We recently took a trip to Austria. Even though people think that Austrian food and German food seem similar, they are actually quite different. And not just because they use totally different words for their food items. Seriously. Nevertheless, their food is to die for and should you find yourself in Austria you should definitely head over to a restaurant and order one of these 5 dishes below.
1) Wiener Schnitzel – Viennese Fried Veal Cutlets
Yes, Wiener Schnitzel is a fried veal cutlet outside of the U.S. and has nothing to do with hot dogs. It baffles me every time how the “Wienerschnitzel” hot dog chain got their name as they are so far off the real thing. Sometimes you will even find it made from pork but the real deal is made of veal. It’s usually served with french fries or potato salad.
2) Sacher Torte
The first of many desserts on this list, Sacher Torte is a chocolate sponge cake with apricot jam and dark chocolate icing topped with whipped cream. It’s perfect for chocolate lovers. If you’re ever in Vienna, try and get the original at the Hotel & Café Sacher near the Vienna state opera.
Yes, it’s technically pancakes chopped up and it’s named after the Austrian emperor, because it literally translates to the “emperor’s folly.” It’s usually served with caramelized raisins and apples. But you can get it with any kind of jam, apple sauce and sometimes, although very rare with chocolate sauce. It all depends on the cook.
4) Apfelstrudel – Apple Strudel
I think everyone has heard of this one. Apple strudel is one of my favorites, although it also comes in some variants. You can order it hot or cold, with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or vanilla sauce. I prefer it with vanilla sauce or ice cream. Some of them contain raisins, some don’t. You can get this delicacy fairly easily even here in the US. I know they serve it at Disneyland for example.
5) Marillenknödel – Sweet Dumplings filled with Plum
This one is a little bit harder to explain. As you can see it’s a sweet dumpling filled with plum. However, the original is actually filled with apricots that the Austrians call “Marillen”. The dough for the dumpling is made of regular potato dough and “Topfen” which is something like cream cheese/yogurt/quark. After boiling them in water, they get rolled in sugar and crispy breadcrumbs.
If you like this list, but are nowhere near Austria or an Austrian restaurant. (Hey, I know they’re rare. We’ve been looking for a while!) You might want to check out one of the following books with recipes and try to make some of these specialties at home. I promise they’re not as hard to make as they look:
Oh and let me know what your favorite Austrian dish is or which of those you would like to try, in our comment section below.
A lot of you might now that besides traveling, I also like to eat. Restaurant, street food, home cooked meals I’ll try it all the more exotic the better. Growing up in Bavaria, the heart of food in Germany, I was allowed to experience many different food items and now I’d like to share them with you, in case you ever end up there.
If you’re a big chicken or turkey fan, I’m going to have to disappoint you. These two types of meat are not very popular, although you might encounter them every once in a while. Our main protein is pork in every kind of way; sausage, roasted, grilled – you name it! And since we found that many ways to cook pork, it never gets boring. Our main vegetables are potatoes and cabbage, although you will usually find a free house salad to go with your meal.
These are the 5 food items anyone should try if they ever stop by Bavaria:
1) Bratwurst and Sauerkraut
Americans are usually semi-familiar with Bratwurst, although in Germany they are usually significantly smaller than the American counterpart. Bavarians usually like to eat their sausages with Sauerkraut or on bun, accompanied by medium-spicy or spicy yellow mustard. If you want to taste the best Bratwursts, try getting the Nuremberger Bratwursts.
2) “Schweinshaxe mit Knödel” – Roasted ham hock with dumplings
Roasted ham hock with crispy skin, potato dumplings and dark sauce is another Bavarian delicacy. It’s usually enjoyed in winter due to its heaviness, but you can get it year-round. The dark sauce usually contains beer and on occasion caraway seeds.
3) Weißwürste and Brezen
American’s are familiar with pretzels. However, the Bavarian Breze is a little bit different. It’s crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, covered with salt. Bavarians like to pair it with Weißwurst, which literally translates to white sausage. Try it with some sweet mustard for breakfast. Yeah, you heard me right. It’s often eaten for breakfast.
Bavarians love to sit outside in the beer garden with their friends to enjoy a cold brew. And what goes better with some beer than some heavy cheese on dark bread? Obatzda is a cheese delicacy made of soft cheese and butter. The orange color comes from the added paprika powder.
5) Weizen, Helles, Pils and more! – Beer, of course!
All these food items are only half as good, unless they’re accompanied by a beer. Bavaria is heaven for beer lovers. Of course I know that it’s not really a “food item”, but I had to include it in this list. After all, that’s the big draw of coming to Bavaria! Bavaria has approximately 1300 breweries which produce about 5000 brands of beer. That’s going to take a while to try them all.
Of course these aren’t all of the many dishes that are good in Bavaria, but rather a glimpse of my favorites and must-tries. Let me know in the comments or on facebook which ones you’d put on this list.
So all that’s left to say is: Cheers!