Austrian cuisine is a blend of traditional dishes and modern influences, with a focus on hearty, comforting meals.
It is characterized by the use of ingredients such as potatoes, dumplings, bread, and rich sauces. Popular dishes include Wiener Schnitzel, Tafelspitz, Kaiserschmarrn, Goulash, and Strudel. Austrian cuisine also features an array of sweets and pastries, such as Marillenknödel and Sachertorte.
In addition to traditional dishes, Austrian cuisine has been influenced by neighboring countries such as Italy, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, and features elements of each in its cuisine.
Austrian cuisine is often enjoyed in traditional taverns and coffeehouses, where diners can sample a variety of dishes in a relaxed and casual atmosphere.
Indulging in the Sweet Delights of Austrian Mehlspeisen
Mehlspeisen is a term used in Austrian cuisine to describe a variety of sweet, flour-based dishes, including pastries, cakes, and other baked goods. Some of the most well-known Austrian Mehlspeisen include:
- Strudel: A flaky pastry filled with sweet ingredients such as apples, raisins, cinnamon, and nuts.
- Sachertorte: A rich chocolate cake made with layers of sponge cake and apricot jam, covered in a chocolate glaze.
- Kaiserschmarrn: A shredded pancake dish with caramelized fruit, often served as a dessert.
- Marillenknödel: Dumplings filled with apricot jam, often served as a dessert with vanilla sauce or powdered sugar.
- Palatschinken: Thin, crepe-like pancakes filled with sweet or savory ingredients, such as fruit, cheese, or chocolate.
- Topfennockerl: A dessert made from sweet cheese dumplings, often served with fruit compote.
- Kipferl: Crescent-shaped pastries made with sweet yeast dough and often flavored with vanilla or almonds.
Austrian Mehlspeisen often feature rich, sweet ingredients and are enjoyed for dessert or as a sweet snack. They are often served with a variety of accompaniments, such as whipped cream, ice cream, fruit, or chocolate sauce, and are a staple of Austrian patisseries and coffeehouses.
Vorspeisen, also known as starters, are small dishes that are served before the main course in Austrian cuisine. Some of the most popular Vorspeisen include:
- Suppen: A variety of soups, such as goulash soup or potato soup, often served as a starter in Austrian cuisine.
- Rilette: A type of pâté made from slow-cooked, shredded meat, typically served as an appetizer with bread or crackers.
- Gemischter Salat: Mixed greens salad, often served with a variety of ingredients such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and red onions.
- Fried Zucchini: Zucchini slices that are coated in breadcrumbs and fried, often served with a dipping sauce.
- Carpaccio: Thinly sliced raw beef or fish, served with a variety of accompaniments, such as olive oil, lemon juice, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- Goulash Suppe: A hearty stew made with beef, paprika, and vegetables, often served as a starter in Austrian cuisine
- Grilled sausages: A variety of grilled sausages, such as Wiener, Bratwurst, or Frankfurter, often served with bread and mustard.
Salads in Austrian Cuisine
Austrian salads often feature a variety of greens, such as lettuce, arugula, and radicchio, combined with a variety of ingredients to create unique flavor combinations. Here are some popular Austrian salads:
- Gemischter Salat: A mixed greens salad that is often served as a starter and can include ingredients such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and radish.
- Feldsalat: Field salad, made with lamb’s lettuce and other greens, combined with ingredients such as cherry tomatoes, croutons, and a light dressing.
- Rucola Salat: Arugula salad, typically served with cherry tomatoes, red onion, and a vinaigrette dressing.
- Tomatensalat: Tomato salad, featuring sliced tomatoes and sometimes combined with other ingredients such as cucumber, red onion, and fresh herbs.
- Blattsalat: Leafy green salad, often made with a mix of different greens and served with a vinaigrette dressing.
Austrian salads are often accompanied by bread and can be served as a side dish or as a light meal on their own. They are a staple of Austrian cuisine and are known for their fresh, bright flavors and simple yet delicious combinations of ingredients.
Austrian Nachspeisen, or desserts, are a special part of Austrian cuisine. Here are some popular Austrian desserts:
- Kaiserschmarrn: A traditional dessert consisting of shredded pancakes served with a fruit compote, typically made from plums or apples.
- Sachertorte: A rich chocolate cake filled with apricot jam and coated in chocolate glaze.
- Apfelstrudel: A classic dessert made from a thin, flaky pastry filled with thinly sliced apples and cinnamon.
- Palatschinken: A thin, crepe-like dessert filled with sweet or savory ingredients, such as fruit, chocolate, or cheese.
- Topfenstrudel: A dessert made from a flaky pastry filled with a mixture of cottage cheese and raisins, dusted with powdered sugar.
These desserts are often enjoyed after a meal or as a sweet treat throughout the day. They are known for their classic flavor combinations, flaky and tender textures, and the use of fresh, seasonal ingredients. Whether enjoyed with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, Austrian Nachspeisen are a beloved part of Austrian cuisine.