If you’ve been a regular reader of my blog, then you know I’m a complete food lover! Admittedly, I mainly rave about desserts and sweet dishes, but occasionally I’ll hype on about a particularly amazing main meal I’ve eaten somewhere. Well, for me, Vienna in Austria had a bit of both: delicious desserts and marvellous mains! So, I bet you’re wondering: what are the foods that you absolutely must eat when visiting Austria?
Originally created by Franz Sacher for an Austrian prince, Sachertorte (Sacher’s Cake) is now world renowned as a local delicacy in Austria. Rich and chocolatey in flavour and topped with apricot jam and whipped cream; this delicious little cake is a must when visiting Austria. Many travellers would recommend for you to go to Hotel Sacher so that you can eat a very posh version of this cake, but personally, I love heading to independent cafes for slightly more informal versions. My recommendation would be to pair your slice of cake with a coffee or tea whilst sitting in a cute little Austrian cafe, and just watch the world go by around you.
2. Wiener Schnitzel
Originating as a traditional Austrian cuisine from the end of the 19th Century, Wiener Schnitzel is now one of the national dishes of Austria, so once again, this is a must when visiting! In a nutshell, this food is something for the meat lovers and maybe even the fast food chicken lovers among you, as it is a hearty mix of the two. Usually made of veal, but pork can substitute this if preferred, it’s basically a great big portion of meat covered in fried breadcrumbs. Don’t be surprised if this is all you receive when ordering this in a traditional Austrian restaurant, and also don’t be surprised if it’s the size of your dinner plate (or larger)! You likely won’t need to, but if eating a plate of fried meat isn’t 100% for you, then consider asking for salad and/or chips on the side.
3. Frankfurter Würstel
Another one for the meat lovers among you, ordering sausage in Austria and Germany is right up there as one of the best things you could do. The Frankfurter Würstel (Vienna sausage) is great because you’re getting two hotdogs in one. Bright red in appearance, often served as a pair of hot dogs and shaped like a chorizo ring, this hotdog is really quite tasty when travelling throughout Austria. You could opt for a slightly posher version like we did, or even opt for one from a street food stall. Either way, you can’t really go wrong with a giant hotdog, right?
Most commonly made of veal, but beef has also been known to make an appearance, this is basically boiled meat, served with horseradish and minced apples. This is yet another of the many Austrian national food dishes, and has even been favoured by Royalty! According to the 1912 official cookery textbook of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, “His Majesty’s [Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria] private table is never without a fine piece of boiled beef, which is one of his favourite dishes.”
Although most countries have some kind of variation of the Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel), nothing compares to having the original from Austria! The oldest known strudel recipe is from 1696 – a handwritten recipe housed at the Wienbibliothek im Rathaus. Along with the Wiener Schnitzel and Tafelspitz, the apple strudel is considered to be one of the national dishes of Austria. You are able to buy different kinds of strudel (even savoury ones), but being something of a traditionalist, I’d say nothing beats the most traditional: a sweet, juicy apple strudel complete with flaky pastry!
I don’t know about you, but just thinking about the foods we ate in Austria (specifically Vienna) has got my mouth drooling slightly. These foods were absolutely delicious, which is why I haven’t struggled to recommend them in a heartbeat!
What about you? What foods do you think you absolutely must eat when visiting Austria? Jot a few notes down in the comments below…
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