Have you ever heard something like: “We’re going to Germany for a week – to eat something German?» It’s the same about traditional Austrian cuisine. I have really got earful with that Wiener Schnitzel. Well, I tried it. Even thrice just to make sure. And for different costs…
Hey guys, do you know that there are plenty of flavorings and spices, except of salt, pepper and vinegar? Nope?! Well, go to Italy then, it’s not that far from you. Learn from the Italians. You have a perfect high quality meat, but this is not enough. You should be able to cook it properly!
Till this moment I have been to Austria only for business reasons and only in Vienna, but this time the destiny brought me to the western lands, bordering with Bavaria.
I don’t know what it means for you, but for me the culinary part of the trip is no less important that the historic one – my wife and I try everything that the locals eat.
An ordinary family restaurant on a way from Bad Hofgastein to Salzburg – here you’ll see that the hit of the program will be Wiener Schnitzel again.
Many people think that the traditional Austrian cuisine is an example of a good taste in culinary art. The Austrians themselves would rather call it Gut Burgerliche Kuche, which literally means “a cuisine of the good burgers”.
Thick Austrians soup, aromatic goulash or the national dish of Austria tafelspitz – boiled flavored beef always served with roast potato. I must say that goulash is really good. Such restaurant menu fully corresponds to the classical Austrian cuisine idea. But who can state with assurance, what is a good taste in culinary art?
As a man closely connected to the fitness industry, I must say that the new-fashioned European cuisine, let’s say as in the Lyon’s Michelin Red Guide restaurant “ESKIS”, is much more harmless and can more surely be called healthy.
Poor me, a gourmand, but the compromise “tasty and healthy” is a matter of great importance for me. And it’s not that easy to be found. But when it comes to the Austrian interiors! The good hotels aside, even the tiny road restaurants are perfectly furnished, and the walls and ceilings are painted with taste.
But, let’s go back and welcome to our table. I must admit it’s not that original: fragrant and rich cream soup with croutons. But tasty.
Wiener Schnitzel or Viennese Cutlet with fried potato. A thin meal, egg and breadcrumb roasted schnitzel. By the rules it must definitely be cooked out of the young veal. This one is an average sized, but sometimes it can be huge.
And if I can forgive them the coating, when it comes to the ubiquitous Austrian-German potato – no way! And what is more – you do not have a various choice of the garnish here: either fired potato or potato salad with onion, overly flavored with vinegar.
And do you know that potato and sugar have the same glycemic index? Just imagine that you have about 300 grams of sugar as a garnish to this huge schnitzel. Someone could probably eat all that, but as a personal trainer I would not recommend – it is extremely harmful for your pancreas.
And now let’s move to Salzburg. Salzburg would not disappear without the world famous composer Mozart, however could lost a lot. People, who enjoy walking along the well-groomed medieval streets, will spend here a couple of days without compunction. A medieval castle at the hill looks down on the city, horse-drawn carriages ride around the center of the city along with the cars. Nice retirees are walking along the streets, entertaining themselves with talking and giving guidance to tourists: where to go and what to watch.
Equally to Vienna Salzburg is considered a one of the Austrian cuisine capitals. Except of various restaurants, there are ordinary taverns and beer-houses where you can spend some time. So, you may easily find a free table. Here I also tried the famous Wiener Schnitzel. But it did not impress me – just an ordinary au gratin chop. But I had to try.
And of course I did not forget about another traditional dish of the Austrian cuisine – Apple strudel. We tried it in different places and it was different all over. However it was very tasty all over as well. I had to watch my ma cherie all the time; she was eager to eat it as with apples, cherries or cottage cheese unrestrictedly.
All in all if you are going to degust national Austrian cuisine, be ready to try a large variety of sweet baking, minimum of salads, Tyrolean Speckknödel – dumpling with pieces of bacon, – Wiener Schnitzel, Wuerstelstand – mix wurst and sausages, and indispensable Vienne coffee with chocolate Sachertorte.
Many of my friend keen of travelling say that there is no place like a Vienne coffee-house or a tiny cozy restaurant where you feel the European spirit. Well, I do not know – for me Belle Italy is much closer.
I would call the classic Austrian cuisine nods to the tradition of various nations; it combines the elements of German and Hungarian cuisine and pretty much of the former Yugoslavian traditional Slavic cuisine. Another landmark of the Austrian cuisine is a beer; there are so many sorts of beer in Austria, I think just a bit less than the Austrians themselves.
I forgot to tell about the fish dishes, but the country does not have an outlet to the sea and the sea fish here is less popular than its fresh-water “colleague”. The menu may only gladden with a river trout and baked carp (karpfen). But seafood lovers will be saved by a restaurant chain called the NordSee – the cuisine is not great, but at a good level.
We found many of the Austrian dishes unhealthy, but rather nourishing, and the atmosphere of the local restaurant is really burghers-like and in some places even aristocratic. But I feel much more comfortable seating under the under the starry sky of traditional Croatian restaurants, rather crystal chandeliers.
The cuisine of Croatia – the Austrian neighbor – is surprisingly various, tasty and healthy at the same time. No, it’s not exotic as well, but the Croatians like tasty food and can treat well. Croatia with it Adriatic coastline, spread for a thousand kilometers will definitely gladden the sea products fans: fresh oysters, variety of fish, traditional Croatian spiny lobster soup, grilled squids and octopuses…
And the meat: goulash is cooked much more batter around the whole former Yugoslavia, rather than in Austria – I warrant! It was a second time in my life after the Estonian capital Tallinn, when I eating beef steaks and rump steaks turned a true feast. I’m sure Croats know a secret!
And if it is under the gorgonzola sauce or mushrooms with truffle …
And finally the trademark festive dish. Hold on to your chairs, my friends!
This little goat is still grazing in the mountains, but for dinner this goat or a young piggy or a lamb may got spit roasted. Believe me – they cook perfect meat in Croatia. It is a pity that no one picture could convey the flavor and the taste!
All-in-all, 100 points in favor of Croatia!