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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I found a recipe today at on a recipe website for making Wiener Schnitzel. Not that I wouldn’t`t know how to make it, but for certain reasons I search the web for Austrian recipes quite often lately.

So I found that one mentioned above. It says Wiener Schnitzel (Austrian), and so I studied it and realized, that nobody in Austria eats Wiener Schnitzel with tomatoes-root puree, and certainly nobody I know, would add parmesan to the breadcrumbs for coating the cutlet. At least they use veal, which is actually obligatory to call it a Wiener Schnitzel.

I am tolerant. If you like, you can call your dog Schnitzel, you can give your ham sandwich the name Gulyas, I really don´t care, but please don´t publish a recipe for making Wiener Schnitzel and add the words (Austrian) to it, if you don´t know about it.

You could write Wiener Schnitzel (my personal alternative of making a Wiener) instead, or Wiener Schnitzel (my dog), or something that makes it obvious to readers that it is a personal adjusted recipe of a classic one. People read your recipe, cook it and serve it for Dinner and tell their family that this is a real Austrian dish they are having tonight; I am tolerant, but this recipe, I cooked it and can not recommend it.

If you my dear reader want to know how they cook and eat Schnitzel in Austria, you might want to try out my recipe, it is authentic, a classic and shouldn’t´t be changed. Of course I encourage people to try out their own inventions and creativity is welcome in cooking, but a classic is only a classic by cooking it classic.

Fact is that Wiener Schnitzel is Austrias answer to the very well known and beloved picatta milanese, which you could translate to Milan Schnitzel and is Italian. Piccata Milanese (or Cotoletta a la Milanese) are not coated in breadcrumbs only, but in a mixture of about 3/5 to 2/5 of ground parmesan and breadcrumbs. AND they are usually served on spaghetti noodles and dipped with a tomato-sauce. Not so Wiener Schnitzel.

Usually served without any sauce, mostly with potatoes, warm potato-salad, fried potato wedges, french fries or also quite often with rice. All breadcrumbed deep fried dishes should be served with a lemon wedge to squeeze over it, for it gives it a good taste and the stomach will need it, because of the huge amount of fat.

It is about why things get names. Why do we all know what a dustbin is? Because it got this name to be recognized without actually seeing it. So if Karl tells me about his dustbin, I know what he means and can therefor give him advice about dustbins. And if I go to a restaurant and I see a Wiener Schnitzel (Austrian) on the menu, I expect a Wiener Schnitzel to come on my plate. Language, communication, arguing, I like it !


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



by Bernhard Baumgartner