mentioned above you can probably find in a restaurant in Vienna as well as in Kapfenberg, Honolulu, Timbuktu or Shanghai. You will also find the obligatory steak on the menu, although you might not recognize it as one. Sorry for the T-bone steak lovers, because you will not find it anymore in Austrian restaurants, due to the banning of all beef products containing marrow.

In fact, it will be tough for you to find places where to eat traditional Austrian cuisine. Of course Wiener Schnitzel and maybe Gulyas will find themselves on the menu, Apple Strudel and also Topfen Strudel (cottage cheese) and Spinach Strudel. Places where most tourists are led will be aiming to satisfy the foreign guests' urge for those classics.

You should try and leave these paths to tourist traps and try to find a well-patronized pub or restaurant, family owned and off the beaten tourist track. There you will find the well-known classics but also more of the hearty traditional dishes, and you can be sure of the authenticity of the food and the fairness of the prices.

No self-respecting Austrian would pay 5 Euro for a portion of apple strudel dipped with vanilla sauce, probably heated in the microwave. That fiver is better used to pay the lunch-special (Mittagsmenue) at the pub (Gasthaus) around the corner: soup, main course and sometimes even dessert--maybe another 5 Euro for the drinks and coffee.

Is there a New Austrian Cuisine ? I would say so. It becomes more and more popular amongst Austrian home-cooks to buy organically-grown food, organically-farmed meats and fairly traded products from abroad. So if I´d like to cook nouvelle Austrian, I would use ingredients like that, probably substitute olive oil for butter, use more fresh herbs and less salt and try to cook it all a bit lighter than the traditional way. Also staples like potato dough can be transformed into new recipes.

But all in all I´d rather stick with Grandma´s recipes. I want to conserve traditional cooking recipes and let my friends cook me something a la nouvelle cuisine autrichienne.

Here is a book I recommend if you want to find out more about the New Austrian Cuisine. It is David Bouley´s (with Mario Lohninger and Melissa Clark) East of Paris. The words "what the Austrian cuisine would be if the Austro-Hungarian Empire were still extant." say more about this book and its recipes than a 600-word review.

Also you should read about Austrian Cooking over at If you come to visit Austria, have a great dinner at Obauer Restaurant near Salzburg.

About the Author


Bernhard Baumgartner is an Austrian chef living and working in Vienna Austria. Visit his website for more about Austrian cooking and eating.

What is Austrian Cuisine   

by Bernhard Baumgartner
Austrian cuisine is not all about and Austrians don´t live exclusively on dumplings, Goulash, roast pork or Wiener Schnitzel.